The 2021-22 Writing Center tutors. Top row (l to r) James Knepler, Sidra Tanriover, Ashling Lee, Madison Harland. Middle row: Margo Alter, Axel Schulz, Molly Crown, Michael Pisetsky. Bottom row: Renz Iurino, Lily Messing, Emilia Emami, Carson Lo.

Meet our 2021-2022 student Writing Center tutors

Modeled after those found on many college campuses, The Gregory School Writing Center is a dedicated space that assists students in all phases of the writing process. Our student editors apply and interview for their positions and are highly trained and closely supervised by English teacher Jana Maiuri and writer-in-residence Joni Wallace.

In my opinion, the highest degree of satisfaction that you can find in writing is pride in your own work. I believe that in order to feel that sense of satisfaction, writers must make sure that their thoughts are their own, their words are their own, and that they take the time to edit and review their work. The beauty of the Writing Center is that while we offer guidance and support, we always aim to preserve the integrity of our peers. As a tutor, I aspire to be able to help my peers by listening to their ideas, offering questions to inspire their thought process, and respecting their work. Hopefully, each student will be able to walk away from their session being proud of the work they’ve created.  — Ashling Lee ‘22

Over the past couple of years working in the Writing Center, I can easily say that my favorite part of the job is collaborating with other students. I love being able to get the chance to sit down and talk with a peer about writing while getting to know their style and voice as a writer. My goal in each of my sessions is to help whomever I’m working with to express their thoughts and ideas while making sure to highlight their unique tone so that they are confident in their work. The best part of a session is getting into a groove of bouncing ideas off one another and making discoveries about writing together along the way. As a student editor, I get the opportunity to learn a lot of things about and from my peers through their writing which is an incredibly special gift. — Margo Alter ‘22

Writing is something that I’ve always loved but has never come easy to me. In the past when I’d have writing assignments, I doubted my abilities and wondered if what I had turned in was good enough. I think that a lot of students can attest to that same feeling. It took me a while to develop confidence in my writing and learn what worked best for me. My hope as a tutor is that I can encourage students to believe in their writing and help them discover what works best for them. I want to guide them through the writing process while also letting them take control and produce their own ideas. My ultimate goal is that when a student leaves the Writing Center, they know how to utilize their strengths and are proud of what they have produced. — Emilia Emami ‘22

I’ve been writing since I was nine, as you can imagine, the stories I would write back then weren’t the most cohesive. As I grew older, I was able to write in a way that actually made sense. What I found was that the clearer I was able to write, the clearer my mind became and the clearer I could articulate my thoughts when speaking. However, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve half the level of clarity that I’m at now without help, whether that be from friends, family, teachers, or peer tutors. Every piece of feedback I received, on content, structure, syntax, style, grammar, all made me a better writer. That is what I want to give to the students who come into the Writing Center: to work with them and give them the tools necessary to make the piece they bring in more precise and ultimately, to make them a better writer as a whole. — Michael Pisetsky ‘22

I hope to help students hone their skills in the writing center, and to help them become aware of the skills that they already have. There is a lot of fear that surrounds writing for most students. I hope for my sessions to be a place where students can try to tackle that fear. I believe in a student-driven tutoring session. I will adapt my tutoring sessions to fit the needs and academic goals of each student. My job is not to give my knowledge to my peers, it is to find the abilities that the peer already has. I have learned in my time at Gregory how not to hate writing, and I want to help my peers with their journey along that path. Writing is a form of self-expression. Writing Center tutors should not dictate that expression, but instead, help students have confidence in their writing.  — Madison Harland ‘22

I believe that writing is one of the most important parts of our education, and our communication as humans. It is something that all people should have the opportunity to learn, no matter where they’re from or what their background is. I want to do what I can to help people in our community learn more, and better themselves through writing. I want to do my very best to work with everyone who comes into the Writing Center, no matter their grade-level, or personal identity. I believe that when it comes to education, everyone should feel comfortable seeking help from their peers and teachers, and I will strive to uphold that comfort in my tutoring sessions. Helping my peers work through and solve their writing issues in a piece of work is a very exciting prospect for me, and I can’t wait to start.  — Molly Crown ‘23

