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.



Sisyfly is bringing Generation Z to work.  We provide consultation services

to help prepare the workplace for the Z’ers, provide training on how Generation Z differs from Millenials, and advise on how to recruit/retain top Gen Z talent.  We understand the unique challenges this generation faces and support maximizing cohesiveness within a multigenerational workplace.



  • YouTube


Sisyfly has long helped Generation Z prepare for college.  Now, Sisyfly is bringing Generation Z to work! We will replace misconceptions about this talented and unique generation.  These digital natives are ready to make an unprecedented impact.  



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

Generation Z Advisement

  • Educating older generations about what makes Generation Z unique

  • Prepare the workplace environment to best maximize the many talents of Gen Z

  • Description of the unique challenges this Generation will bring to the workplace 


College Planning Resources

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By 1868 the ever increasing school population of Fort Dodge had outgrown three upgraded buildings. So in that year bonds were issued, and a new twelve-room school house was started. It was ready for the school year in September, 1869. The building was built at the corner of 2nd Avenue North and 10th Street. However, five months later on January 20, 1870, the school building burned to the ground. The school board used the insurance they collected and began a new building on the same location. This new building was ready for use in the fall of 1872. Until it was completed, classes were held in various places: churches, empty store rooms, etc. The new building was named for D. K. Lincoln, president of the school board and an outstanding citizen. The building was then on the edge of town, and people complained of having to send their children “way out on the prairie” to school. It was often referred to as the “School on the Prairie.” The Lincoln School housed all grades, with the high school located on the third floor.

In 1872 the teaching staff consisted of ten women and one man. Early records do not speak of anyone as principal but refer simply to superintendent, or professor, as he was called. The high school became known for its progressive ideas. New supplies needed in the building were paid for by socials, programs, bazaars, suppers, etc., which students and teachers worked out as money-making schemes.

The first class of three members graduated on July 1, 1875. The graduating program was an elaborate one of declamations, dialogues, and music. In 1877 there was no graduating class. In 1878 seven students graduated and in 1879 only four.

In December, 1882, the town was given a scare when the fire bell rang and the high school was said to be on fire. School had been dismissed, but several boys who were still in the building helped Professor Arey put out a fire before the hose company arrived. They carried water up five flights of stairs. It is said that Professor Arey froze the fingers of both hands.

Football was introduced into the school in 1894. Interclass baseball was also played. In 1897 basketball for both boys and girls appeared. Those who played football in those days furnished their own equipment and did the coaching themselves.

By 1897 the population of Fort Dodge had grown to 14,000. A new high school building was necessary. It was built on First Avenue North and Tenth Street. It was a three story building of yellow brick with many large windows and three outstanding entrances. Every foot of space in it was used. An unusually high basement had been built so that the superintendent’s office, three recitation rooms, a bicycle room, a gymnasium, coal, boiler, and heating coil rooms were all found there.

This building was damaged by fire in June, 1907. Because it was not totally destroyed, it was restored and ready for school in the fall. Due to an increased enrollment, several rooms were enlarged.

Most of the parties held by high school groups in the early days were held in the homes. Occasionally, lectures were held in the building. The music department of the high school did not get underway until 1909. Then the first orchestra had six members.

Athletics became more important about 1910 when a coach was obtained. A small area for a practice field was bought just east of Duncombe School.

By 1918, the high school building on First Avenue North rapidly became outgrown. In 1919, petitions were started to ask the Board of Education to call an election to vote to issue bonds so a new lot might be bought and a new school be built and equipped. The vote for a new school carried easily.

Because Fort Dodge had spread out on both sides of the river and the distances from outlying districts were great, the question of a location for a new school was important. A consultant from Iowa City surveyed the city, found the center of population, and suggested a location. The Board then chose the site located at 1015 5th Ave North. The building was ready in September, 1922. It is built of dark red brick and is three stories high. Compared to the previous high school, it looked large and massive.

In 1921 the Fort Dodge School system added advanced courses beyond the regular four year high school program as the first step toward the establishment of a junior college, a new educational concept of the times. The college classes occupied the third floor of the new high school. The junior college was an extension of the Fort Dodge School System. The first teachers were high school teachers given additional assignments, a practice necessary because state funding did not extend beyond high school. The practice continued until the 1950s. Fort Dodge was the third school in the state to establish such a program.

During the following three decades, education continued to transform but no new school buildings were built until World War II ended. In the 1950s, the number of youth enrolled in the Fort Dodge public schools continued to grow. Country schools were closing and as county roads continued to develop bus transportation also became a better option. When country school students began attending school “in town” in the late 50’s and early 60’s, it put a squeeze on the available space. The need for a new high school became evident.

In 1958, a new high school was built on several acres of land located in the north-central part of Fort Dodge between Martin Luther King Drive and North 25th Street. By the early 1970’s, public school enrollment hit all-time highs. Fort Dodge Senior High enrollment surpassed 1,500 students for grades 10, 11 and 12.

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

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

  • YouTube

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 

  • YouTube

Why are we called SISYFLY? (Sis-a-Fly)

Inspire and Empower. Destroy any barrier. Sisyphus, the Ancient Greek mythological figure, is our inspiration. Sisyphus was a Greek King who utilized his determination, cunning and wit in order to outthink “the gods.” Ultimately, he was captured and sentenced to an eternity of pushing a boulder up a mountain. The “Gods” punished him for possessing an undying spirit and brilliant mind.  


In our logo, the person represents YOU.  The boulder represents any and all obstacles.  We refuse our 'pre-determined' fate of going back down the mountain.  Our persistence leads to cracks in that boulder.  We wish to help our family (YOU!) break through and SISYFLY.

Contact Us

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

Tel. 352-339-0433

© 2020 by

George Washington University