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Meet The Team 

Marianne Yayane Verbuyt. Marianne's Alpha Kappa.jpg
Founder and Business Executive
French, Learning disabilities and Pedagogical Tutor
Aurélie Gabriele. Marianne's Alpha Kappa.jpg
Operations director
FLE Tutor
Ashni Dave. Marianne's Alpha Kappa.jpg
MAK Math Tutor & Standardized Tests Specialist
Adam Harrison Levy. Marianne's Alpha Kappa.jpg
Writing & Essay Tutor
Plebot Niki Portraits-1_edited.jpg
Tutor & Writing Fellow
Math Tutor & Standardized Tests Specialist
Shivani Dave. Marianne's Alpha Kappa.jpg
 Curriculum Developer

I have been working with my team for many years.

We have built a great relationship and we are all guided by our passions, teaching, love, art, dance, and the well-being of our students and their success.

" Teaching is not just about assimilating content, it’s a human connection before all. " Marianne Yayane Verbuyt

Marianne Bio

Marianne Yayane Verbuyt
Founder. Pedagogical Director & Tutor

Tutoring | French curriculum | Learning disabilities | Pedagogical training

Marianne offers different tutoring classes from academic support for the French curriculum, French certified exams, customized classes for kids with learning disabilities, French courses for kids and adults, and pedagogical training.

Marianne has taught and tutored for over 20 years in Paris and New York, coaching and mentoring students in French, mathematics, and study skills.


She has a Baccalauréat Scientifique and a Master in Psychology specializing in clinical psychology from Université de Toulouse le Mirail, with additional studies in mathematics and epistemology. She studied business management at Ecole Supérieure des Dirigeants d’Entreprises (ESDE) in Paris and has an elementary educational degree (Professeur des Ecoles). Marianne has earned a certificate to work with children with special needs. In Paris, she was a jury member for teacher accreditation and is currently a certified examiner for the DELF (Diplôme d'Etudes en Langue Française).


Marianne fell in love with pedagogy at Ecole Decroly (Brussels, Belgium) after which she taught at Ecole Alsacienne (Paris, France).


She then taught pedagogical re-education to students with disabling injuries, chronic illness, and congenital disabilities at Votre Ecole Chez Vous (Paris, France). Throughout the years, Marianne has consulted with schools on providing the best education for children with learning disabilities.


Marianne has worked as a curriculum and team coordinator at the Lyçée Français de New York for 6 years where she learned to master the teaching of bilingual students (French and English). This experience inspired her passion for combining studies of the two cultures. This exposure allowed her to create pedagogical programs that facilitate the bridge between French and English.

She served as co-author of " Apprendre malgré.... le handicap ou la maladie ” in conjuction with Dr. Béatrice Deschamps-Latsha and the celebrated physician emeritus Yves Quéré.  Marianne is featured in a major documentary film " Sur La Route Couleur de Sable” which details her teaching experience with two special-needs children.

Marianne has consulted to the preschool at FIAF (French Institute / Alliance Française), PS84, Le Lycée Condorcet in Sydney, The French American Academy in New Jersey, collaborating with teachers to develop a curriculum that bridges the two languages and cultures.

" I believe in two languages Love and Mathematics " Marianne Yayane Verbuyt

Flavio Bio

Flavio Conesa Alcolea 

Flavio was born and raised in Paris, France. He moved to America to pursue ballet at the School of American Ballet. He graduated with a bachelor of business administration in Finance in 2016. He is currently enrolled in INSEEC Grande Ecole to obtain a Master in Management focusing on International Business Development. 

Having shared his life between the French and American school systems throughout his youth, Flavio realized that school curriculums cannot be translated as they are intrinsically linked to their language and culture. He decided to create Marianne's Alpha Kappa with Marianne. The goals behind MAK are to offer an understanding of both cultures and create a bridge, enabling students to adapt and merge flawlessly between them.

Aurélie Gabriele
Operations director

Aurelie Bio

Class scheduling | Invoicing | FLE Tutor

Aurelie was born and raised in Lyon, France. She graduated from the optical school ISO (Institut Supérieur d’Optique) and worked as an optician for 10 years. In 2013, she moved to New York and decided to embrace the teaching profession to become a teacher, her childhood dream job.
She obtained the DAEFLE (Diplôme d’Aptitude à l’Enseignement du Français Langue Etrangère) in 2014  and started working at the French Institute Alliance française of New York where she met Marianne. They went along very well and a true friendship was born.
Aurelie continues teaching at the French Institute Alliance française and uses Marianne's techniques.
Aurelie participated in writing the book “The indicative mood: the most essential 105 verbs” in 2016.
Since then, she has been seconding Marianne on every teacher's training session and takes care of different aspects of the company from the administrative part to different business sides, allowing Marianne to fully work on her pedagogy and lessons.

