Mary Lee Bunch Associates LLC Educational Consulting(615) 377-63707113 Peach Court Suite 111, Brentwood, Tennessee  37027
  Office Hours - Monday - Friday  9:00AM - 5:00PM
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July 2, 1950 – September 22, 2013
In 1983, Mary Lee Bunch began tutoring students at her dining room table. Her passion for teaching and her genuine care for those who came to her for help resulted in a thirty year legacy in education. She founded Mary Lee Bunch & Associates in 1986 and chose teachers who shared her passion and vision for an educational facility where students could realize their full academic potential.

An avid volunteer, she graciously contributed her time each week at Pearl-Cohn in Nashville, helping with the high school tutoring program. She eventually became involved with the non-profit organization In Full Motion ( and for twenty-three years she truly made a difference, impacting hundreds if not thousands of students in a positive way. Mary Lee was an unparalleled mentor who gave unstintingly of her time, talents, intelligence, wit, and integrity. She will be remembered as a woman who genuinely cared about her students' futures: where they went, what they learned and who they became. She was also well known throughout the educational community for her academic tutoring as well as the ACT/SAT preparatory courses she offered in Williamson County, Tennessee and surrounding areas.

Many of the tutors she began with are still teaching here today. On average, each of our associates has over 20 years of experience in his or her field of study and we are very proud of that fact. We continue to offer academic tutoring for all subjects as well as Homeschool Support, Alternate Education and Standardized Test Preparation. We also offer online tutoring via Skype Sessions in order to assist students who may be geographically or physically unable to visit our offices. We are beyond grateful to continue the work Mary Lee Bunch began decades ago and, although she is greatly missed by students, faculty, family and friends, her legacy and passion will live on.

After all... "We're still the same Bunch."

Mary Lee Bunch

Mary Lee Bunch

Meet Our Staff
Office Hours Monday - Friday 9:00 AM -5:00 PM
Day School/Alternate Education Hours are Monday-Friday 9:00AM- 3:00PM
Individual tutoring hours available Monday-Friday from 8:00am-8:00pm, Saturday 8:00AM-6:00PM, Sunday appointments available by request.

Jacob Abell ~ French I, II and III/Philosophy

I received a B.A. from Baylor University in "University Scholars," an interdisciplinary degree program in which I developed focuses in French, Theater Arts, Philosophy, and Great Texts of the Western Tradition. In the fall of 2012, I studied philosophy and theology at three universities in Paris, France (Ecole normale superieure, L'Institut Catholique de Paris, Universite de Paris). I am now pursuing a Masters in Theological Studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School. I also have many years of academic and professional training as an actor, and I have appeared in films and plays around the country.

As a language teacher, I think that French language study is most interesting and effective when French is seen as a door onto an entire world of culture, politics, and history!

Jacob Abell
Jacob Abell

June Barnes ~ College Counselor/GED/Math

June is a certified teacher who has taught Grades 1-8, Secondary Math, and English for forty years. In addition, she has served as a College Counselor at Franklin Road Academy for more than thirty years. Previously earning a Bachelor of Science – Mathematics, as well as a Master of Arts in English (Computer Science minor), from Tennessee Tech, she brings a wealth of teaching and counseling experience to the students at Mary Lee Bunch Associates.
June Barnes
June Barnes

Denny Blake ~ Art/Music/Theology

Raised in Seattle, Washington, I graduated from high school and college in the Midwest, earning a Bachelor of Music Education at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls, as well as a Master of Science – Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin Graduate School. In addition, I completed my graduate work at Vanderbilt University (Ph.D. - Theology/Ethics). Nashville has been my favorite home since the early 1990's.

I'm a former band director and classroom music teacher (Northwest Wisconsin and Metro Nashville Public Schools), as well as a substitute teacher in Northwestern Wisconsin schools for more than ten years, working with students in all subjects and grade levels, including art instruction and special education. My major instruments are the French horn and the piano. In my free time, I enjoy reading, road trips, United States history, and my rescue "kitty cats."

A life-long learner and teacher, my educational goal is to work with students so that they are able to reach their full potential while falling in love with learning!

Denny Blake
Denny Blake

Jane Dowden ~ Social Studies/Science/Math/Theology

Jane has tutored since her undergraduate days; she began working at Mary Lee Bunch Associates eleven years ago. Completing a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga (majoring in Math and Science), she continued her education at Vanderbilt University, where she earned a Masters of Education with a focus on human resources. Jane has worked in several fields, her main career being an engineer and engineering auditor with BellSouth Telecommunications in Nashville, a position which morphed into Benefit Manager for the State of Tennessee.

She has previously taught Math and Science at the Girls' Preparatory School (Chattanooga), taught Math at Nashville State Community College, and worked as an Independent Consultant, specializing in corporate management training and technical writing. One special outside interest is playing in two handbell choirs. Occasionally, you may see Jane's dog, Chumley, visiting her office. We've all grown quite fond of him, so he's now our official mascot here at Mary Lee Bunch Associates, LLC.

