Click on any of our Head Coaches below to learn more about their experience, education, and availability.
Founder and General Manager
Kathleen Glynn-Sparrow has spent over 25 years in school leadership positions and counseling families about the college process.
Kathleen works with families at the start of the process to develop a game plan tailored to the student. She advises students on developing a balanced college list (she has visited nearly 200 campuses). She has established a professional rapport with a host of college representatives over the years and remains current by attending college admission events and webinars.
“Kathleen has made our son’s college search process a major success. She quickly connected with him and helped him navigate all stages of this exciting and challenging process. We especially appreciate her making this important (and potentially stressful) experience fun for our son and entire family. We could not be happier with Kathleen and strongly recommend working with her!”
Two highlights of Kathleen’s career include a publication for which she received a grant and a presentation at a national conference. She is the co-author of Sex, Drugs, and the S.A.T., Getting out of High School and Getting in to College (available on Amazon.com), and presented at the National Association of Independent Schools Conference on “Stressed-out Students are the New Normal: How Educators Can Alleviate Anxiety.” Kathleen accepted invitations to serve on two advisory boards: Quinnipiac University and Widener University.
Kathleen also has firsthand knowledge of the local high schools. She has worked with most public and private high schools in the DC/MD/VA area. Her daughter, Maddie graduated from Stone Ridge and most recently graduated from Duke University (Class of 2021). Her son Aidan graduated from The McLean School of Potomac and is attending the University of Miami as a sophomore. Her husband George is a technology consultant and manages all internal functions for The College Coaches as our COO. Her dog Stella doesn’t do much. Schedule a meeting with Kathleen.
- The College Coaches (23 yrs)
- Dir. College Counseling, McLean School.
- Assoc. Dir. College Counseling and Head of English Dept., Stone Ridge.
- Dir. College Counseling, St. Andrew’s Episcopal.
- Taught students with learning style differences at The Ben Franklin Academy.
- B.A. English/French, Duke University
- M.Ed. Teaching HS English, Emory University
- Harvard Admissions Institute
Becky Bowlby has thirty years of college admission and fifteen years of college counseling experience.
Becky loves to work with students and families about all things relating to college, from creating a college list, to brainstorming essays ideas, to strategies surrounding financial aid and especially exploration of international admission. Because of her extensive background in both admissions and counseling, Becky has formed a national and international network of colleagues from both sides of the desk. Her straightforward manner and sense of humor help to make students and families feel at ease.
“<My daughter> gets off her zooms with you and tells me how much she loves you. I’m so glad we had you to help us pull it all together (without her getting upset with me.)” L.M.
Becky served in a variety of leadership roles in the Pennsylvania Association for College Admission Counseling (PACAC) including President, Conference Planning Chair 6 times, Treasurer, Chair of Admission Practices Committee, Chair of College Fairs Committee, Dean of the Summer Institute to name a few! Becky won the highest award given by PACAC, the Delwin K. Gustafson Award for Excellent Service to PACAC. Becky presents annually at the PACAC Conference and served as the mentor for the Conference Planning Chairs in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Becky created and launched the first Women’s Empowerment Workshop on Zoom in 2021 and the first in-person two- day workshop was held prior to the PACAC Annual Conference in 2022. At the 2022 conference, Becky was awarded Emeritus Membership status for her service to the organization.
In addition, Becky has been very active in the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) serving in several leadership roles there as well. Becky was the Co-Director of the Admission Middle Management Institute, Co-Director of the Leadership Development Institute, and member of the Finance and Budget Committee. She was also the Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee for the annual conference held in Pittsburgh a few years ago. She frequently presents at the annual NACAC conferences. At the 2021 conference, Becky was awarded the Rising Star Award from NACAC for her participation as a panelist in the PACAC lunchtimes series on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Becky lives in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania and is the mother of two daughters, Lauren and Marissa, who live nearby, as well as the Mimi of Wyatt, age 11 and Blake,2. She loves most sports but especially college basketball is a diehard Villanova fan! Go Cats! Schedule a meeting with Becky.