Ashni Bio

Ashni Dave
MAK Math & Standardized Tests Specialist

Math | Chemistry | Standardized tests | English Grammar and Reading Comprehension 

Ashni is a math and sciences tutor and also specialized in standardized tests prep. She holds a dual bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University in Biology and Health Science & Policy. In addition to that, she is a musician.

Over the last 8 years, she has honed her ability to understand a student's strengths, learning styles, and gaps in concepts and skill sets, and to teach the material in a way that resonates with each student and allows them to develop their learning and critical thinking skills. With her experience in both academic and art performance settings, she assigns at-home practice and test-specific techniques to empower the student to feel confident in their abilities and perform well in a high-pressure environment.

Ashni joined MAK team in 2019 and is working with our students on:

  • SAT and ACT prep


  • General math (up through pre-calc)

  • English, writing and reading comprehension K-12 grade levels

  • Regents exams: ELA, all math, chemistry

Adam Harrison Levy
Writing specialist

Adam Bio

College Essay & Writing | Memoir writing | Literature | Journalism Bootcamp

Adam is a college essay and writing tutor. He will help you find your authentic voice to write your college essay and ease the process of the college admission essay. He also offers memoir writing and a journalism bootcamp to learn the art of the interview.


Adam is also a writer and documentary filmmaker. He specializes in the art of the interview. For BBC television he has interviewed a wide range of actors, writers, musicians, and film-makers. He has produced/directed two films. His writing has appeared on The Design Observer and in The Guardian. He was a Poynter Fellow at Yale University and has taught at Wesleyan University. He currently teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York. 


Adam brings a sense of the importance of storytelling to MAK, a specialized skill in the use of narrative and language in describing identity, be it for a student writing a college essay or an adult writer working on a memoir. 

Emma Bio

Emma Vales

Tutoring | French and English curriculum | Learning disabilities 

Emma was born in France but grew up in Lisbon, Portugal, and Houston, Texas. She was the valedictorian of Awty International School, a French and American lycée, and one of the largest international schools in the US. She graduated with a dual degree in Neuroscience and English from the University of Pennsylvania.


She believes in a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to education. She started her career as an instructor and manager, quickly working her way up to education director for one of the leading tutoring companies in Boston. Working with students with diverse backgrounds, she saw that a one-size-fits-all approach to education leaves many learners falling through the cracks. She founded her own education company, Valcor Learning, in order to address this gap.

In 2022, she moved to New York and joined forces with Marianne to expand MAK’s mission and continue to provide students with the care and learning that they deserve.

Paul Lebot
Tutor & Writing Fellow

Paul Bio

French language and literature | English language and literature | College application | Writing | Philosophy

Paul is a French-Greek born in Paris and grew up in New York. 


Being perfectly bicultural, Paul is mindful of multiple approaches to learning and teaching. He believes in a student-centered and transdisciplinary practice, rejecting top-down, textbook ways of transmitting knowledge.


He was valedictorian of Lycée Français de New York before graduating from Brown University with a degree in philosophy, semiotics, and film. During his time in college, he served as a teaching assistant and tutor. He later went on to teach at Saint Ann’s school in Brooklyn at a high school level.


Paul is also a screenwriter and translator. He attended the École Nationale Supérieure Louis Lumière, and has worked with multiple film festivals designing workshops and panels. Paul worked at the MoMA PS1 in a production capacity. Additionally, he studied neuroscience and conducted research at Columbia University Medical Center.

Michael Bio

Michael Summer
Math & Standardized Tests Specialist

Math | Physics | Standardized tests | SAT subject test Physics

Michael is originally from Oakland California. He studied at University of California Santa Cruz and Berklee College of Music to master physics and music. He has been working in the field of education for the last ten years and has enjoyed teaching throughout all five boroughs in New York. He loves teaching SAT prep, AP Calculus, physics, and all levels of math. He enjoys playing basketball and playing music.

Shivani Bio

Shivani Dave
Curriculum Developer

Shivani is a biochemist, writer, artist, and educator.

She earned her B.A in Biochemistry and minored in Women's Studies and Asian Studies from Vassar College. She obtained her M.A in Special Education from Relay Graduate School and holds a dual certification in general education with a concentration in Science. With her strong science and social services background, she writes and teaches curriculum that focuses on foundational conceptual understanding and develops socially critical and learner-centric thinking skills. She loves to cook, garden, and train in Muy Thai.

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