Our Coaches

Zeeshan Firasta

CRACK IB Founder & CEO, School Valedictorian, IB alumnus with a full score in TOK

Subject: TOK
Location: Lisbon, Portugal

Zeeshan Firasta is the founder of CRACK IB. He was valedictorian at Kodaikanal International School in 2008 achieving an IB score of 41/45 where he was awarded Best Economics HL student. He then went on to study Economics, Business Institutions and Integrated Marketing and Communications from Northwestern University (Kellogg School). He’s also successfully cleared a CFA Level 1 exam in the first attempt, and completed an MSc Finance degree from the Warwick Business School. As you can see, he’s had a lot of formal education and along the way has learnt a thing or two about cracking exams. After completing his studies, he’s had a stint at investment banking and is now a full time entrepreneur.

Zeeshan was the first person in several years from his high school to get a full score on the TOK essay. Despite being an Economics major at Northwestern University, he has taken several philosophy and literature courses, including Intro to Philosophy, Intro to Existentialism, French Existentialism, Dostoevsky, and Nietzsche. Outside of university, he has also studied Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand. This extensive reading makes him well placed to tackle TOK. Since almost no IB teachers were former IB students themselves, Zeeshan is able to provide key insights and strategies in helping make each CRACK IB course solve the real issues faced by IB students and systematically help improve their IB scores.

Isabel Fernández Montes

IB Examiner, IB Team Leader & Award Winning IB Educator

Subject: Spanish
Location: Dallas, Texas, USA / Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

Hailing from the south of Spain, Isabel has over 20 years of experience in teaching Spanish as a second language. She is an IBDP examiner in Spanish ab-initio and Spanish B as well as an IBDP Team Leader. Being the person responsible for marking final IBDP Spanish exams of students from all over the world, Isabel is an expert in finding the the quickest ways a student can acquire a second language. She is a strong proponent of studying and practicing the right things in order to achieve maximum marks on the exam as well as in the oral & listening assessments. In other words, she helps her students strive for focused effort for maximum impact. 

Isabel has taught in Romania, India, and USA at both school university level. She is currently the Head of Department of Spanish at Imagine Academy of North Texas. She has a BA in Spanish Philology and a Masters in Teaching Spanish as a Second Language. Her articles have been published by the Spain Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. Moreover, she has developed teaching material and exercises for MarcoELE, a magazine that aids teachers worldwide in teaching Spanish as a foreign language. She has also been a member of the Examination Tribunal of Instituto Cervantes, the largest organisation in the world responsible for promoting the study and the teaching of Spanish language and culture.

Ma Victoria Carrera

IB Examiner

Subject: Biology
Location: Naucalpan de Juárez, Mexico / Buenos Aires, Argentina

Victoria has over 25 years of teaching experience. When it comes to IB Biology, you’ll be hard-pressed to find people with a more thorough understanding of the IB assessment criteria. She is an IBDP Coordinator, an IBDP examiner, and an IB Internal Assessment Moderator. Needless to say, she understands the rules of the game and knows exactly what it takes to crack the exams and IA. It is because of this expertise that she has been invited by many schools and universities across Argentina and Mexico to be a trainer of teachers. She is also a published researcher.

Complementing her teaching, Victoria has founded Ciencia en Acción® (CEA), an award winning enterprise that trains teachers and helps children of all ages develop a love for the experimental sciences. In addition to this, she is the Founder and President of the NGO Energía en Acción, helping to educate underprivileged children in the sciences. Besides her stellar career in academia, she is also a certified chef from the Argentine Institute of Gastronomy.

Bryan Plymale

Award winning IB educator & former IBDP curriculum writer

Subject: Pre-IBDP Foundations
Location: Dallas, Texas, USA

Born in New York and raised in America’s heartland, Bryan Plymale is an award winning international educator. No one knows the IB’s mission and philosophy better than Bryan. He has taught in IB schools in Brazil, Singapore, India, Estonia and the USA. Bryan taught for 9 years at the prestigious Kodaikanal International School. There he taught biology, environmental systems and societies, and was the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) facilitator and Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) Coordinator. Bryan was also the Social Experience Department Green Team leader, running a successful indigenous Shola tree planting project, recycling programs, the “Keep Kodai Clean and Green” campaign, and organising seminars on Human Rights, Social Justice and Environmental issues. Most recently, he was part of the team setting up the IBDP at Imagine International Academy of North Texas where he also taught biology, TOK and was the CAS and Personal Project Coordinator.

