The Story Behind New England's #1 SAT ACT Test Prep Teacher
Over 30 Years of Life-changing Teaching
Where did the name Straight “A” come from? Well, there are a couple of factors.
1) Mr. “A”s surname – Alvarado – both begins with an A and has three consecutive vowels that are a’s. Most non-Spanish speakers over the years have misspelled his last name as either “Alverado” or “Alvardo”. To clarify, he would tell them, “straight A’s.”
2) The other factor is that Mr. “A”s older brother, his younger sister and he, all three earned straight A’s in high school, and were all three Valedictorians of their respective graduating classes. Their parents were, needless to say, very proud of the accomplishment, especially given the fact that their mom only finished high school and their dad, Felix Alvarado, Sr., only finished 3rd grade in Mexico. Ever since Felix Alvarado, Jr. graduated from the University of Michigan School of Education in 1986, he has endeavored to make a difference in the lives of his students and in the world of education in general. Known by his students as “Mr. A” or “don Felix”, he has proudly worn the label of his Alma Mater’s publication, “The Innovator”, in the classroom, with curriculum development and with educational programs and initiatives.
In 2007, Mr. A founded Straight “A” Academy as a tutoring center. Since that time, he started a volunteer student tutoring program to work with underserved youth, launched a cutting-edge individualized private school, received a commendation from the Mayor of Manchester, served as an education consultant to NH gubernatorial candidates and developed the most successful test prep training program in the country. Mr. A has become “America’s Favorite Test Prep Teacher”!
When papa Alvarado emigrated to the U.S. at age 21, he didn’t speak a word of English, but he was a quick study. Ask the Alvarado children and they’ll tell you how smart their parents were, even though they didn’t earn a college degree. And obviously, their parents placed a high value on education. The rule in the Alvarado house was, “School First, Music Second, and Sports Third.” Some of mama Alvarado’s most prized photos were of her children dressed in their sports uniforms, practicing their musical instruments before their games or they weren’t allowed to play!
Education is more an art than a science. Each child is either a masterpiece in the making or a mere outline of what might have been.” Felix Alvarado, Jr. (Mr. “A”)
Felix Alvarado, Jr., his older brother and younger sister are first-generation college graduates. All 3 siblings graduated Valedictorian of their respective high-school classes. Son of a Mexican immigrant and an American mother, Felix is bi-lingual, having studied in Spain as part of his college education at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. With over 34 years as a professional educator, Mr. Alvarado has dedicated his career to working directly with children. Whether in the classroom or through one of his innovative initiatives, Mr. “A” has always endeavored to bring the best instruction, both in the classroom and through creative outside-of-school opportunities, to the most children possible, even when the children’s families cannot afford the training.
Here are just a few of the the outside-the-box-thinking programs that Mr. Alvarado has conceived:
- Teacher/Student designed and led overseas experiences on 4 continents
- Student volunteer tutoring program for the children of low-income housing
- Launching an athletics program for a school that had no sports (also coaching the boys basketball and girls volleyball teams)
- Boutique private high school for individualized instruction and training
- Tutoring support for low-income athletes
- Whole-school SAT Test Preparation (still under development)
- Private tutoring center
And he has done it all while raising 5 children of his own (now all adults).
He has received endorsements (by virtue of these people sending their children to him for training) from Commissioner of Education, Superintendents of Schools, Head of Guidance Departments, and other teachers. He has served as an education consultant for gubernatorial campaigns and for average, every- day parents. Despite all of the accolades he has received, what Mr. “A” has always valued most as an educator is his connection with his students. They have given the highest rating in online rate-my-teacher sites, because they know he truly cares about them. In fact, it was his students who affectionately gave him his two monikers: don Felix and Mr. “A”. Due to his dedication to his profession and to his students, over the past decade, Mr. “A” has become known as the #1 Test Prep Coach in New England and one of America’s most beloved teachers.