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Mentoring and Guidance

Mike Cerkovnik

Mike Cerkovnik, J.D.M.A. grew up just outside of Pittsburgh, PA and has a degree from Miami University (MA in Clinical Psychology), The Penn State/Dickinson School of Law (JD in Law), and Saint Vincent College (BS in Psychology). He has enjoyed 20 plus years of working at the intersection of education and psychology, as an independent school psychologist, as the director of psychological services for three schools in Vermont, and most recently, in independent school administration as a division head, headmaster and director of educational innovation & research. Mike, school clinical psychologist with teaching experience and various publications to his name, has worked at some of the nation's most prominent institutions. Throughout this work, he has imbued his passion for helping students/families use their imagination to design a better future for all.


Mike has a particular focus on psycho-educational testing and interpretation, attention deficit disorder/learning disabilities as well as social-emotional learning and counseling. He has a particular expertise in attachment therapy/reactive attachment and most child/adolescent clinical psychology issues. He enjoys career/college counseling and helping students enrich their lives with developing a growth mindset, along with an anticipatory skill set including self-assessment.


“Learning is more than the acquisition of the ability to think; it is the acquisition of many specialized abilities for thinking about a variety of things.” --- Lev Vygotsky

Mike’s passion is to provide guidance to families and schools while advocating for the “best interests” of the student. For example, reviewing IEP (Individual Education Plans) and 504 plans to provide clear understanding of the results and in developing action plans to help the student.  


He has a particular focus within developmental psychology in attachment therapy and is a available to consult with families who have adoption support needs.


Mike chaired the year long professional development for teachers at a prestigious private school and offered several professional learning community offerings in reading development, intellectual character, ADHD/LD, Mindset (Carol Dweck) and Drive (Daniel Pink). Mike also does remarkable work emphasizing enrichment with the gifted learner community, challenging students in ways they're unlikely to be challenged elsewhere, engaging learners who are otherwise bored with the regular academic curriculum.


Mike also designs and leads a bevy of phenomenal after-school and summer institute options for students, public, independent, and home-schoolers alike. For example, “Mind, Brain and Education Science” and "Imagination: The 21st Century Skill."

College-essay writing and 1st-4th grade reading development are other important areas in which Mike specializes (and he is well-known for his penchant for engaging even the most reluctant middle- and high-school readers!).

"Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off the hook. Work regular hours." --- Jane Kenyon, poet

Mentoring and Guidance

Rachel Mangiapane

Rachel grew up in Bloomington, Indiana, home of the Indiana Hoosiers. She graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in NH and earned her B.A. from Dartmouth College where she graduated with an Asian Studies and Government double major. After graduation, she worked as a consultant at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) in their Boston office. She continued her consulting work at Plaut Consulting, where she worked on client sites in Denmark, Austria and Switzerland. Eventually, she and her husband Nick formed a consulting company where they completed systems implementation work for Reebok in Rotterdam, Netherlands as well as their Stoughton, MA site.

As the mother of three academically-engaged, sports-loving sons (especially tennis and squash) and in her role as an alumni interviewer for Dartmouth, Rachel has for years closely followed trends in education. Rachel has ample experience helping students navigate both the pressures of school and the constantly evolving college admissions process. Rachel excels in helping students find their voice through college application essays, as well as helping them to research and plan their pathway toward a successful high school and college experience. 


“You’re off to great places.

Today is your day.

Your mountain is waiting,

So… Get on your way!”

-Dr. Seuss (Dartmouth ’25)

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