Jane Dowden
Jane Dowden

Carmen Letitia Harris ~ Spanish I, II and III

I was born in Puerto Rico and lived for the first six years of my life in St. Croix, Virgin Islands. Having lived in three countries and eleven states, I decided to settle in Tennessee twenty years ago. I live in Bellevue with my husband and our dog Opal. I enjoy taking long walks, growing my own vegetables, and working on stained glass projects.

I have a Master's degree in Education: Curriculum and Instruction. My certification is in secondary education, grades 7-12. I am a private tutor and a home school instructor for Spanish levels I, II, and III.

With the influx of so many Hispanics into our communities, Spanish has become an important language to know. I am passionate about teaching Spanish and preparing students for the future. I enjoy watching my students grow from year to year and I am excited to be a part of the Mary Lee Bunch faculty.

Carmen Letitia Harris Letty Cogley-Harris

Mary Johnson ~ Mathematics

I was born in Michigan and, in August of 1988, moved to Brentwood, Tennessee where my husband was one of the first employees at Saturn Corporation. Earning both a Bachelor and Master degree in Pure Math (University of Detroit – Detroit and University of Michigan – Ann Arbor), I have taught in three different schools. My first teaching experience began at Shrine High School (17 years), next at Brother Rice High School (6 years), and finally at Brentwood Academy (12 years), serving as the Head of the Math Department at all. While in Michigan, I also taught at Oakland Community College for ten years, both part-time and during the summer.

I met Mary Lee Bunch the same month that I moved to Brentwood, and we became fast friends. Not surprisingly, I love the study of Mathematics and, of course, try to encourage students to pursue careers in the field. I enjoy reading (I have a book wherever I go), tennis, golf, and watching college and professional football games – Go Lions! (Detroit).

Mary Johnson
Mary Johnson

Sarah Payne ~ Latin/ACT Prep

My name is Sarah Payne and I currently live and work in Nashville, Tennessee. I graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, where I majored in Classical Languages (Latin and Ancient Greek, minor in Russian). I started my Masters of Arts (M.A.T.) in Teaching at Hunter College of the City University of New York; while there, I taught Latin at an inner-city charter high school in Brooklyn, NY, and am now back home finishing my M.A.T. (grades 7-12) at Belmont University.

A tutor and a home school instructor for students of Latin and English, I also help students prepare for standardized tests, such as the SAT, ACT, and GRE. In addition, I work at a hot yoga studio and as a substitute teacher for Metro Nashville Public Schools. My educational goal is to empower young people and to help them grow as individuals. I have two cats (whose names are Arteis and Athena) and a half-Corgi, half-Jack Russell puppy named Coraline. In my free time, I enjoy reading, writing, taking pictures, listening to and playing music, making art projects, doing volunteer work, and hiking.

I enjoy teaching Latin specifically because I think it can provide valuable insight into language and open doors to new ways of looking at the world. Probably the strongest argument in making a case for the study of Latin is that it improves students' grasp of the English language. I believe that there is a clear connection between having a well-developed vocabulary and possessing competence and confidence as a reader and writer, which lies at the heart of literacy.
Sarah Payne
Sarah Payne

Gretchen Phillips ~ Reading/Grammar/Math

I'm excited to teach your child grades Kindergarten-7th Grade. I instruct in all Elementary school subjects, though most students come to me for help in math and reading. I have worked here with Mary Lee Bunch Associates for the past nine years teaching our morning Homeschool students as well as after-school individual tutoring. My BA degree is in education and teaching and I've taught in the public school system near Boston, Massachusettes and Jacksonville, Florida. My four children have blessed me with eight grandchildren ages 1-18, with whom my husband and I spend much of our leisure time.
Gretchen Phillips
Gretchen Phillips

Neil Rick ~ English Literature/ACT SAT Prep

My name is Neil Rick and I'm a native Nashvillian who graduated from Belmont University, earning both a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature (2008) and a Master of Teaching (2010). I predominantly teach English language and literature in the home school program, in addition to photography, ACT prep, and other various electives. Throughout the year I travel to local schools teaching ACT classes, as well as at our offices. I am interested in photography and have worked in the darkroom both in a classroom and home setting. I enjoy creative writing and am involved in many writing groups around Nashville. I also am an avid reader of modern Southern fiction, and some of my favorite authors and poets include Robert Penn Warren, William Faulkner, Allen Tate, and the Fugitives.

My educational goal for all of the students at Mary Lee Bunch Associates is to help them achieve success in academics.
Neil Rick
Neil Rick

Debbie Sonnier ~ AP Chemistry/Physical Science/ Honors Biology/Anatomy

I hold a Bachelor of Science – Science Education, with a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry; in addition, I hold a Master of Science – Gifted and Talented Education, with a minor in Science Technology from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I also hold a lifetime Teacher's Certificate from the state of Louisiana, being certified in the following areas: biology, chemistry, gifted and talented, and supervision of student teaching. I bring to Mary Lee Bunch Associates 27 years of teaching experience, including ten summers of teaching Honors Chemistry (high school credit) at LSU. During my career, I have taught courses in gifted and talented chemistry, honors chemistry, standard chemistry, physical science, anatomy & physiology, aerospace science, and physics.

