Meet Our Founder

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Diane Lewis

Founder and CEO

Diane Cutler Lewis is an educator, entrepreneur, and philanthropist committed to helping students to reach their highest potential. She began tutoring a friend's daughter and within one year, had 21 students from referrals. The best part was that she loved her students as they poured laughter and joy into her heart. Tutoring quickly became Diane's passion and life purpose.

She founded A+ In Home Tutors in 2003 to promote educational awareness and customized learning for students of all backgrounds and grade levels. The organization has grown to be one of the leading tutoring vendors to many Charter Schools and community partners throughout California. In 2021, Diane launched Firefly Tutors, presented by A+ In Home Tutors, to continue to expand tutoring services with the goal of more positively impacting greater numbers of students in all 50 United States.

Diane earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University Northridge, majoring in Liberal Studies and Education with a California Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential in K-8th grade learning.

Diane's career in education was inspired by her father, Morris Cutler. In 2019, she published Education Warrior,, an inspirational memoir of her father that highlights his global impact on education in Afghanistan, Kenya, and California. Also, as a tribute to her father, she founded Education Warrior,, a not-for-profit created to provide much-needed tutoring for vulnerable at-risk children of families with high hopes but little money who are the most likely to drop out of school.

In addition to her passion for making education accessible to all, Diane embraces travel, people from diverse cultures, delicious foods, art, music, theatre and enjoys an active, healthy lifestyle in Anaheim, California.


Diane@fireflytutors.com
888-505-5930

Diane Lewis

Founder and CEO

Our Story

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What we believe

We believe every student deserves the opportunity to develop to their highest potential. Unfortunately, many students fall through the cracks with traditional education. We offer customized multi sensory integration to maximize the learning experience.

What we do

Selecting the right tutor can be a challenging process. We guide parents through the process with exceptional customer service and helpful information to assure your student is matched with the best tutor to help them succeed. Our experienced tutors are experts at relating curriculum to your student’s interests and hobbies. This unique combination of understanding students’ needs and matching your student with the right tutor and learning solution helps to deliver exceptional academic results. 

Learning

What guides us

What is best for students is what guides us. For any action we take, our strategic lens, or North Star, is “how will this benefit students?” 

Our Leadership Team

Team Managers

Star Galmore

Southern California Educational Consultant

Star is a certified educator and therapist. A recent school teacher of the year award winner, she strives to help others reach self-mastery and takes pride in maintaining a high level of professionalism. Star currently resides in Jacksonville, FL., and enjoys spending time with her family and fur baby chihuahua.

Star is a certified educator and therapist. A recent school teacher of the year award winner, she strives to help others reach self-mastery and takes pride in maintaining a high level of professionalism. Star currently resides in Jacksonville, FL., and enjoys spending time with her family and fur baby chihuahua.

Team Managers

Tracy Davis

HR & Accounting Manager

Tracy leads the HR & Accounting department here at Firefly Tutors. She has over 20 years of HR and Accounting experience. When Tracy isn't working, she's homeschooling her daughters. In Tracy's freetime she enjoys reading, working out, and teaching others about budgeting and health & wellness. Tracy resides in Virginia with her family.

Tracy leads the HR & Accounting department here at Firefly Tutors. She has over 20 years of HR and Accounting experience. When Tracy isn't working, she's homeschooling her daughters. In Tracy's freetime she enjoys reading, working out, and teaching others about budgeting and health & wellness. Tracy resides in Virginia with her family.

Team Managers

Carla Michaels

Senior Regional Manager

Carla joined our Firefly Team as Regional Manager in 2016. Using her exceptional communication and relational skills she connects parents to quality tutors to help students learn, develop self-confidence, and achieve academic success. She resides in San Francisco, and enjoys interior design, seeing films, writing poetry, and loves animals.

Carla joined our Firefly Team as Regional Manager in 2016. Using her exceptional communication and relational skills she connects parents to quality tutors to help students learn, develop self-confidence, and achieve academic success. She resides in San Francisco, and enjoys interior design, seeing films, writing poetry, and loves animals.

