Founder/Lead Coach
(Charlotte & NYC)

Lisa Podell has over 13 years of experience as a teacher, educational specialist, certified life coach, and public speaker; specializing in helping individuals attain their personal and professional goals. She achieves this by working with students and parents in their home, facilitating teacher and professional trainings, and presenting at schools, conferences, and workplaces throughout the Tri-state area.

She has extensive experience working with adults and adolescents who have various learning challenges such as ADD/ADHD, Asperger's, Visual & Auditory Processing Disorders, and Dyslexia. Her area of focus is teaching executive functioning and organizational skills. With her ability to communicate and relate to her clients, she enables the most resistant of people to open up, create new goals, and attempt new strategies so they may experience success and increased confidence.

Lisa has been invited to speak at colleges, such as New York University, where she presented on the topics of networking, interview skills and how to present your best self in the workforce.  She has contributed to various publications such as Charlotte Parent Magazine, Scoop Charlotte, Beauty News and Good Magazine, and was featured on Lifetime TV’s Little Women: NY as the resident life coach.

Lisa is also known for her position in Washington Square Park as Free Advice Girl, by which she seeks to uplift humanity one conversation at a time. She has spoken to over 5,000 people in service to this mission. With her passion for education, Lisa piloted The Advice Project. This was a series of educational workshops held in NYC public schools designed to empower adolescents to develop and express their own voice.

Lisa is co-author of the book Mentoring for School Success: Creating Positive Changes. This workbook teaches both students and parents the skills and habits necessary to achieve success both at home and at school. She earned a dual master’s in Educational Theatre and English Education from New York University’s Steinhardt School and a B.F.A in Drama from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Lisa received her coaching certification through The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). She currently resides in Charlotte, NC.

Learn Better Coach (Charlotte)

Stacy Long joins Better Sessions after serving two years at The John Crosland School as Director of Middle School and three years at The Epiphany School of Charlotte where she held the position of Head of School. She has over 12 years of experience working with students (K-12), parents, and teachers in public and private schools as a teacher, school counselor, and administrator as well as in homes as an ABA therapist (Applied Behavior Analyst) and academic coach. Stacy has had tremendous success coaching teens and young adults. Her area of focus includes time management, exam prep, study skills, goal setting, self-advocacy, stress management, and college readiness. She holds a Masters of Education in School Guidance Counseling from Ottawa University and a degree in Elementary Education from the University of Arizona. Stacy seeks to deliver quality educational tutoring which will support students and families in practical and meaningful ways.

Learn Better Coach (Charlotte)

Chad Beveridge is a current doctoral student earning his PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He holds a Master’s Degree in Teaching as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts. He has over five years of experience teaching high school English and running an arts-based youth development program here in Charlotte. Chad has extensive experience with literacy strategies, cross-curricular approaches, and teaching executive functioning skills. He has worked as both a college admissions representative and an academic advisor. Chad has spent time teaching English abroad in South Korea as well as serving his country as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa. He is passionate about meeting students where they are, empowering them to access their strengths, develop their weaknesses, then take the next step towards a future of possibilities.

Learn Better Coach (Charlotte)

Jessica Swiger is a certified Registered Behavior Technician with experience in providing academic support and behavioral intervention to children with ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and a variety of mental health disorders. Jessica has her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Appalachian State University and received her Graduate Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has extensive experience working one on one with children (K-12) in home and school settings, including teaching executive functioning skills to students who have ADD/ADHD, delivering Applied Behavior Analysis, providing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in a therapeutic role, and providing educational assistance as an academic tutor. She specializes in study skills, self-regulation and motivation, goal setting, planning, and time management. Jessica has a strong determination to assist the children she works with in reaching their full potential by providing a safe and open learning environment, focusing on their strengths and interests, and collaborating with them to create long-term and meaningful goals.

Learn Better Coach (Charlotte)

Maryanne Hogan received a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education and a K-12 Reading Endorsement from the University of Florida. She has over seven years of experience working with students grades K-12. Her experience includes working with students who have ADD/ADHD in one-on-one coaching sessions in addition to classroom settings, teaching executive functioning skills, and collaborating with school personnel and parents to implement accommodations and best meet the needs of students with 504 plans/IEPs. Her education roles have consisted of classroom teacher, Title 1 intervention lead teacher, data facilitator, academic tutor and executive functioning coach. She specializes in teaching test-taking skills, annotating text, SAT Reading and Writing & Language prep, and literacy skills. Maryanne is passionate about encouraging students to reach their full potential by helping them discover their strengths and grow in their areas of weakness. She strives to build positive relationships with students and their families, seeking to work together as a team to support growth and achievement.