I believe that the most important thing surrounding tutoring is the ability to give agency to the student. While it is good if a student learns to fix their mistakes, it is much better if they learn how to identify and correct their own mistakes. This is what I believe is so useful about a writing center. By having an honest conversation between student and tutor, in which the tutor does not dominate, the student does not so much learn from the teacher as learn to look at their work themselves. This, in turn, gives the student agency over their own work, making them a better write in the future and more sure of their own work.  Each student is, probably, the most qualified to edit their work, as they are the only one who can truly understand it. The tutor, therefore, is not so much an editor as a conduit to allow the student to make sense of their own thought process surrounding editing. This is the real value of the Writing Center: students learn to understand their work and their processes in a more meaningful way. — James Knepler ‘23

I remember my first visit to the writing center in 9th grade. I came with poems I had written the year before, which were poems that I had thought were finished and wanted to submit to Lit Mag. I had a bird in one of the poems, so we listened to bird sounds on Cornell’s Ornithology Lab, trying to find a better word to describe the sound of the bird I’d put in the poem. Just by changing this one little detail, I walked away with a better poem than I had brought in. And this is what I hope to be able to do for others as a Writing Center tutor.  From helping with the smallest details of an almost-finished piece, to kick-starting the writing process of something not yet begun, I am excited to work with everyone who visits the Writing Center this year!  — Renz Iurino ‘23

Writing is all about communication, and I think the process of cooperative writing; literally, writing through communication, is underappreciated. Having someone to bounce ideas off of, having someone to actually talk to about your work is invaluable because humans are much more comfortable with spoken word than they are with typing alone on a computer, thirty minutes before the essay is due (don’t worry, we’ve all been there). I think having a tutor turns writing into an interesting puzzle or riddle that can only be solved by two, like a duet of words. Being that teacher and partner to people, I can help them realize their own writing power, and it can be just a really fun time. I hope to keep all of these ideas in mind as I tutor at the TGS Writing Center. — Axel Schulz’24

As a tutor, I want to be as helpful as I can to the students who come in and guide them through the writing process instead of just telling them what to do. I want to encourage the student writers by pointing out the positive aspects and strengths of their writing while still addressing their concerns. I will make sure that the student feels comfortable and not intimidated; the session should feel like a student collaborating with another student. — Sidra Tanriover ‘24

I find it important to approach nearly every aspect of my life with positivity. For me, there is no other suitable way to handle the daily curveballs that life throws. If a writer comes into the Writing Center with a negative attitude towards their work along with a feeling of embarrassment in sharing their piece, my main goal becomes guaranteeing that by the end of our session, the writer leaves with their head held high and a sense of pride in their writing. Sometimes when a deadline is approaching or when the writer must follow a certain format for their piece, the magic of taking what is a swarm-like jumble of thoughts in their minds and beautifully laying it out on paper loses its sparkle. It is vital to me to make sure that the writers I work with not only begin to believe in themselves as writers, but also not lose sight of the joys of writing. — Lily Messing’24

I think the first and most important thing for any tutor to realize is that writing is very open-ended and dynamic: there isn’t a formula that works for every paper or every writer. It is each writer’s differences—their voice, their style, their logic—that make the writing interesting. With that in mind, my goal for each tutoring session is to help the student build a piece of writing around their strengths and skills, while also helping them navigate aspects of writing that they may be less familiar or comfortable with. I want to help students work through difficult material and learn and grow from that process. Additionally, I aim to create a positive environment in all of my tutoring sessions. I want every student to feel comfortable about sharing their work/ideas without judgment. — Carson Lo’24

3231 N. Craycroft Road, Tucson, AZ 85712
Phone: (520) 327-6395
Fax: (520) 327-8276
The Gregory School is an independent, private,
non-profit 501(C)(3), coed day school for grades 5-12.