Leslie is a thoughtful and patient teacher who has developed a way to nurture reluctant high school writers by engaging them through questioning and conversation. He helped our son through one of the most difficult aspects of the college-application process, and he is responsible in large part for the number of choices our son was fortunate to have had.
Collegiate School & Beacon High School parent
As a parent of a Yale college freshman, I am happy to say that Leslie was instrumental in helping our son release his creative writing skills in preparing and submitting strong college essays and a dynamic Common Application essay. As a result our son was accepted to ten out of the twelve schools he applied to, including six of the seven Ivy League colleges he submitted applications to.
Leslie’s methodology is similar to that of an architect. Our son provided him with several sample essay blueprints that were impersonal and generic. Leslie in turn provided him with the research resources to allow him to rebuild and better develop his ideas into more cohesive, personalized, well-thought out essays that reflected our son’s experiences in his own words. Leslie spent tireless hours providing constructive and very poignant feedback to our son on the phone, in person and online, exchanging drafts with multiple comments until our son was satisfied that his final products were ready to be uploaded.
Brooklyn Tech High School parent
This guy was really spectacular in that he pulled the stuff out of my son but would not write it for him. So ultimately the essay came from deep down inside, and he made sure that it sang.
NYC Lab School parent
Leslie helped my daughter achieve her goals for the essay and demonstrated how important it is to start any writing with a thoughtful and detailed outline. He took the time to learn about my daughter’s accomplishments and interests by asking key questions and encouraged her to share more relevant experiences, resulting in an insightful personal essay that presented a holistic picture of my daughter to the colleges she was applying to.
Beacon High School parent
His guidance was so important. He encouraged and sparked but never instructed.
Bard High School Early College parent
The class that Leslie taught at McCourt became a haven for my son. Sensing that he had engaged Jack — something no other teacher at McCourt had done — I enlisted Leslie’s help with the challenges at hand. He came up with some creative solutions. He gave Jack assignments that would require him to read (something he had stopped doing) and engage in critical thinking. Several also put him visibly in the reporter’s role, and won back the respect he had lost from other teachers. Not wanting to lose momentum when Leslie left McCourt, we retained him to coach Jack in writing his college essays. That might have been the greatest triumph of all. Although our son has always struggled with high-stakes tests, the essays he wrote with Leslie’s help were powerful enough to get him accepted at three excellent colleges.
McCourt High School parent
Mr. Seifert worked with both of my kids to help them with their college applications. A few things to note:
He works well with kids of all learning styles. My daughter is a perfectionist and was always willing to put more into each essay, and my son always felt they were good enough. Mr. Seifert made sure both kids worked efficiently and effectively to write their essays until they were top tier.
He also demanded excellence from their work — as a parent, that is what you want. He insisted that they do their research and really prove they knew the schools they were applying to and how they would contribute to each one in a unique way. This helped make each application special
He makes the kids think — who they are, what they want to share, what makes them unique — and helps draw things out to differentiate the student.
Lastly, he is a warm and caring person and really wants the best for each student. It’s important as a parent to not just want a coach, but also someone who cares about them as people and their learning and success in the process.
Dalton School parent