Bryan is also the founder of EdVentures Unlimited LLC, planning new adventures around the world for IB students and helping them fulfil their CAS requirements in the most exciting ways possible. As an experiential educator, Bryan has led field trips to Borneo, Java, Sabah, Sarawak, Kathmandu, Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, India and Spain. Furthermore, he is also the Principal at Physical Cyber Space Immersion España, where he helps organise family trips to Andalucia with the aim of teaching Spanish through real life situations and interactive activities throughout the journey.

In addition to all of Bryan’s academic experience, he has coached numerous sports, focusing on Ultimate Frisbee and the Spirit of the Game which incorporates the IB’s philosophy of holistic education and lifelong learning. He is also tournament director and official ambassador for the World Flying Disc Federation.

His expertise lies in the wholistic development of students. He’ll help you think outside the textbook and change the way you see the world. His attitude of gratitude, adventurous spirit, and boundless energy will keep you motivated through the roller coaster that is the IBDP.

Alexandra Petrescu

IB Examiner

Subject: Literature, Language & Literature
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Alexandra is an experienced Diploma Programme English Language and Literature and English Literature Teacher, with 100% pass rate in the past 7 years and results above the world average. She holds a Bachelor Degree in English Language and Literature and a Master’s Degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from University of San Francisco. Hard work and sincerity are part of the virtues that best epitomize who she is as a professional. She focuses on holistic education with students who are willing to widen their horizons through inquiry and critical thinking.

Her interests range from higher education to leadership and foreign languages. She is particularly interested in curriculum development for blended learning and digital tools and applications for a more practical approach to the humanities and languages. Her wish is to empower students to become analytical thinkers and to make sense of current events, by facilitating access to a range of curated reliable sources, thus helping students navigate the intricacies of news dissemination and prepare for the challenges of IB assessments.

Marta Rey Gonzalez

IB Examiner

Subject: Spanish
Location: Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain

Marta is an international educator with more than 15 years of experience in teaching Spanish as a second language. She is an IBDP examiner and has been the Head of Department of Spanish at IB schools she has been associated with. Having taught students from more than 80 different countries, Marta prides herself on her hard work and meticulous approach in helping students acquire a new language and in turn learn about a new culture.

She has taught at Indus International School in Hyderabad, Oberoi International School in Mumbai, and UWC Mahindra in Pune. She has also taught Spanish at Thames Valley University in the UK. She has a Diploma in Primary teaching of Spanish & modern languages as well as a BA in Philology from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

Gayane Lalayan

10+ years experience

Subject: Spanish
Location: Yerevan, Armenia

Gayane has 20 years of experience teaching Spanish at all levels, ranging from preschool to university. She has been specifically teaching the IB Spanish curriculum since the last 8 years and currently teaches at UWC Dilijan in Armenia. It is because of this experience that she has a great understanding of the IB assessment criteria and the skills required to obtain a 7 in Spanish.

Her own education has been geared specifically towards excelling in teaching languages. She has a BA in Linguistics in both Spanish as well as English Language & Literature, which is followed up by an MA in Linguistics from the Yerevan State University. She has further specialised in teaching Spanish as a second language, graduating from La Escuela Internacional de Cervantes in Málaga, Spain.

Having herself achieved proficiency in 4 languages (English, Spanish, Russian & Armenian), Gayane prides herself in her result oriented teaching methods which help students acquire the required skills in a stress free and enjoyable manner.

Dyako Mostafavi

Final year Physics PhD student

Subject: Physics
Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Dyako is a final year PhD Physics student at Istanbul University. He holds a Masters in Solid States Physics with a focus on Quantum Electronics and Nano-Photonics and their applications.

