Founded in 1994 by owner, Julia Ross, Professional Tutoring, as its name suggests, was first created to provide extra support to struggling students. Today, Professional Tutoring helps hundreds of students each year through its three flagship programs: Tutoring, SAT/ACT Prep, and College Coaching.  Our staff designed and continues to refine these three programs to guide students through the biggest challenges they will face in their academic careers.


Since our inception, Ms. Ross has worked with over 2000 students. She supports over 100 students per week in tutoring, SAT/ACT Preparation, and College Coaching. She is respected by parents and loved by her “kids”. The school systems know and respect Ms. Ross in her various capacities. Ms. Ross served as the Secondary School Education Representative to the PTSA Board of Robinson Secondary School, one of the largest schools in the United States. She developed an SAT/ACT Preparation Curriculum which put the big test preparation companies to shame. Professional Tutoring students average improvements of 300 points on the new SAT Exam (1600-scale) and 4-5 points on the ACT Exam!  Ms. Ross is dedicated to helping students succeed in the college admissions journey, working with students to improve their grades, preparing them for the SAT/ACT, guiding them through the application process, and helping them choose the right college!

Julia Ross
Founder and Principal

Masters, Urban Planning (Finance Concentration), University of Virginia;
BA, French Language and Literature (Spanish Concentration), University of Virginia

Ms. Ross founded Professional Tutoring, LLC, in 1994. Since then she has worked with thousands of students. She supports over 100 students per week in tutoring, SAT Preparation, and College Coaching. She is respected by parents and loved by her “kids.”

Matt Dischner
Educational Consultant

Masters, Interdisciplinary Humanities, New York University; BA, English, Medieval Studies, University of Virginia

A historian at heart, Mr. Dischner studied English and Medieval Studies at the University of Virginia, and spent one summer taking classes at University College, Oxford, in the UK. He earned his Master’s from New York University’s John W. Draper Interdisciplinary Humanities Program. He previously tutored for Axiom Learning in New York’s Upper East Side and has worked with the Smithsonian’s Freer|Sackler Galleries. He is also an avid poet, with his work regularly appearing in the literary journal Caustic Frolic. Mr. Dischner is a part of the College Coaching Team, overseeing much of the background research, and also tutors for the SAT/ACT and in the humanities.

Linda Ferri
Office Administrator

BS, Arabic and Business, Georgetown University; Executive Education Certificate in Finance and Global Markets, Georgetown University

Linda enjoys creating and managing all administrative, financial and operational systems that allow Professional Tutoring to focus on its core business and thrive. In her 30+ years of experience, many as an entrepreneur, she has worked in industries ranging from non-profits and government entities to privately-held technology-based companies and service firms. Linda is active in her community focusing on children, education and the arts, serving on the board of music and arts-education non-profits, creating and delivering international business training programs, and substitute teaching. Linda has professional proficiency in French and Italian and basic skills in Arabic. In her leisure time, she sings with the Vienna Choral Society, experiments with international cooking, and strives to understand world events.

Cathy Withers
Academic Coach

JD, University of California, Los Angeles; BA, English and Communications, Stanford University

As a lawyer at the FCC, Ms. Withers spent many years working with the public, addressing and resolving their concerns.  She is dedicated to working with parents and students to ensure their success and satisfaction with our programs.  With her English and Law degrees, Ms. Withers has spent many years honing her writing skills and students in our program benefit from her experience and her love of writing.  In addition, she is committed to working with ADHD teens and believes that every child should be empowered to succeed and that all students can reach their full potential.

SAT/ACT Class Assistants

Our five Professional Tutoring interns are all local high school seniors who have previously gone through our 6- or 9-month SAT/ACT class. They provide support to our current prep classes by leading small groups in going over exam material, checking homework, scoring multiple-choice quizzes, and assisting in proctoring practice exams. 

Rachel Knitzer
Director of Academics

BA, Chinese, George Mason University

Ms. Knitzer studied Chinese at the University of Mississippi and at George Mason University and has studied abroad at the University of Qingdao and Minzu University in China. Her experience as a Teaching Assistant for five years at Temple B’nai Shalom in Fairfax, near perfect SAT score, and four years of experience with Professional Tutoring provides support to our office and our SAT/ACT classes. Rachel co-teaches our SAT/ACT classes, runs College Coaching workshops, and tutors Spanish, Chinese, calculus, physics, writing, and history.

René Garrett, PhD
Director of Research

PhD, Physiology, University of Florida; MS, Physiology, University of Central Florida, BA, Education, Stetson University

Dr. Garrett, or Dr. G. as the students call her, has ten years of teaching experience, including as a college professor. Her teaching experience is an invaluable asset to Professional Tutoring, LLC and the students in our program benefit from her expertise and her genuine love of teens. 

Emma Ross
Academic Tutor

BA, Arabic, French, Spanish, University of Mississippi

A Fairfax County native (Robinson H.S.), Emma graduated from the State Department Arabic Flagship Language Program at the University of Mississippi in 2016 with majors in Arabic and Spanish and a minor in French.  She also studied at the University of Irbid, Jordan, and at the University of Cadiz, Spain.  Emma tutors biology, chemistry, Spanish, French, Arabic, history, English and SAT/ACT preparation.  Emma also supports the Professional Tutoring College Coaching program in workshops, essay and resume development and editing.

Lynn Murphy

BS with Honors, Accounting, Fairleigh Dickinson University

Lynn is a lifelong accounting professional with a focus on education and non-profit. Over the past 20 years, she has worked with several educational organizations. Lynn’s passion for accounting and education paired with her organizational skills fit perfectly with Professional Tutoring, LLC, and she brings a level of expertise needed for this growing organization. When she is not working, Lynn is hiking, knitting, cooking or walking her dog.

Sara Kline
Academic Tutor

BA, Political Science, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

A Professional Tutoring alum, Sara graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2020 with a major in political science and minors in history and national security studies. Sara works with our younger students in math, Spanish, and English and provides additional support to our tutoring team.