Meet the SPS team

Catherine Leary

School Placement Solutions founder Catherine Leary is an independent educational consultant who specializes in selective college and private school placement. With over twenty years of experience as an educator and admission professional, Catherine has been invited to speak and teach internationally and in the U.S. about how to create successful college and boarding school applications. Catherine taught science at The Chestnut Hill School, Buckingham Browne & Nichols, and various public schools in Massachusetts. She was the Associate Director of Admission and Interim Director of Admission at Buckingham Browne & Nichols in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Director of Admission and Financial Aid at Saint Mary’s School in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she built the international student program and created the school’s first financial aid policy. Prior to Covid, Catherine traveled to China regularly to speak with Peking University alumnus, employees of Nokia, Siemens, and language preparatory schools about the boarding school and college admission process in the United States. Catherine taught at the Duke University Summer College for High School Students and has helped to develop online courses about college admission for high school students in China. She is a member of the Enrollment Management Association (EMA) and a certified Advanced Placement US history teacher and tutor.
Catherine Leary profile in black and white

Caitlin Worsham

Caitlin Worsham is a professional educational consultant historically assisting people coming mostly from the United States, Vietnam, Korea, China, Canada, Europe, and Cambodia. She specializes in boarding school, college, and select graduate program placement and has over 20 years experience as a counselor and teacher of English and writing. She has assisted thousands of students to date in accessing educational dreams ranging all over the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Korea, and beyond. She is a member of NACAC, IECA, InternationalACAC, the Charleston Chamber of Commerce and the American Chamber of Commerce and was formerly a member of the Massachusetts Teachers Association. She has presented many times at IECA and InternationalACAC conferences as well as at International Envoys (formerly known as The Expendables). She is also the Director of Academics and College Counseling at American Education Group in Hanoi, Vietnam, and the founder of and primary counselor for Worsham Educational Consulting. Her prior teaching experience includes the Duke Summer Program, the Brown Summer Program, Suffolk University, and Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, MA. She holds a BA in English with an Honors in Creative Writing from Brown University, and an MA in English from Tulane University. She specializes in academic and creative writing instruction, English literature, and college counseling.
Caitlin Worsham profile in black and white

Shahrazad A. Shareef

Shahrazad A. Shareef is a thoughtful and results-oriented tutor with over six years of experience of instruction in the areas of academic writing, historical research, literary analysis, and critical thinking. She also has extensive experience with personal statement essay writing for college applications, competitive national scholarships, and medical school. Her approach to writing prioritizes effective, clear communication over a draconian adherence to rules and received conventions, while helping her students to see how various forms of syntax and grammar can help them reach higher levels of expression. She received training in high school instruction with Teach for America alumni in 2017 and went on to work as an instructor with the Freedom Summer Collegiate school in Rosedale, Mississippi. From 2018 to 2019, she served as a teaching assistant for a senior thesis seminar in international comparative studies at Duke University, where she held weekly writing workshops and assisted students with research observations and analysis. From 2019 to 2020, she worked at the Duke University Thompson Writing Studio, where she supported hundreds of undergraduate students in disciplines ranging from history, neuroscience, and statistics to public policy and literature. Shareef is a specialist in 20th century European history, continental philosophy, and economic history. She holds both a BA in economics and a PhD in literature from Duke University.
Shahrazad A. Shareef profile in black and white

Wendy Chen

Having been involved with multiple facets of the school placement process, Wendy Chen understands it from varied perspectives. She’s a co-author of the six-part series The Family Education Handbook of Students from World Famous Universities (Tsinghua University Press). As a mother, she supported her daughter successfully enrolling in top boarding schools and universities throughout the US, driving to visit nearly 80 boarding schools and universities. In her professional career, she has served as an executive for several global top 500 companies. And today, as an educational consultant, she provides tailored insight and planning assistance to students and their families. Additionally, she holds lectures on education and universities in the United States through Wechat groups, a WeChat public account, and a Himalaya podcast. Wendy holds a EMBA in management from Tsinghua University and BS in telecommunication engineering from Beijing Jiaotong University.
Wendy Chen profile in black and white

Christy Houston

Born and raised in Canada, Christy Houston has lived in Southeast Asia for more than 20 years. She first visited Cambodia in 2002, and has called Siem Reap home since 2011. She founded Houston Education Consulting, a full-service college and boarding school advising, test preparation, and tutoring company, in 2022. Christy has been a college counselor at Jay Pritzker Academy in Siem Reap, Cambodia, since 2013. Her role as counselor involves securing international scholarships for rural Cambodian youth in need of full-ride scholarships. She has extensive knowledge of Cambodian culture, documentation requirements, and regional challenges. She is a member of the International Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC). At the IACAC Annual Conference 2022, Christy will be the first to shine an international spotlight on Cambodia as a presenter in the session “Regional Updates & Anecdotes from Vietnam and Cambodia.”

In addition to her career as a college counselor, she has also worked as a communications manager for an educational NGO in Cambodia. Christy consistently expands her knowledge of the college admissions and boarding school admissions process through campus visits, industry workshops, and continuing education. She offers specific expertise in coaching students to share their stories through essay writing. With many connections throughout the region, taps her networks to assist students in securing internships, jobs, projects, research, and growing community involvement. Overall, she enjoys helping students highlight their strengths and find their “best fit” schools.

Christy Houston profile in black and white