Our Team

We know of no other company that provides the level of service that we do. Here is the incredible team that makes it all work.


Jay Bacrania

CEO & Co-Founder

Jay is the CEO of Signet Education. He has taken a broad academic path that encompasses both the sciences and the humanities. As a high schooler, Jay won awards for chemistry at the state level in his home state of Florida, and at Harvard, he initially studied physics. However, he soon realized he wanted to explore the unknown from a different angle, and graduated with a degree in the comparative study of religion. After graduating, Jay spent two years studying jazz trumpet at the Berklee College of Music.

Jay is values-driven in his approach to both tutoring and running Signet. He believes that education and career are twin pillars vital to building a meaningful life. Jay continually experiments with how best to promote deeper learning and personal growth for himself, his staff, and the students who work with Signet. When he’s not at the office, Jay can be found at his home in Somerville, finding new and better ways to make a cup of coffee and spending time with his family.

Sheila Akbar

Director of Education

Sheila joined the Signet team in the summer of 2010, bringing with her a wealth of experience teaching SAT, ACT, GRE, literature, and composition in both one-on-one and classroom settings. Sheila loves both teaching and learning, and finds nothing more rewarding than working closely with students to overcome the challenges they face. After graduating from Harvard in 2002, she spent two years working in financial services before continuing her academic career, which culminated in two doctorates. She brings her significant business and academic experience to bear on her current role at Signet, which includes ensuring the quality of our services; overseeing all of our tutors; developing curricula, pedagogical resources, and trainings; and providing educational thought leadership for the company. Sheila holds a bachelor's degree and master's degree from Harvard University and two doctoral degrees from Indiana University.

Chris Gathman

Associate Director of Educational Partnerships

Chris is the Associate Director of Educational Partnerships at Signet. He joined the Signet team in the summer of 2017. Chris' goal is to find ways to develop stronger partnerships with schools, professionals, community organizations, industry associations, and other educators. Chris is very passionate about education. In 2006, Chris graduated from Boston College with his Master’s in Business Administration. Chris also holds a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Florida State University. A former Division I athlete, Chris is active in local sport leagues and has an award winning Nutella-filled chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Adrian Jones

Client Manager

Adrian has been with Signet Education since October 2011. With a long history in client service, he greatly enjoys working with people and ensuring that each client has an impeccable experience. He is motivated by the mantra "treat others as you want to be treated."

Adrian's zest for learning and sharing of new ideas fuels his passion for education, whether in a classroom or through a friendly conversation. Outside of Signet, he may be found enjoying live performances (either as a participant or a concert-goer), reading by the Boston Harbor or on the Charles River Esplanade, savoring a homemade dinner with friends, or trying to subtly tap dance while waiting for public transit. Adrian graduated from Otterbein College in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in music and from New England Conservatory with an master’s in music in 2009.

Andrea West

Tutor Development Manager

Andrea joined the Signet team soon after graduating summa cum laude from Endicott College with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Dance. Her love of helping others and advocating for education makes Signet the perfect place to work! Andrea is Signet's Tutor Development Manager, so she interviews and on-boards all of Signet's tutors, and works to create the best community possible for our staff. She is also a trained academic coach, allowing her to also mentor and guide students to personal and academic success.

Aside from working in Cambridge, Andrea is an active dancer in the Boston community. Currently, she is an acting board member for the local movement company ParadiseMoves, with whom she hosts workshops and performs regularly. Andrea also has a passion for mental health advocacy, and has spent the past two years volunteering with Boston's Samaritans line. She loves the Food Network, podcasts, and her pet fish Garbi, who lives on her desk in the Signet office.

Rachel Ratay

Office Coordinator

Rachel joined Signet in the summer of 2017. She graduated from Plymouth State University, where she studied Psychology and Business Administration. A lover of being heavily involved, Rachel participated in her college's honors program, her sorority, the volunteer club, as well as interning in her school's union building. Rachel loves helping others, and she lives by the rule to simply "Be kind."

On the weekends, you can find Rachel curled up with a good book, hiking in the mountains of New Hampshire, or cooking a new vegetarian recipe.



“Austin was great. It was easy to schedule appointments with him, and it was nice that he understood the best way for me to learn. It was also very easy to reach him via email. I would definitely use him again."”

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