Team Managers

David Dabney

Marketing Manager

David leads our Firefly Tutors marketing team and is responsible for the company’s website, social media, and brand positioning. Prior, he was Director of Marketing, Sales, Social Media, and Family Outreach for a popular family fun park. David resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife Anna and their menagerie of four-legged kids.

David leads our Firefly Tutors marketing team and is responsible for the company’s website, social media, and brand positioning. Prior, he was Director of Marketing, Sales, Social Media, and Family Outreach for a popular family fun park. David resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife Anna and their menagerie of four-legged kids.

 

Tutor Of The Month

Rick Neisser

May

We celebrate Rick Neisser as our Firefly Tutor for May 2022. He resides in Costa Mesa, California and has been tutoring with Firefly Tutors for 3 years. Rick loves both the mental challenges and emotional rewards of tutoring. Preparing a lesson keeps Rick sharp, allowing him to relearn the subject while figuring out the best ways of presenting the material. Rick believes emotional rewards come when students catch on to what is taught and in turn teaches the material back to the mentor. 

Rick tutors SAT prep, language arts, literature, social studies, and math including calculus. His favorite subjects are government and economics, followed by history. Tutoring has required Rick to become a polymath of sorts with renewed interest in various subjects ranging from math and language arts to science. 

Rick earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Yale University, and a Master’s degree from Stanford University. He studied additional education earning him  certificates in HR, Auditing, Life & Property Insurance.

Rick mentions he doesn’t have a favorite tip, but it all depends on the students, the subject and their learning style. “For example, if we're talking math, many students, but not all, respond well to doing problems on the whiteboard, followed by completing worksheets. If we're talking about writing, then teaching the students how to "idea–storm" before composing their essay often helps them organize their thoughts. Plus, some intuitive students like to figure things out independently with just a few clues here and there from me, while others require outlines and study guides.” 

A favorite memory of Rick’s tutoring session is when a 3rd grader with learning disabilities had an “AHA” moment when they caught on to the concept of division. Another favorite memory is when working with a precocious 6th grader to improve his standardized test scores and interview skills, he received admission into a California magnet middle school. 

In his free time, Rick loves to research his family's history as the family's genealogist. Rick documented over 800 members on his family tree, going back ten generations. As new documents such as census and milestone notices become available, he is updating the tree all the time. Rick has recorded and transcribed his parents' memoirs and those of several relatives. 

Other interests include visiting out-of-state family, traveling in Europe, reading, online learning, crosswords, exercise, theater, symphony, and getting in an occasional game of bridge.

Three interesting facts about Rick; He has visited every presidential library in the country, knows how to tie a bowtie, and is a big fan of classic movies.

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Meet Some Of Our Expert Tutors

Emiliano Noriega Petti

Randel Chow

Randel's favorite tip to student's is for students who have trouble with writing assignments, I find that discussing the topic with the student helps him/her discover what to write. Randel also is an avid musician. Up until the pandemic, he performed semi-professionally on stage as a guitarist.

Read more

Emiliano Noriega Petti

Sophie Stauffer

Sophie values the importance of building the confidence of her students. Sophie’s favorite tip to help her students learn is to allow students to make choices whenever possible. She suggests even proposing small choices such as, “would you rather practice fractions or word problems next?” Sophie emphasizes that this practice “gives students agency of your time with them.”

Read more

Emiliano Noriega Petti

Emiliano Noriega-Petti

Located in Whittier, California, he has been tutoring most subjects for over a decade. Emiliano’s personal favorite subject matter being English, as his father was a librarian. Emiliano’s passion for tutoring is at its highest when he is assisting students in their journey to getting into college. In addition, he is passionate about helping to pair students’ personal life goals with applicable majors.

Read more

Joseph Previtali

Joseph Previtali

From Woodside, California, Joseph has been educating others for over ten years. “My proudest moment as a tutor is whenever a student, especially one who was struggling, achieves mastery of an important concept.” At Firefly Tutors, we value tutors celebrating the victories of their students.

Read more

Joseph Previtali

Eliza Ross

Eliza is from Apple Valley, California and while she is best versed in anatomy, physiology, and math, she tutors all subjects from Kindergarten through 12th grade. “What I love most about tutoring is that I am actively engaged with the minds of our future,” says Eliza. “I enjoy seeing how much progress students make and the joy that radiates from their faces when they know they have accomplished something great.”

