"Lara and her team at ISS have been nothing short of incredible. They have supported our students in a myriad of ways during this particularly challenging year and have done so with impressive positive energy, enthusiasm, and professionalism. Their attention to detail, care and consideration for our students, and communication with families and our school faculty and administration have been exceptional. I would highly recommend them to any schools or families looking for support with guardianship services. They have, in sum, far exceeded our expectations and we feel fortunate to have partnered with them."
-Courtney Marchetti, Director of Student Success, Hebron Academy
“At Pennington School, we work with Educational consultants from all over the world, and Lara has a gold star reputation with us! When she works with students, she does not cut corners. She gets to know students and their families very well and works with them on what we call right-fit placement. She is especially great at helping students to understand their inherent strengths and how to leverage them in the competitive independent school admission world. Most impressively, when her families go on tour, Lara goes with them. The families I have met who worked with Lara on placement are very grateful for her combination of care, expertise, and hard work.
From a school perspective, Lara is an excellent communicator whom we can trust. Because she is a native English speaker who is proficient in Mandarin she is able to establish personal relationships with key people in all the schools so Lara is uniquely poised to be a bridge builder between students in the US and their parents in the respective countries and boarding schools who are often stretched to meet all the needs of our international families.
International students thrive when they have the support of an experienced and caring guardian in the US. The advantages stretch to health care decisions, class placement, trouble shooting, travel details and visa arrangements. Having someone at back to school nights, orientations, plans for longs weekends, breaks, and college visits.
I can’t think of a better or more trusted friend for international students, their families, and schools!”
Director of Admissions Pennington School
“Ms Lara guided Cici all the way, from the choice of school, English and academic preparation, letters of recommendation, school transcripts, etc. When it comes to the most critical part of the interviews and essays, Ms Lara always finds the best in Cici, training her to be the student who excels among a large number of interviewees by speaking in front of the admissions officer with confidence while being herself. We are forever grateful to Lara and so happy that she has become a part of our family”
Yi Sun- Mother of Pennington School student
“I just want to express our profound appreciation for your care and patience (especially with our many messages, requests, and calls) during Ebuka’s stay. You always acted so prompt with any request or question and gave so much feedback/updates!! Totally awesome, you made his stay so comfortable and easy. Thank you so much!!”
-Oma, mother of new 9th grade student
“Lara was not only a consultant but also a family friend who was with us at the opening of Jenny's orientation. We are grateful for her help throughout the rest of high school. “
“Lara Butera not only provided the highest quality guidance when applying to schools, but continues to be an asset to our family while Aimee is at school. She often checks in on her, keeps in communication with the teachers, and is always there if a problem arises. Lara has become a member of our family and always joins us for meals when she returns to Shanghai for a family reunion”
Yan Jin, Father
"I have worked with Lara for several years now, and it has been a great experience. Lara cares deeply about her students and their success academically and socially. We have been able to communicate quickly and easily with Lara, which helps to solve any issue or misunderstanding that comes up during the year. It certainly helps to have someone who understands both Chinese and American culture, and can view each situation through the lens of an educator, mentor and advocate." - Abby
Abigail Swardlick Gagnon
Director of Enrollment and Marketing
“Perhaps where Lara shines the most is the follow up with students that she has placed. She is not only an excellent first point of contact for teachers and every admissions team, but the families greatly appreciate her continued support throughout their time at boarding school. She’s adept at translating reports, explaining situations, and helps every step of the way. It has been wonderful working alongside Lara, and I have no doubt she will continue to be successful”
-Kevin Jacobsen, Storm King School
It is a true pleasure working with Lara Butera. It is clear she has her students' best interest at heart. She works extremely hard to find the right fit of school where she feels they can thrive. As an admission professional I always enjoy working with Lara as I know her students have a serious interest in my school. In addition, the information I receive from Lara on her students allows me to get a thorough understanding of the student. She is a true professional.
Director of Admissions
Lara's professionalism is most appreciated, and she has built trust in her children in a very short period of time, learning about their characteristics and discovering strengths. Also maintain very close communication with parents. All this time, our communication with Lara has been very honest and pleasant. Lara understands our needs and is supported by a detailed plan. Jenny is advised and arranged academically. Jenny and her parents' needs are fully taken into account in choosing a school, and applicants are selected according to Jenny's characteristics and visits are arranged. There is no doubt that the whole trip was very smooth with Lara's arrangements and escorts. In the process, we also learned more about Lara's strong links to schools and strong professional communication skills, as well as about the high recognition of Lara in schools. Such a relationship of trust between consultants and schools is very rare.
- Xiaomeng Yu, Mother of Worcester Academy student
Lara Butera has provided the students and families she has worked with at WA excellent guidance and support throughout not only the admission process, but once enrolled at the school. Lara attends orientation with her students, and continues to engage with and support her students and their families throughout the school year. As a school, we know that we can go to Lara with any issue that arises and that she will communicate effectively and promptly with her families and students. The students she works with know that she is only a phone call or email away, and that she will always have their best interest in mind. We understand the pressures and stress that international students are under being so far away from home. This knowledge makes us that much more grateful for people like Lara, as we know that once her student enrolls her work is not done, in fact it is just beginning!
Director of Admission
It was a joy to meet with Lara and I am thankful for her support and help with our new international families during our orientation this September. Lara spent 3 full days attending most of our orientation events helping our parents from China to translate school forms, go over class schedules. She even volunteered to drive some parents to Walmart to shop for dorm and school supplies. When the students were moving into their permanent dorms, Lara used her car to transport suitcases from dorm to dorm offering additional support to our school. All of these support seem to be small and trivial but when added up, made huge difference in helping the students transition to their new school life. After the orientation, Lara expressed her willingness to continue to support some of our international students by being a liaison between the families and our school. Lara's work and help will add extra layer of communication support to our international families and I am excited to keep working with her! The bottom line is that her help and support has huge value and it is mutually beneficial for the families and international students programs for sure.
-International Student Coordinator, Brewster Academy
Lara is professional and detail oriented, but what makes her so outstanding is her evident care of her students and their families. She takes the time to get to know each individually. Watching families interact with Lara is like watching them with a trusted friend of family member.
To support the student experience, Lara pays incredible attention to detail with arranging all matter of support for families as it pertains to school matriculation. In addition to her professionalism, most importantly she is enthusiastic about what she does for the benefit of students and families.
Julie Middleton, Admissions Hebron Academy
Firstly, her the strategy of selecting target schools is very successful. We visited schools last year, which ranged from top school to some with lower rank, all because they were most suitable for Yolanda. With Yolanda's test score (SSAT and TOFEL) and interview skill, we are able to have good backup for making final decision. Finally, we got 2 offers and one waiting list.
Secondly, Lara’s interview preparation was very helpful. As a young girl who has less experience and skill, with support of you to practice interview and campus visiting skill, Yolanda had been more confident when interacting with school teachers and officers. Her skill were well sharpened and we believed she started to realize the importance of those soft skill.
Finally, it is important to have you accompany the school visit, who really knows how to deal with school request. As foreigners, we appreciate her great support from both professional and personal perspectives indeed.
Thanks for all the support!
Dong Chen, Father of Ethel Walker Student