Our mission is to provide students with the best available tutors in order to challenge them academically, develop the discipline and skills necessary to unlock their academic potential, and help them succeed in gaining admission to the colleges and universities of their choice. Furthermore, we seek to model a passion for learning and promote a high standard of ambition in our students so that they may reach both their academic and personal goals.

As you enter the exhilarating yet often anxious season of college planning and preparation, we invite you to choose ACES as your best academic resource for standardized testing. The world of college admissions can be daunting, as students are judged for their school transcripts, activities, interests, and performance on the SAT and ACT. Regardless of fairness, students receive college admission offers, scholarships, and significant tuition reductions based on standardized test scores. We are here to help you navigate this pressure and ensure that your child will be able to maximize his or her potential on these important tests. However, we realize that test scores are only one piece of the puzzle, and we never want preparation to take precedence over grades, extracurricular activities or mental health.

Our History

Founded in 1985 by Dr. Jerry L. Kasparek ( “Dr. K”), a respected tutor and teacher, ACES is one of the oldest continuing SAT and ACT organizations in the Charlotte area. We have taught thousands of students with consistent success. We take pride in our established reputation, integrity, high academic standards, and honesty. We are fortunate to be supported by students and counselors from many local schools, including Charlotte Country Day, Charlotte Latin, Providence Day, Myers Park, Marvin Ridge, Providence High, Charlotte Catholic, Ardrey Kell, Weddington, Fort Mill, South Mecklenburg, and others. Our students come to us primarily through personal recommendations.

Our Staff

ACES instructors bring broad expertise in their disciplines and years of experience to the specialized instruction we offer. Our tutors are lifelong learners who are passionate about teaching, with more than fifty years of collective teaching and tutoring experience. When you choose ACES, you gain a team of highly skilled academic experts ready to work with you in designing a plan uniquely suited to your needs.

Pat Throneburg, Director

Our director, Pat Throneburg, oversees every aspect of our program and tutors in all ACT, SAT, PSAT, SSAT, and ISEE verbal subject areas. A Pennsylvania native, Pat was fascinated with college admissions even as a teenager and headed to Franklin & Marshall College at age 16, where she graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. As a Morehead-Cain Fellow, Pat earned her J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.

Following a number of years as a practicing attorney with Robinson, Bradshaw and Hinson, Pat began tutoring in 2004 when her own children began the process of college admissions and assumed direction/ownership of ACES in 2015. As a parent, she appreciates the many demands placed on high schoolers today and tries to deliver instruction with compassion and humor. Her faithful dog, Nellie, happily greets students and sits in on all sessions to provide moral support.