Read more

Bo Neshat

Bo Neshat

A resident of Riverside, California, Bo has been tutoring with A+ In-Home Tutors for over seven years. What Bo loves most about being a tutor is the fulfillment he receives through supporting his students to achieve success. “My greatest reward comes when I see that light in my student’s eyes,” says Bo.

Read more

Eliza Ross

Anicia Hibdon

What Anicia loves most about being a tutor is serving the unique needs of each student and helping them succeed. “Each student and each assignment is different -- the opportunities are endless for a flexible and rewarding service to others.”

Read more

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Emiliano Noriega Petti

Rick Neisser

We celebrate Rick Neisser as our Firefly Tutor for May 2022. He resides in Costa Mesa, California and has been tutoring with Firefly Tutors for 3 years. Rick loves both the mental challenges and emotional rewards of tutoring. Preparing a lesson keeps Rick sharp, allowing him to relearn the subject while figuring out the best ways of presenting the material.

Learn more

Emiliano Noriega Petti

Sharon Wanderdam

We celebrate Sharon Wanderdam as our Firefly Tutor for April 2022. She resides in Davis, California and brings over 7 years of experience to our program. Sharon loves making personal connections with each of her students. This special bond makes the sessions fun, and heartening for both. Trust helps students become more receptive and comfortable to ask questions and reach their academic goals.

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Emiliano Noriega Petti

Sarah Falls

Sarah reflects on her success story, “My proudest moment as a tutor has been seeing at risk students get to graduate and walk with their class. The accomplishment and empowerment on their faces as they walked means that I did my job and I did it well.”

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Emiliano Noriega Petti

Joel Elkins

Joel’s favorite tip for students is in math. “Think of the numbers not as abstract concepts but as real things. Negative numbers are how down they go, positive numbers are how up they go. Fractions are how many slices of pizza they have. Equal signs are like fulcrums on a scale.”

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Emiliano Noriega Petti

Melissa Marmo

Melissa shared her favorite memory with one of her students. “A favorite memory is when one of my students was very excited to take on a text-evidence close reading ELA activity. He is only in 2nd grade, and he did wonderful on this third grade supplemental task. He loved being challenged and learning a new skill.”

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Emiliano Noriega Petti

Roy Clay Jr.

I maintain a constant mindset to learn. I love this because we live in a big universe with endless things to learn through technology. I practice to improve my foreign language skills and keep up with cutting edge futuristic science. I've always loved playing table tennis, pool, classical piano and bowling (I've made a few YouTube videos over the years)

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Emiliano Noriega Petti

Samirah Martinez

Samirah shares one of her favorite student success stories. One of my students had been struggling to read for years. Once we found something that worked, she was able to read signs in stores and on TV. Her family was so happy, and I am glad to have been a part of that.

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Emiliano Noriega Petti

Rebecca Aimone

I started with a student during her seventh grade year. She was getting D's and F's.  With some intense hours of tutoring in study skills, math, and science, she was able to bring her grades up and she graduated from middle school on the Honor Roll. She is a sophomore in high school now and has maintained her grades in the A's and B's.

Read more

Emiliano Noriega Petti

Randel Chow

Randel's favorite tip to student's is for students who have trouble with writing assignments, I find that discussing the topic with the student helps him/her discover what to write. Randel also is an avid musician. Up until the pandemic, he performed semi-professionally on stage as a guitarist.

Read more

Emiliano Noriega Petti

Shara Bernard

From tutoring young ones to older students, breaking larger tasks into smaller, manageable units is an invaluable key to prevent a student from feeling overwhelmed in learning a new skill or completing a project.

Read more

Emiliano Noriega Petti

Alex Zhong

Alex values making new friends with students, and passing on knowledge to help them. Alex’s favorite tip; “We find success from our failure, and it’s ok to make a mistake if we are willing to correct it.” He suggests, “When my students share their happy and sad thoughts with me, and that’s the moment I know we have built a trust and connection with each other so I can pass on my knowledge and experience to them.”

