About Us


According to a study conducted by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), approximately two out of three high school students read below grade level, leaving the majority of students unprepared for the demands of today’s workforce.

Our Mission

SmartyPrep puts reading comprehension and critical thinking at the center of ELA and social science instruction through one dynamic eReader platform. SmartyPrep’s features capitalize on the latest research in comprehension and critical thinking cultivation. These tools not only combine to make complete comprehension of challenging content a realizable undertaking for the independent student; they also cultivate the baseline abilities and knowledge necessary to cultivating higher-ordered thinking. Combining philosophies of independent learning and data-driven instruction, SmartyPrep simply takes the guesswork out of close reading instruction.

Ian about

Ian Siegel

As the owner of a Baltimore-based tutoring and test prep company, Ian has made critical reading instruction the crux of his company’s mission. SmartyPrep, an outgrowth of this ambition, has played an instrumental role in propelling outsized gains on critical reading score improvements on the SAT and ACT. Meanwhile, Ian has been able to capitalize on data and feedback from his students to continuously refine SmartyPrep, making it the most effective critical reading application on the market.

Nestor about

Nestor Walker
Lead Developer

Nestor has spent the last five years working as a full-stack web developer for a wide variety of clients including Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland Medical School and many different web startups. He has a computer science degree from Elon University. He enjoys cooking and playing with his cats.

Jp about

J.P. Grasser
Lead Content Curator & Contributor

A Maryland native, J.P. Grasser received his B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Sewanee: The University of the South. J.P. worked in Washington, DC for the United States Energy Association and as a journalist and freelance writer in Nashville, TN, prior to completing his MFA at Johns Hopkins in 2014. He is currently a doctoral candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Utah, where he also teaches undergraduate courses in Rhetoric and Composition.

Austin about

Austin Allen
Shakespeare Smarticle Contributor

Austin holds a B.A. in English from Yale University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University, where he has also taught as a Lecturer. His poetry and essays have appeared widely. He lives in Baltimore.

Matt about

Matt Morton
Smarticle Creator

Matt Morton holds a B.A. in English and Government from the University of Texas at Austin, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University. He is currently a Robert B. Toulouse Doctoral Fellow in English at the University of North Texas.