Why SISYFLY? (Sis-ah-Fly)

Sisyphus was an ancient Greek mythological figure and king who used trickery, sophistication and wit to outthink the gods. One day he was captured, punished for his undying spirit and brilliant mind and eternally sentenced to pushing a boulder up a mountain.

Sisyphus represents anyone facing a challenge and the boulder he was sentenced to carry represents the obstacles along the path to success. With hard work, focus, planning and practice, we will help you overcome barriers to realize your full potential. Come fly with us.

Who We Are

Ken Mercer

  • High School Counselor for 22 years

  • Academic Tutor since 1996

  • Private College Planning Counselor since 2001

  • August 2010 HOME Magazine Excellence in Education Award

  • Gainesville Sun’s Readers’ Choice Awards – 2016 Best Tutor/Teacher

Mike Testa

  • High School Assistant Principal and Teacher for 15 years

  • Academic Tutor since 2000

  • Private College Planning Counselor since 2012

  • Alachua County Teacher of the Year in 2011 

  • NSHSS Award - 2015 Outstanding Administrator 


With over 30 combined years of assessment preparation experience, Ken Mercer and Mike Testa help students maximize their test score.  Ken and Mike seek to build an environment where the student feels empowered – this is the key in helping students achieve their ultimate score goal.


We seek to guide students and families from the college search to the college decision.  This includes curriculum/activity advisement, SAT/ACT/Subject Area Test Prep, assistance with application essays and personal statements, and consultation regarding financial aid and scholarship opportunities.



Activity Advisement
  • Selection of high school program

  • Annual Curriculum review

  • Advisement on pairing extracurricular activity students’ interests

  • Exploration of potential programs of study in college  

  • Creating timeline for taking PSAT/Pre ACT/SAT/ACT/Subject Area Tests

  • Providing class-based, small group or individual instruction and test preparation strategies   

College Application List
  • Provide consultation on colleges that may provide the best academic/environmental fit based on student's interests and personality

  • Planning college visits

  • Navigating the application options (Early Decision, Early Action, Regular Decision)   

Advisement on Financial Aid & Scholarships
  • Exploration of how Financial Aid and Scholarships vary from school to school

  • Assistance with identifying scholarships and completing the necessary financial aid forms (FAFSA and CSS Profile)

  • Understanding that the primary scholarship application is an elite test score



Students are eligible to join the Academy during their 9th or 10th grade year. All test preparation and college planning/application services are provided thereafter. 


Services included:

  • Academic Advisement throughout high school

  • ACT/SAT/PSAT Tutoring provided

  • College planning advisement including but not limited to identification of best fit college/universities and programs based on the student’s unique interests

  • College Application assistance (including the ever-important essay and supplement responses)

  • Scholarship and Financial Aid Advisement

  • Access to Mr. Mercer and Mr. Testa anytime via appointment/text/zoom.

If you are interested in this all inclusive opportunity, please email us at sisyfly1@gmail.com.  In the subject line, please type "SISYFLY ACADEMY!"

Colleges Our Students Have Attended

“Mike Testa is one part motivational speaker, one part therapist and one part academic advisor/tutor. He gives strategies that serve to target specific areas of improvement for increasing your scores on the ACT. He’s so good at analyzing your strengths and weaknesses, then making the adjustments to your test taking. Not only did he help me to improve my scores in every single area of the ACT, but he also helped me reach my goal of achieving the 100% bright future scholarship.” ”

- Shelbi Cooper, Bell High School Class of 2021


College Planning Resources


Contact Us

4631 NW 53rd Ave. suite 104., Gainesville, FL 32653

Tel. 352-339-0433

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