- Dir. College Counseling, Lower Merion School District
- College Counselor, Cheltenham High School
- Director of Admission at Immaculata University
- Senior Assoc. Dir. Admission, Drexel University, Thomas Jefferson University, and Montgomery County (PA) Community College
- B.A. Sociology and Religion, Wagner College, NY
- M.S. Higher Education Counseling, West Chester University
- Secondary Certification in Counseling, West Chester University
Barbara K. Hancock
Barbara Hancock is known for her warm and forthright manner, strategic advice, attention to detail, and strong advocacy for her students.
Barbara has helped hundreds of students tell their stories in their college applications and interviews. At Marks Education, she led the firm’s transfer admission practice. During her tenure as the Director of College Counseling at Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville, MD, she transitioned the school to digital submission of transcripts and recommendation letters, wrote the college counseling handbook, oversaw the yearbook staff, and served on the administrative team. At The Potomac School, Barbara was instrumental in developing new informational programs to help demystify the college admission process for students and parents; she also served as an academic advisor, admissions interviewer, and member of the Cultural Competence Leadership Team.
“Working with Barbara Hancock was a privilege and a delight. Barbara demystified the college application process for our family and helped make it an exciting time of self-discovery for our student. She helped our child put together a balanced list of schools, suggested colleges we had not previously considered, and helped us understand the complex application process. Barbara’s unparalleled editing skills helped with content, clarity, word counts, and grammar, while ensuring college essays remained in our child’s authentic voice. The fantastic rapport she built with our son resulted in a student who felt confident and empowered during his path to college. We would highly recommend Barbara for anyone seeking expert guidance on the college process coupled with a healthy, positive, and insightful approach.”
-Parents from The Potomac School
Barbara keeps current with the ever-changing college admissions landscape and has a penchant for research and data. Active in several professional associations, she was twice chair of the Potomac & Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling’s (PCACAC) Summer Institute and has presented at conferences and workshops on topics ranging from recommendation writing to athletic recruiting to secrets of highly selective admissions. Over the course of her career, she has forged strong relationships with colleagues on both the counseling and admissions sides of the desk. Barbara and Kathleen met through the Washington Area Independent Schools (WAIS) college counselor group and have attended local counselor events and campus visits together over the years.
A graduate of National Cathedral School, Barbara is raising her two daughters near a network of family in the McLean area. She and her husband met at the University of Virginia and are avid sports fans, particularly when it comes to cheering for the ‘Hoos. In her free time, Barbara enjoys playing tennis and reading.
Favorite customer quote (from a Potomac School parent in 2022):
- Assoc. Dir. College Counseling, The Potomac School
- Dir. College Counseling, Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy
- College Counselor, Marks Education
- Admissions reader, Swarthmore College and American University
- B.A. English, University of Virginia
- M.A. English & American Literature, Georgetown University (Graduate fellow in writing center)
Head Coach, Essay Writing
Greg Schneider was recently the Department Chair of the English and Literature Department at The McLean School of Maryland and now works as a Head Coach for our College Essay service.
Some of Greg’s favorite students’ college admissions essays have been about ducks, hair, juvenile delinquency, party franks, and broken crockery. All were memorable, funny, and unique. And successful. Greg knows that crafting the perfect college admissions essay is about the process of distilling a student’s ideas and presenting a cogent and compelling narrative about that student’s abilities, accomplishments, ambitions, and aspirations. Greg enjoys shepherding students through the writing process and showing them that writing is the foundation of communication, a means of creative expression, and a powerful tool for success.
“Greg, Thank you so much for your help and guidance today, looking forward to when we next meet! You were such an awesome help.” K.M.
Greg has worked for many years with upper school students in the humanities. He is also an executive function coach and a writing tutor. Greg works extensively with students guiding them in crafting their college admissions essays and has written a blog titled “Writing the Perfect College Admissions Essay” for The McLean School website.
Greg has worked in education and the arts all of his life. He has written and published for art journals and newspapers on modern and contemporary art, film, theatre, and books, as well as interviewing and writing about internationally renowned artists, curators, and museum directors. Schedule a meeting with Greg.
- Department Chair, English and Literature, McLean School
- Administrator and teacher, Cirque du Soleil
- Director, actor, and stage manager for professional and community theatre
- B.F.A. Theatre Arts, University of Montana
- M.A. Art History, University of Oregon
- M.S. Education, Nova Southeastern University.