Dyako has 5 years experience in teaching Physics at the high school level, having a strong experience with both IB and AP. He is currently teaching IB & AP Physics at Istanbul American School, where he trains students from all over the globe. He loves and thrives working in multi-cultural environments, making him a natural fit for becoming an IB instructor. Whilst being result oriented, Dyako also wants to be able to share the wonders of Physics with his students and thereby spark their curiosity and interest in the subject.

Dyako’s teaching style is slow and methodical, focusing on building solid foundational concepts and problem solving skills. He is open to feedback, approachable, and highly motivated in ensuring the success of his students.

Emmanouil Varvarigos

7+ years experience

Subject: Chemistry
Location: Athens, Greece

Mr. Varvarigos has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Patras University (School of Natural Sciences) and a Master’s degree in Food Biotechnology from Patras University in collaboration with the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Varvarigos is an IB teacher as well as as a private tutor with a leading test prep centre in Greece. He has been teaching Chemistry for the past ten years in the secondary education in Greece, and has been teaching IB Chemistry for the last seven.

Mr. Varvarigos believes in unlocking the roadblocks faced by students by first gauging their weaknesses and strengths and then altering the style of explaining concepts and solving doubts accordingly.

Constantinos Liolios

IB Examiner

Subject: Economics, Business & Management
Location: Athens, Greece

Constantinos has over 20 years of experience in teaching Economics and Business Management at both the school and university levels. He has worked across IB schools in Greece, where he has been an IBDP Coordinator as well as an Economics, Business Management, and Political and Social Sciences teacher. He is currently an IB Economics Examiner.

Outside of regular school work, he has 15 years of experience in successfully tutoring students.

He has been a research assistant in projects funded by the EU and the Greek Ministry of Transportation & Communication focusing on solving economic problems in the maritime sector. He is also a member of the Greek Chamber of Economy.

Oktay Koç

20+ years experience

Subject: Math
Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Oktay has 22 years of experience teaching Math at all levels, ranging from middle school to university. He has been teaching IB Math, AP Math, A Level Math and Statistics curriculums. He has worked as an academic coordinator and has held deputy principal positions at several international institutions. He has extensive experience with tutoring online where he has helped students from Europe, USA, and the Middle East.

Oktay’s teaching style is slow and methodical, focusing on building solid foundational concepts and problem-solving skills. He always gives feedback and motivates his students for all their upcoming examinations.

He has a Masters in Math and Computer engineering and has had his articles published in the Journals of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Siddharth Patel

IB Examiner

Subject: Math
Location: Mumbai, India

Siddharth Patel is a passionate, resourceful and tech savvy educator with 7 years of IB teaching experience and 3 years of being an IB Math AA examiner. He has a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering and another in Education. He has been working at leading international schools in Mumbai.

He also has extensive experience teaching online. His students are stimulated by the challenging level of questions presented to them at various intervals in class. Siddharth enjoys analysing and dissecting tough questions during and outside his classes.

Siddharth’s teaching style is method driven and conceptual. He likes to train his students to keep track of the information in the question and to use the answers obtained to provide additional clarity in solving the sub questions. This systematic approach to cracking IB questions has helped numerous students over the years.

George Koinakis

IB Physics textbook author

Subject: Physics
Location: Athens, Greece

George studied Physics and Meteorology and later specialised in new educational technologies. His teaching career began in 1993, teaching Physics in private schools, then leading his own and at the same time, delivering online IB courses from 2011 onwards. In recent years he has been teaching IB Physics at a top IBDP school in Greece.

He is the author of the upcoming Kognity IB Physics textbook, and is also writing digital books for companies from the US and Europe whilst continuing his online teaching to IB students all over the world.

His teaching approach is mostly based on the use of simulations, virtual labs, online quizzes and several other immersive online resources. Throughout his long online tutoring career, he has achieved outstanding reviews from students worldwide. His ratings have outperformed those of even Ivy League Professors.


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