Meet Our Team

Please read more about each coach’s expertise, course offerings, and student and parent testimonials below:

Holly Woodson
Holly Woodson, Ph.D., Founder

Holly began her career as a Writing Center assistant over twenty-five years ago. After earning her Ph.D. in French Literature at Northwestern, Holly taught humanities and writing courses at both the University of Washington and Seattle University.

Holly’s experience as an English professor at SU and UW helps her coach young writers with the long view in mind.  She holds a Ph.D. in French Literature, summa cum laude, Northwestern University, 2004; an M.A. in French Literature, magna cum laude, University of Georgia, 1997; a B.A. in French and English, magna cum laude, Illinois Wesleyan, 1995; and was Valedictorian of her high school, University High, in 1991.


Jilena Alpert
Jilena Alpert

Jilena has a BA in English Literature with a Math minor from California State University, Los Angeles. She also holds an MA in Applied Behavioral Sciences from the Leadership Institute of Seattle at Whitworth University. Jilena received her teaching certificate in both elementary and secondary education from the University of Washington. Jilena has many years experience working with children of all learning levels and differences including those who have challenges to work through. Jilena is available for one to one tutoring in reading, writing, and leads many of our school break camps.




Dylan Medina
Dylan Medina, Ph.D.

Dylan recently earned his PhD in Language and Rhetoric from the University of Washington. He has has spent nearly a decade studying and teaching writing. His research focused on how people learn to write and how writing instruction can either support or hinder that learning. Dylan has taught writing at Western Washington University, the University of Washington, and Seattle University. In addition, he has tutored writers from grade school through high school. Dylan believes in meeting each student where they are. He helps students feel successful while giving them the framework and the tools they need to achieve their writing goals. Dylan is available for one to one tutoring in writing and also teaches special classes designed for High school students. 



Jinah Haytko
Jinah Haikto

Jinah joins our team with a Bachelor of Science in International Relations 2010 from Georgetown University.  While in college, she took a semester abroad in France and then another in Germany.  She is proficient in both French and German and has intermediate knowledge of Arabic.  After graduation, Jinah Worked as an English Teacher in Korea for a year, focusing on developing and teaching conversation-focused curriculum for sophomores and juniors in a highly competitive environment. Jinah has been tutoring for 15+ years and always appreciates the opportunity to adapt to the specific needs of the student. She has a passion for reading, writing, and literature and loves sharing it with others. Jinah is available for one to one tutoring in writing, French, German, and Test Prep -where she herself earned exceptional scores!




Jack Clinch
Jack Clinch

Jack Clinch, aka “The Grammar Cowboy,” will be joining the Uplift Writing team as an assistant during Uplift’s Summer Writing Camp. Jack has extensive experience tutoring children at the King County Boys and Girls Club. At Seattle Pacific University, he oversaw the production of the student newspaper as its editor-in-chief. Jack is pursuing a career in education. He believes, “A good teacher can help any student succeed.”




Mr. HAPPY
Mr. Happy

Mr. Happy was adopted by Holly from Second Chance Dogs. Happy is an older dog with a young heart and only a few teeth. He loves to lick children and play with their socks. Happy sometimes visits Uplift Writing, although he is content to nap in the kitchen or stay at home too. Our families with allergies and those who would rather have bipedal company always come first :-)