Sophia S. Meas; B.A. (UCLA), Ed.M. (Harvard University)
Director of College Counseling
Sophia oversees the college counseling program, providing individualized attention to each student, equipping them with the tools to navigate the college admissions process and empowering them for their transition to higher education.
Prior to joining CATS Academy, Sophia worked in undergraduate counseling, admissions, and financial aid, in several capacities - as an Orientation Assistant Counselor at UCLA and as a Senior Admissions and Financial Aid Officer at Harvard College. Sophia comes to CATS Academy with fifteen years of experience in higher education, which have provided her with expertise in the counseling, admissions, and financial aid processes of highly selective institutions. Sophia received her B.A. in History and Political Science from UCLA and her Ed.M. in Higher Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Danielle Baldissera; B.S. (Lasell College)
Director of Student Services
Danielle Baldissera is originally from Brazil and has a Bachelor in Science. She came to the U.S. as an international student, therefore sharing the same first global experiences as most of our students here at CATS. She is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish and has worked over the years in the legal industry with experience in immigration, family law and civil litigation.
In 2012 she came back to the education industry and since then she has found her dream career and is enthusiastic and committed to the principles of excellence in customer service in international education.
Anne Reenstierna; B.A. (Wheaton College), M.Ed. (Lesley University)
Dean of Faculty and Academics
Anne Reenstierna served as the Head of School at Brimmer and May in Chestnut Hill, MA for twenty-seven years where she also taught in the Humanities Department. Earlier in her career, Anne taught English at the Kingswood-Oxford School in CT and also worked as a Career Counselor at Wheaton College. Anne is committed to school reform and for ten years served as the President of the National Center for Independent School Renewal, a growing association of schools seriously committed to the work of renewal and innovation through a new model of professional development. Anne has also been on the Commission for Independent Schools for NEAS&C and the President’s Commission at Wheaton College. Currently Anne is on the board of the Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston.
“It’s a pleasure to work with teachers who are committed to challenging our students with engaging, student-centered, interactive learning experiences every day.”
James O'Brien; B.A. (Middlebury College)
Test Preparation Department Chair and Test Preparation Teacher
A Boston area native, James attended high school at St. Sebastian’s School in Needham before earning a B.A. in English and American Literature from Middlebury College. At Middlebury, James first became interested in international education when he lived with several international students.
James has taught Test Preparation at Compass Education Group and Huntington Learning Center. He also worked as Assistant Director of Communications and English teacher at St. Sebastian’s School. In addition to serving as Test Preparation instructor and a director of the Writing Center at CATS Academy Boston, James plays an integral role in athletics at the school. He coaches cross-country, volleyball, and ultimate Frisbee.
Berta Nahra-Harb; B.S. (Boston University), M.A. (Central Michigan University)
Health and Wellness Teacher
Berta was born in Lebanon and moved to the US when she was 12 years old. She studied history and early childhood education as an undergrad and physical education in her master’s program. Berta has been teaching 14 years, 9 of those as a physical education teacher.
“CATS is a great place to work. The students are eager to learn and they are very friendly. The faculty are very knowledgeable in their subject area.”
Lucy LaVallee; M.A. (The Moscow State Linguistic University)
Co-chair of the ESL Department and ESL Teacher (English as a Second Language)
Lucy was born in Russia, where she worked as a translator and interpreter in the aerospace research industry. She also made voice overs for CNN News and taught English as a second language at a specialized English language school and business schools.
Lucy was also on the board of directors for a US non-profit organization that brought children sick with cancer from Chernobyl, Belarus and the Ukraine for recuperation in the US.
“There is a lot of support from the faculty and staff who see the students as part of their family. The school's location in Boston and its close proximity to Harvard and MIT give students a true taste of the east coast.”