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Steve Saso

Hi, I’m Steve Saso founder of Saso High School Prep and I have over thirty-six years experience teaching high school. I have had every student imaginable in my classrooms. My sincere conviction is every student is able to experience academic success—if they are taught how with proper instruction and guidance. Everyone is capable of learning.

For the past eighteen years I have tutored middle school students to successfully prepare for high school math and English and for the High School Placement Test.® 

When a student tells me they can’t do math I take it as a personal challenge to build their self-confidence by proving them wrong.  It is a great joy to me when I work with kids who have been labeled as poor students, and they experience success. As confidence increases so does motivation. I love doing this work!

After graduating from Bellarmine College Prep in San José, CA and Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA I began my teaching career at Jesuit High in Sacramento followed by Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland. Moving to San Luis Obispo I helped re-open Mission College Prep and was Assistant Principal. Later, I returned to my alma mater and taught at Bellarmine for more than two decades.  

In addition to teaching, my wife Patt and I are authors of two books and national speakers on parenting issues. To learn more about our work with parents visit parentingteensjustgoteasier.com. We have been married for over 30 years and have 3 children, all in their twenties. I am an avid Oakland A’s fan, love to work in my garden, and enjoy traveling, especially to Hawaii.

Brian Saso

Hey, I'm Brian, Steve's oldest son. I attended Bellarmine for high school (class of '03) and went on to study at UC Santa Barbara. I graduated from UCSB in 2007 with a bachelor's in business.

I have been working with Saso High School Prep for over a decade. I started teaching Saso HSP classes about two years ago. I helped collaborate on the writing of curriculum and classwork for the Saso HSPT prep courses, workbooks, as well as the Math and Grammar classes. In addition, I helped write our Vocabulary Workbook. In my spare time I enjoy watching sports especially the Oakland A’s and Golden State Warriors.

Julia Miller

A yearning to experience and understand the world I live in drives my life, fueling an unrelenting love of all things mathematical and scientific. A desire to provide the next generation of problem-solvers (and my son) with the skill needed to reshape the world led me to my post-retirement passion for teaching. 

My technology background includes Bachelors and Masters degrees in Computer Engineering, three teaching credentials, doctoral work, and 25 years of commercial engineering experience ranging from design engineer to CEO. Building on that I created and taught pre-algebra, algebra and science curriculums to provide learning opportunities that turn middle school students into highly successful problem solvers.  During the 10 years of my teaching tenure, my students have achieved a minimum of 4 years growth per year with a consistent track record of 90% or higher placement into geometry, biology or honors.  It is my pleasure to bring pre-algebra and algebra learning opportunities to students in the Saso High School Prep.

 My husband, 2 sons and I have lived in 3 countries and visited over 40 others as well as 48 of the 50 states.  I am an avid reader, passionate tennis player, and award winning wine maker.  I use all of my experiences and the experiences of the students to craft fun and meaning into lessons and problems.  I look forward to getting to know your students and to helping them begin their high school careers with confidence.

Chris Lawrence

I’ve spent the past thirty-five years here in the Bay Area teaching literature and writing. There are few things that delight me more than helping young people deepen their own love and ability to learn. I attended Jesuit High School in Sacramento, University of San Francisco and Durham University in England for my undergraduate studies, and UCLA for graduate work.

For thirty-one years I taught every level of college prep English at Bellarmine in San José, every course from freshman English to a wide diversity of upper class electives to Bellarmine’s Senior Honors program. During my years at Bellarmine, I was also varsity basketball coach and founded the school’s Wilderness Program. As a teacher I’ve received a number of local and national teaching awards, including the National Endowment for the Arts’ Teacher-Scholar Award. Now retired from full-time teaching (to dedicate more time to my own writing), I love working closely with small groups of young students here at Saso High School Prep.

My wife Debi and I now divide our time between our home in San José and our backwoods cabin in Big Sur, where I enjoy writing, hiking, and working as an advocate for local wilderness and cultural issues. Our four children — Matt, Nate, Caitlin, and Ali — live here in San José, too.

Paul Seliga

Hi, I'm Paul Seliga, a long-time Bay Area resident and friend of Steve Saso even longer. I grew up in Chicago, then moved to Los Angeles where I graduated from Loyola High School. (And no, I'm not a Dodgers fan--as my HSP students wanted desperately to know.) I have a bachelor's degree in Physics from Spring Hill College, taught algebra and geometry at Jesuit High School in Sacramento (along with Steve), and got master's degrees in theology and computer science. I worked for 30 years in the software engineering field, in various interesting businesses.

Now retired, I enjoy producing community theatre plays, singing in the church choir, running, biking, playing softball, rooting for the Niners, and volunteering. And I believe good math and writing skills are keys to self-confidence and success. 

Larry Lauro

Hello, I am a lifetime San Jos
é native and I am happy to be working with Steve Saso in preparing eighth graders to take the HSPT.  I attended high school at Bellarmine College Preparatory, continued my undergraduate studies at San José State University and completed my master’s work at Santa Clara University. 

I have worked in the education field for my entire life and I am entering my forty-first year of high school teaching and counseling. I have taught math, social studies and counseling courses. My extra-curricular interests have included coaching football, performing service and coordinating the immersion program. 

My wife, Jill, and I have been married for thirty-six years and we have two grown sons named Brian and Jason. Our favorite activities include traveling, especially to Italy, going San José Sharks games, and spending time with family. I am very happy to be involved with Steve Saso and his excellent HSPT Prep classes. 


Check out what former students said about
Saso High School Prep:

“My son indicated to me that he learned a lot from both the HSPT and the Essay classes. He said that Brian and Chris were better than any teachers he ever had. I hope that as he continues his education, he would be fortunate to work with more teachers like them.”

-- Darius R.

"I really liked the teachers and the binder we used. The teachers were very helpful and funny. The binder they gave us was nice because it kept everything neat and organized. The whole course was well planned."

-- Emily D.
Summer 2012

“My son took the Summer HSPT course. Brian Saso was such a wonderful teacher. The class was really helpful in helping him find out his areas of strength and weakness so he could continue to work on his weaknesses in the Fall. We are very happy that he scored in the national 99 percentile rank! Thank you so much! ”

-- Denise L.
March 2014

“Although our son has incredible natural skills, he has surely done well also thanks to the preparation provided by Carden Academy and SASO High School Prep, which I will definitely highly recommend!”

-- Antonio M.
March 2014

“Thank you for everything. We will continue to recommend your classes to all our friends. We see it as a benefit whether you are applying to a private school or not.

-- Rebecca T.
March 2014


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