Homework Support (Charlotte)

Jessica has been a tutor and nanny for a combined 10 years. She specializes in providing care for individuals who have ADD, ADHD, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and chronic health conditions. She is currently working towards her Bachelor of Science in Social Work and Psychology at Johnson C. Smith University after which she will pursue her Masters in Social Work to earn her LCSW. Jessica was a vocational coach for teenagers with differing abilities. She focused on all aspects of the hiring and employment process including assessments, job development, job coaching and intensive onsite training. She is currently a placement coach for an international exchange program under the U.S. Department of State. She secures families who will host international exchange students, throughout the school year from all over the world. She helps to encourage and foster cultural competence, mediates and mentors both families and students and encourages teens to truly experience the world. She provides meaningful direction, builds confidence, boosts organizational skills, and specializes in presenting information in ways that work best for each individual's learning style.

Learn Better Coach

Christine Crowley holds a Masters in Education and Special Education from Touro College of Manhattan and a degree in Education from Purdue University. She has over 14 years of experience working with students with ADD/ ADHD, NVLD, SLD, cognitive deficits, traumatic brain injury, and students on the autism spectrum. She specializes in executive functioning skills, emotional awareness, social skills, communication, and emergent/early literacy. Christine starts the 2018-19 school year with George Watts Elementary as a part-time EC resource teacher. Christine served as the 504 Coordinator at Charlotte Secondary school. She also wrote and implemented an executive functioning skills curriculum while working at Epiphany School of Charlotte. Working collaboratively with educators, parents, and students to develop appropriate accommodations and modifications is one of the many educational aspects she finds so rewarding. Her ability to build trusting relationships with students and parents allows for growth and accomplishment.

Learn Better Coach (NYC)

Emily Bell is a 5-year certified high school special education teacher. She works full time at the Academy for Software Engineering teaching 10th grade World Literature and Global History and has also taught Environmental Science. She received her Master's in Education with a focus in Adolescence Special Education from Hunter College and has her Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from Fordham University. Emily specializes in teaching reading, writing, and executive functioning skills to students with Learning Disabilities, Speech/Language Impairment, Dyslexia, and ADD/ADHD. She has also completed the Mindful Schools Curriculum for Teachers to implement Mindfulness in K-12 grades. Emily has been involved in an Equity in Education initiative, District Charter Collaborative, through leading a group of teachers in critical conversations around race, education access, and best practices for students with disabilities. Emily values providing student-centered education, building strong relationships and coaching youth to find the systems that work best for them.

Learn Better Coach (NYC)

Kristin Michaelson earned a Master’s of Education in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University as well as Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania. Kristin has worked with children, teachers, and parents for the last fifteen years.  She works directly with students of many ages through test preparation, general tutoring and classroom coaching, in addition to training preschool teachers in Early Childhood Development and Education.  Kristin helps new parents through seminars and private consultations. Recent projects include coaching teachers in NYC public school preschool programs and literacy tutoring with at-risk students in Bronx charter schools. She is currently a professional tutor who specializes in teaching executive functioning and organizational skills.

Work/Live Better Coach (LA)

Tracy Podell is a career and life coach, based in Los Angeles. Her mission is to empower professionals and artists to align their careers with what brings them meaning, fulfillment and success. A former marketing executive at the intersection between technology and entertainment for seven years, Tracy became a leader in her field. While she successfully managed the marketing efforts at several entertainment technology companies and consulted for television networks and studios, it was her work coaching colleagues through successful product launches that brought her the most fulfillment.

Tracy is a CoActive coach, trained by the ICF accredited Coaches Training Institute, and a graduate of New York University. Her coaching style ranges from deep exploration to gain clarity around what you really want to impactful goal setting tools to get you where you’re going faster. She is an expert in helping clients achieve focus and momentum.

Tracy is the founder and lead facilitator of LEF (Ladies En Fuego), a women’s career empowerment group that helps women achieve their professional goals. Members have raised their incomes by 40%, successfully transitioned to fulfilling careers and launched new, successful businesses. If you want to catapult your career and discover what you love, set up a free consultation with Tracy.

The Better Approach

Every Better Session is personalized to meet your needs.
We assess how you process information so that you can capitalize on your strengths, and integrate them into your life.

Adaptable & Flexible

We travel to your home, workplace, or even your favorite park.

Collaborative Conversations

We won't tell you what to do. We will meet you where you are.

Healthy Patterns

We help you identify your strengths.


We help you take new insights and skills into your day-to-day.