Caroline Sanders Byers
Caroline Sanders Byers most recently served as a College Counselor at The McLean School of Maryland. She seamlessly worked with seniors to complete their application process and helped launch the juniors into the beginning of their process. At Mercersburg Academy, a boarding school in PA, Caroline spent time in both the admission and college counseling offices. As Associate Director of College Counseling, she worked with seniors and created a comprehensive program for 9th through 11th grade students before they formally entered the college process. The program encouraged younger students to be more proactive in their decision-making about opportunities in high school.
Caroline also served as the Director of College Counseling at Connelly School of the Holy Child in Potomac, MD where she was able to visit over 25 colleges in a two-year period. Having first-hand experience in seeing so many colleges allowed her to be a better adviser to the girls of Holy Child. She also taught chemistry, earth science and conceptual physics at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, MD.
Caroline lives in Carlisle, PA, with her husband, two boys and one rescue pup. In her spare time, she likes to tend to her garden, walk her dog while listening to podcasts and create delicious desserts in the kitchen with her kids.
- College Counselor, The McLean School
- Assoc. Dir. College Counseling and Admissions, Mercersburg Academy (PA)
- Director of College Counseling, Holy Child
- Science Teacher, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School
- B.A, Geology and French, Bucknell University
- M. Ed., Administration, Planning and Social Policy Harvard University
Mike Oligmueller has been advising students and families about college admissions and financial aid for almost 40 years as both a college admission officer and a high school college counselor.
His responsibilities on college campuses have provided him with practiced insight about what admission officers are looking for on applications and in essays as well as ways for students to make positive impressions at college fairs, during college admission officer visits at high schools, and in interviews. Because he developed marketing plans, promotional materials, and recruitment strategies for college admission offices, Mike can astutely decode communications students receive from colleges, explain financial aid and scholarship offers, and give advice about the worthiness of athletic recruiting services, honorary societies, and summer programs and forums. His experience on college campuses includes assisting international students with admission and immigration procedures, coaching speech teams, and advising fraternities.
He has been involved in professional associations throughout his career, serving as a committee chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and President of the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling (PCACAC); a member of the Naviance Advisory Board; and a Chief Delegate, Finance Committee Member, and 25-time-Conference-Attender for the National Association for College Admission Counseling. In 2018, PCACAC honored Mike with its highest honor, the Apperson Award in recognition of his “extraordinary service to students, to PCACAC, and to the college counseling profession.”
Motivated by his long fascination with colleges, Mike has visited more than 400 colleges in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia, and he starts each of his mornings by reading online newsletters and blogs about higher education. Through his long career, he has built a professional network of hundreds of college admission experts and continues to strengthen those ties through regular conference attendance and campus visits. His students appreciate his wit, honesty, and wisdom about college admissions. Mike enjoys all aspects of the college search process but especially relishes helping students build appropriate college lists, construct compelling applications, and discern the best college choice for them.
Kathleen and Mike have known each other for more than twenty years and have visited colleges together, provided each other with advice and counsel, and built a relationship based on mutual respect and humor. Schedule a meeting with Mike.
- Dir. College Counseling (25 yrs) at: NSU University School (FL), The Potomac School, Holy Child, and Charlotte Latin School (NC)
- Admissions (15 yrs) at: Wabash College (IN), Lake Superior State University (MI), and Purdue University (IN). Dir. Admissions at: Earlham College (IN), and University of Southern Indiana.
- B.S. University of South Dakota
- M.A. Purdue University
- Member of Phi Beta Kappa
Maddie Sparrow is an English major and Education minor from Duke University. She is teaching English at Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, NC and taught previously at Jordan High School in Durham, NC.
Maddie works with clients on both essays and Common Applications, and she serves as the liaison for Spanish-speaking clients. For the summer class, Maddie shares tips from her own college process with the students and uses her expert editing skills to tighten students’ essays and to strategize on the phrasing and order of the Common App Activities Section. Maddie primarily supports our summer classes and serves as one of the co-teachers. Maddie works with a few students a year, you may email her at MaddieSparrow1@gmail.com to check her availability.
- The College Coaches Essay Class (6 years)
- English Teacher, Ravenscroft School
- English Teacher, Jordan High School, NC
- B.A. English and Education, Duke University