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With 20 years of experience helping students and their families navigate the college admissions process, Kristen Lambert enjoys assisting young people as they plan the next steps of their education.

From Trevor Day School and The Buckley School in New York City, and Francis W. Parker School in Chicago, to most recently The Benjamin School where Kristen served as Director of College Counseling, Kristen had a long career working in independent schools. She enjoys helping young people make good academic and extracurricular decisions during high school, as well as helping them navigate the college admission process. 

Kristen is a member of the National Association of College Admission Counseling and the Higher Education Consultants Association as well as the Southern Association of College Admission Counseling. She attends annual conferences and programming. She has made presentations at the NACAC, SACAC, FCIS, and ACCIS conferences. She also served on the leadership team for the ACCIS organization. Additionally, Kristen spends time visiting colleges and universities throughout the country.


Kristen holds a Bachelor of Science in Family Studies and a Master's Degree in School Counseling. 

Kristen Lambert

Founder, CACG

Terry Knaus brings passion and authenticity to his work with College Admissions Counseling Group. Knowing that the college search can often be stressful, Terry patiently works alongside students and families to help them understand and successfully navigate the process.

With over 30 years of experience, Terry has worked in both college admissions and college counseling. This gives him the unique advantage of understanding both sides of the admissions process and he is able to share these valuable insights with his students. His time in college admissions consists of work at a variety of institutions including Indiana University Bloomington, the University of Georgia and the University of Louisville. He has also helped lead the college counseling offices at Morgan Park Academy in Chicago and Cathedral High School in Indianapolis.

An active member in professional organizations, Terry has worked with many of his professional colleagues making presentations at a variety of national conferences. He has served on the Board of Directors for the National Association of College Admission Counseling and as President of the Indiana Association for College Admission Counseling. Additionally, Terry has served on the scholarship reading committee for the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. Throughout his professional career he has also visited college campuses across the country.


Terry holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Communications & Secondary Education and a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration.

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Terry Knaus

College Counselor


John Peruggia

Writing Specialist

Embarking on a life in education when he developed his own elective course on Ignatian Spirituality and Leadership during his senior year at his NYC independent school, John Peruggia has spent the last two decades learning alongside his students. Since completing his own studies at universities in the US and abroad (Wesley College, U of Delaware, St. Louis Univ, and John Cabot Univ), John has taught at boarding school, independent day schools, community colleges, and both public and private universities from Massachusetts to Missouri. He currently teaches in the Upper School at The Benjamin School, where he also serves as Grade-Level Chair of the Senior Class, advisor to the school’s newspaper (The Pharcyde), and moderator of its speech and debate program.


John strives to help students develop confidence through lessons and activities that push them to identify, share, and amplify their unique voices in speech, on paper, and through digital media. While his most extensive experience has been in English and Language Arts classrooms, John has also helped students achieve success in social sciences and mathematics, having taught both AP Psychology and AP Statistics. He has also spent time on the scoring and creation of standardized tests at the state, regional, and national levels, including with both the SSAT and AP programs. 


As a representative for his school at college fairs, a faculty representative to the scholarship committees at his university, a leader of SAT and ACT preparation courses, and as a college counselor, John has developed an understanding of the complete admissions process, from the hopeful conversations that lead to applications through the very real scheduling challenges that lead to one’s selection of courses.

Nataly Lambert graduated from Duke University in 2017, where she received a Bachelor’s Degree and majored in psychology. While at Duke, Nataly worked in Duke’s Undergraduate Office of Admissions, where she welcomed visitors and helped to answer questions about the university and application process. Since graduating, Nataly has worked as a researcher at a New York City-based hedge fund, while also serving as a mentor in the iMentor program.  At iMentor, Nataly provides counseling on the navigation of academic and social situations to foster college preparedness and interpersonal skills to a university-bound high school student. In July 2021, Nataly began study at Duke’s business school, Fuqua. 


At CACG, Nataly will be helping students complete their college applications, assisting students in presenting their distinctive stories and achievements in their applications, and partnering with students to best highlight their unique extracurricular involvement. Nataly interviews undergraduate candidates for admission to Duke, and conducts mock interviews for students at CACG. 


Nataly brings on-the-ground admissions experience, recent personal engagement with the application process, and an infectiously positive attitude to CACG.


Nataly Lambert

Resume Specialist

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Mary Ditaranto

Writing Specialist

Mary Ditaranto has been working alongside adolescents for the past thirty years.  She continues to teach an English curriculum with high school juniors and AP English Language and Composition students. She has been a Reader for the AP English Language and Composition exam for the past three years. She has worked with students in leadership positions in Forensics and Debate, The Harvard Model Congress, Student Council, Amnesty International and other clubs and organizations at her school. She has taught at Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, Florida, The Benjamin School in Palm Beach Gardens, and Florida Atlantic University’s Jupiter campus. 


Teaching at the high school level, Mary has extensive experience with helping her students write the college admissions essay.  She’s read and helped to pen hundreds of essays.   Mary holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of Florida, a BA in English from FAU, a Masters in Education from FAU and a Masters in English from Middlebury College. In addition Mary has tutored and proctored the SAT and ACT exam.  


Mary is a second generation Floridian who values the opportunity to work with students at the college admissions level in order to help them design their essays. She is very excited to work with students at CACG.

Emily brings years of academic and professional writing experience to her work with CACG students. She is currently a graduate student in clinical psychology at Columbia University, where she works as a research assistant to produce publishable manuscripts with faculty on campus. Before graduate school, Emily worked at an arts institution in New York City. There, she wrote for a range of audiences, producing content for exhibition catalogues, fundraising and grant materials, and the press.


Emily completed her undergraduate education at Duke University, where she studied Visual Culture and Journalism. She served as the editor-in-chief of a campus arts magazine, working with her peers to produce strong editorial content. She acted as the primary editor for the magazine’s written work.


Emily recently attended a four-week course for counselors on writing the personal statement. At CACG, Emily will collaborate with students to nurture their ideas and develop their writing skills. Equipped with an understanding of the admissions process as a recent applicant herself, Emily is excited to foster a supportive space for students to hone their writing.



Emily Dunkel

Writing Specialist

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Sterling Lambert

Resume Specialist

Sterling Lambert will be working with CACG students on constructing their resumes and cultivating the necessary confidence that leads to effective college admission interviews. He has refined his interview and resume development skills through years of professional and academic experience. In the professional world, he built and managed a team of data strategists for a New York-based advertising company that supported the work of the company’s most profitable and notable clients. He also has been an interviewer of undergraduate candidates for admission to his alma mater, Duke University, since graduation. 


Sterling completed his undergraduate education at Duke University, where he majored in Psychology with a concentration in Consumer Behavior, and received a certificate in Markets & Management Studies. He is currently pursuing his Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Johns Hopkins University with a focus on spiritual and behavioral research. Having recently gone through the admissions process himself, Sterling can provide insight, support, and empathy to CACG students as they take this step towards their future. 


Sterling also recently graduated from the 2023 Awake in the Wild Teacher Training program. The year-long apprenticeship is a training in contemplative Nature practices inspired by contemporary mindfulness practice and traditional Buddhist wisdom. As a certified meditation instructor, Sterling will be offering meditations and mindfulness-based skills to the CACG community so that they are empowered to apply them to their daily, demanding lives! 

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