Read more

Emiliano Noriega Petti

Sophie Stauffer

Sophie values the importance of building the confidence of her students. Sophie’s favorite tip to help her students learn is to allow students to make choices whenever possible. She suggests even proposing small choices such as, “would you rather practice fractions or word problems next?” Sophie emphasizes that this practice “gives students agency of your time with them.”

Read more

Emiliano Noriega Petti

Emiliano Noriega-Petti

Located in Whittier, California, he has been tutoring most subjects for over a decade. Emiliano’s personal favorite subject matter being English, as his father was a librarian. Emiliano’s passion for tutoring is at its highest when he is assisting students in their journey to getting into college. In addition, he is passionate about helping to pair students’ personal life goals with applicable majors.

Read more

Emiliano Noriega Petti

Joseph Previtali

From Woodside, California, Joseph has been educating others for over ten years. “My proudest moment as a tutor is whenever a student, especially one who was struggling, achieves mastery of an important concept.” At Firefly Tutors, we value tutors celebrating the victories of their students.

Read more

Emiliano Noriega Petti

Bo Neshat

A resident of Riverside, California, Bo has been tutoring with A+ In-Home Tutors for over seven years. What Bo loves most about being a tutor is the fulfillment he receives through supporting his students to achieve success. “My greatest reward comes when I see that light in my student’s eyes,” says Bo.

Read more

Emiliano Noriega Petti

Eliza Ross

Eliza is from Apple Valley, California and while she is best versed in anatomy, physiology, and math, she tutors all subjects from Kindergarten through 12th grade. “What I love most about tutoring is that I am actively engaged with the minds of our future,” says Eliza. “I enjoy seeing how much progress students make and the joy that radiates from their faces when they know they have accomplished something great.”

Read more

Emiliano Noriega Petti

Anicia Hibdon

What Anicia loves most about being a tutor is serving the unique needs of each student and helping them succeed. “Each student and each assignment is different -- the opportunities are endless for a flexible and rewarding service to others.”

Read more

FAQ

How do I know if tutoring is right for my student?

If your student is falling behind or struggling in school, this could be a sign that tutoring is needed. Your student may seem to lack confidence or lose interest in learning. These are also signs that tutoring could help. Our first step is to learn more about your student’s situation. We will provide you guidance based on our years of experience to identify if tutoring is right for your student. 

What is the best form of tutoring for my student - online or in-home?

It depends. There is strong evidence that in-home tutoring is the most effective for most students. However, with evolving tools for online learning, this model can be as effective as well. After learning more about your student and your family situation, we will recommend what’s best for your student.

How do you select a tutor for my student?

At Firefly Tutors, we spend the time upfront to understand your student’s learning style, hobbies, and specific learning needs. We then match your student with a tutor who defines a personalized plan for your student. We do not offer ‘cookie-cutter’ learning plans. Everything we deliver at Firefly Tutors is tailored to your student’s needs. 

What about pod learning? How does that work?

Pod learning is designed to teach groups of students. Participating students can be from multiple families or within the same family. Often pods are created by parents who have joined together to help their respective students as a group. Learning pods can be as small as 2 to 3 students or as large as 4 to 6 students. Pod learning offers the benefit of social interaction with other students along with the learning experience. Depending on the situation, pod learning can also be less expensive per student. Firefly Tutors can help assess if pod learning is a good fit for your student or family.

What results should I expect from tutoring?

At a minimum, you should expect that your student achieves learning success in the subject or subjects needed. With Firefly Tutors you can expect more. Our tutors help your student learn the academic material but also help your student build life skills and confidence for successful learning in the future. 

What cities or locations do you offer tutoring?

We offer tutoring across the United States. No matter what your location in the U.S., we can help.

There are a lot of options for tutoring services. What makes Firefly Tutors different?

Firefly Tutors believes every student deserves the opportunity to develop to their full potential. We take the time to understand your student’s learning style to match your student with the tutor that has the experience and skills that are right for your student. Our experienced tutors design a personalized multi-sensory learning experience for your student based on their learning needs. Unlike other tutoring firms, Firefly Tutors helps students learn valuable life skills beyond the classroom. Our goal at Firefly Tutors is to help your student discover their light and illuminate their potential.

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