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Individualized Instruction to Maximize Learning

At Successful Solutions, we individualize instruction to maximize learning specifically for each student.  We focus not only on the "how" of completing the task, but also the "why" it works; deepening understanding and helping with retention of skills.  When appropriate, manipulatives, models, and technology are utilized as tools to further maximize understanding of concepts.  Whenever possible, real-life problems tie concepts to students' lives giving meaning and purpose to their school work.  

Providing visuals, minimizing work on a page, offering time for questions and processing of information, allowing use of technology to better organize or physically write with paper and pencil are methods used depending on the needs of each individual student whether in a private tutoring session or a small group session.

Meet the Team


Kathy Ells

Director + Tutor for All Levels

Math, Organization, Study Skills, Executive Functioning, and Test Prep

Kathy Ells has been involved in education since 1981. In her 40 years of experience, she has taught at public and private schools, worked as a special educator, and tutored students from elementary through high school ages. In her own words, she was “always meant to do this”. But most importantly, her tenure as a traditional classroom teacher taught her the importance of personal connection in a student’s success. Kathy can be found in the mountains skiing, hiking and camping with her husband or visiting her children and grandchildren in her free time. 

Education & Certifications:

  • Master's Degree, Moderate Special Needs

  • Elementary Education, Grades 1-6

  • Moderate Special Needs, Grades 5-12

  • Middle School Mathematics, Grades 6-8


Hannah Ells

College Essay Tutor

Hannah Ells graduated in 2018 with a BA in English from Trinity College and a Secondary Education Certification from the University of Saint Joseph. Since then, Hannah has been working in the Educational Technology industry. Currently, she is a Learning Designer at Cengage in Boston, MA where she researches and designs educational tools and resources for higher education students. Hannah is also working part-time on a Certificate in Instructional and Learning Design from UMass Boston. In her spare time, Hannah loves to run, hike, read, and bake!

Education & Certifications:

  • Bachelor's Degree, English (Trinity College)

  • Secondary Education


Jon Ells

High School Tutor


Jon Ells has been an educator since 1978 – including 44 years at Landmark School from which he has recently retired. He has greatly enjoyed working with high school students in all levels of Math as an instructor and as Math Department Head.  He has also served as Director of Technology for over 25 years. Among his many pursuits in retirement are volunteering, woodworking, tinkering, outdoor activities, visiting grandkids, and tutoring for his wife!


Patricia Bradley Theriault

Early Elementary Tutor

Reading, Writing, Math

Before retiring in 2016, Patty spent 35 years teaching in the Amesbury Public Schools. During those years she taught Kindergarten and first grade where she relied on her strong Early Childhood background to support her belief that young children learn best when provided with hands on meaningful learning experience. "Developing strong foundations helps students to make connections in their learning and become confident learners. All students learn differently and we need to provide opportunities so they feel like a capable and successful learner. "


Prior to teaching in Amesbury, Patty worked as an assistant in a special needs classroom, was a title one math and reading tutor, and worked in a private nursery school . She also spent 3 summers as West Newbury's Parks and Recreation Summer Program Supervisor.

Education & Certifications:

  • Associates Degree, Early Childhood (Northern Essex Community College)

  • Bachelor of Arts Degree, Early Childhood (Salem State College)

  • Masters Degree, Early Childhood (Salem State College)

  • Teacher Certification (Grades K-8)

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Marcia Stellmach

Early Elementary Tutor

Reading, Writing, Math

Marcia worked for 34 years teaching Title 1 Math, Kindergarten and mostly First Grade before she retired in 2019. "Grade 1 always felt like the perfect place for me because one of my passions is helping children become independent readers and writers. First Grade is the year when so much begins to come together for them."  Since retirement, she has continued to work for the Amesbury Public Schools as a substitute teacher for Grades K-4.


When not working, Marcia enjoys volunteering and spending time with her children and grandchildren. 

Education & Certifications:

  • Bachelor of Science Degree, Elementary Education/Speech and Language (University of Maine - Farmington)

  • Masters Degree, Curriculum and Instruction/Literacy (Lesley College)

  • Teacher Certification

    • Early Childhood, K-2​

    • Elementary Education, 1-6

Read our success stories!
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