My hobbies/interests are spending time with my German Shepherd dog, reading suspense thrillers, and collecting wrist watches and ink pens. I also teach a Bible Study Group called Grace Gathering.


Debbie Sonnier
Debbie Sonnier

Scott Sherman ~ History/Physics/English/ACT & SAT Prep

I am a native Californian who moved to Tennessee with my family in 2006. A graduate of UCLA, I have been teaching for 22 years. My lovely wife Wendy and I have two beautiful daughters and we all love living here in Middle Tennessee. I was fortunate and blessed to have been able to work for Mary Lee Bunch for six years here at our Education Center in Brentwood. Mary Lee was truly one of the finest people I've ever known, with a sincere heart for her students and for all those she knew. After her passing, her husband Milton was kind enough to give us the opportunity to continue her legacy in education, and we are grateful to carry on the business that Mary Lee founded decades ago.

I truly love teaching and helping students reach their potential. I teach History, English, Science, ACT and SAT prep and I also oversee our Home School support program. All of our associates are dedicated to carrying on in the spirit and manner of Mary Lee Bunch and we look forward to working with you and helping in whatever way we can. Our motto is "We're Still the Same Bunch" and indeed we are!

Scott Sherman
Scott Sherman

Wendy Sherman ~ Office Manager

In 2006, I moved to Thompson's Station, Tennessee from Southern California where I studied Coastal Oceanography and Marine Biology. I've been a certified scuba diver for 30 years and although I greatly miss living near the ocean, I'm happily relocated with my husband Scott and our two lovely daughters.

I have 30 years of management experience and for 20 of those years I owned a wedding cake design/catering business, mainly serving Admiral Yacht Charters in Newport Harbor, California.

Music is a great passion in my life. My father was a publisher/producer and I was lucky enough to actually grow up in his recording studio. I learned to play the guitar and drums at a young age and I still enjoy playing occasionally when time allows. I also assist the Beatles cover band
SixtyFour with promotion and merchandise and I'm thankful to have a family that loves music as much as I do!

I am extremely grateful to be a part of Mary Lee Bunch Associates and am honored to continue the business that Mrs. Bunch began decades ago. All of our Associates are dedicated to maintaining Mary Lee's legacy in education and will do our very best to help students achieve their academic goals.

Wendy Sherman
Wendy Sherman

Chumley ~ Official Mascot

Occasionally, you may see Jane Dowden's dog, Chumley, visiting her office. We've all grown quite fond of him, so he's now our official mascot here at Mary Lee Bunch Associates, LLC.

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Cancellation Policy

Please give at least 24 hours notice to cancel or reschedule your reserved tutoring time. If less than 24 hours, please call your tutor directly and be aware that time charges may occur. We do understand that cancelations are occasionally unavoidable, however, your teacher has reserved this time especially for you. No call or no show appointments will be billed the full amount.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Do you have reduced rates or "package prices"?  

A~ Unlike many franchised tutoring centers, we are not here to "sell you a package."  We are here to help you achieve your academic goals, whether it's earning an A+ on your next exam or aceing a semester-long class. Many of our students find they benefit from weekly or bi-weekly tutoring assistance, so if you plan to join us frequently, feel free to discuss payment options with our office manager.  

Q:  Will you guarantee an improvement on my ACT/SAT scores?  

A~  While we do see significant improvement of hundreds of students' scores on standardized exams, we can not guarantee a 36 or a 2400. What we DO guarantee is that we will give you the tools you'll need to improve your test scores; time management skills, strategies, practice tests and increased confidence from knowing you are prepared.

Q:  What is Alternate Education?  

A~  Please click Alternate Education Programs for a complete description and information.

Q:  My student failed his last semester of Math, can you help?  

A~  We most certainly can!  Credit Recovery for incomplete classes is available within a flexible schedule.  With individualized instruction, just 30 student hours will make up a semester class and 45 student hours will make up a year-long course.  

Q:  What ages or grades do you tutor?  

A~  Most of our students are in high school, but we can help elementary school students as well as those attending college.

Q:  My homeschooler needs Foreign Language credits, can she enroll in just one class?  

A~  Absolutely!  We offer dual enrollment to traditional school students and homeschoolers alike. We have many options and solutions, whatever the situation may be, we are here to help.

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| About Us | Invidual Tutoring | Academic Prep Classes | Alternate Education Programs | Summer School | Calendar | Contact Us | Directions

Mary Lee Bunch Associates
Educational Consulting

7113 Peach Court, Suite 111
Brentwood, Tennessee 37027
(615) 377-6370

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