Summit, NJ

Rick Michalak

President, Breakaway Prep

Rick is a graduate of Northwestern University where he majored in economics. He later returned to Northwestern to get his MBA and today likes to use fancy business terms like “brand-awareness,” “fixed costs,” and “delegation.”

Amy Coates

Counselor

Amy graduated as a Biology major from Cornell University. She went on to get her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and practiced corporate healthcare law in NYC for ten years. Beginning with her own college search.

Anthony Danese

Tutor

Tom has been the language arts tutor for Breakaway’s Montclair-West Essex office since 2016. An avid reader and writer, he is fascinated by the English language and the various ways its writers utilize its structures and conventions.

Ron Michalak

Ron Michalak is a founder of Breakaway Test Prep and is the lead instructor in Minnesota. Ron earned a BA in Economics from Northwestern University and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from the Kellogg Graduate School at Northwestern University. After college, Ron enjoyed a 25-year career in finance, marketing and business development as an executive with firms including Arthur Andersen, Coopers & Lybrand, BellSouth and IBM/Internet Security Systems.
Ron got his start in test prep nearly two decades ago when he provided classroom-style instruction to dozens of SAT and GMAT students while at the Princeton Review. In 2006, he helped his twin brother, Rick, a former vice president of operations for the Princeton Review, launch a new test prep company called Breakaway Prep that would take test prep in a new direction: customized test prep solutions to help students reach their potential. Ron lives in Edina, MN, with his wife and two children. He loves Chicago pizza, Atlanta weather and the Minnesota Vikings.

Amy Coates

Amy graduated as a Biology major from Cornell University. She went on to get her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and practiced corporate healthcare law in NYC for ten years. Beginning with her own college search, she helped friends with college choices and applications because she liked helping others with organization and finding their voice in writing. She continued helping friends, acquaintances and relatives find and apply to colleges and programs in her free time, assisting healthcare organizations with licensure and certification applications and writing, reading and editing legal arguments on anything related to healthcare regulation for gainful employment. Amy decided that assisting students in navigating the college process was much more fun than those many legal applications and arguments. She went back to school, online, and received her College Counseling Certificate from UCLA, sometimes wishing she was in L.A. rather than at her kitchen table. In her free time, Amy can be found skiing with her family, playing paddle and driving her two teenage daughters back and forth from their many activities.

Tom Newman

Tom has been the language arts tutor for Breakaway’s Montclair-West Essex office since 2016. An avid reader and writer, he is fascinated by the English language and the various ways its writers utilize its structures and conventions. Tom studied English at Rutgers University, where he graduated summa cum laude in 2013 after completing a senior thesis on the intersections of psychoanalytic theory and critical race theory in American literature. He is also a licensed social worker who does clinical therapy with youth and their families. When helping with test prep, he’s ready to cover everything from gerund clauses to test anxiety. In his free time, Tom consumes copious amounts of NBA content, and he always roots for LeBron James.