Meet our Chattanooga Tutoring Staff


Great Teachers Inspire

Our tutors and staff in Chattanooga consist of passionate educators who love inspiring children to succeed. Warm, caring and great at relating to kids, our tutors in Chattanooga know how to engage and motivate each child in a personal way—building confidence and smiles, as well as skills and better scores. We selectively choose tutors who know local curriculum and can link Sylvan lessons to what’s being taught in school. Get to know our tutors and staff in Chattanooga!

  • John Peoples, M. Ed., Center Director

    John Peoples, M. Ed.

    Center Director

    John manages each student's tutoring program with insight about how students develop in their reading and math skills over the course of their education. His drive for interdisciplinary studies have led him to receive a B.S. in Political Science from UTC and a M. Ed. in Secondary Education with additional graduate work in mathematics; John is an educator who will discuss nearly any topic with alacrity and make students feel like they have learned alongside him. Sylvan team member since 2004.
  • Marilyn Heckman, M.S., Instructor

    Marilyn Heckman, M.S.


    As a high school math teacher at Hixson High School for many years, Marilyn brings a wealth of math education and experience to the Sylvan staff. Marilyn is known for being a relaxed and patient tutor. Many algebra and geometry students are overheard commenting that “she explains things in a way I can understand them!” Marilyn is frequently remembered by her previous students who often come back just to say “hello!” Sylvan team member since 2000.
  • Jean Kelly, M.S., Instructor / Test Administrator

    Jean Kelly, M.S.

    Instructor / Test Administrator

    Jean was first exposed to Sylvan as a parent. Seeing her child grow tremendously since attending Sylvan has made Jean an understanding partner with parents and a great student advocate as a tutor with the Chattanooga team. Jean sees the “long view” with each of her students; she is committed to seeing each student master the reading, writing, and math skills they need to be independent in the classroom. She believes the habits children develop today influence the adults they will become. Sylvan team member since 1996.
  • José Sánchez, M. Ed., Instructor

    José Sánchez, M. Ed.


    Whether tutoring advanced reading skills or the foundations of math, José's calm and gentle spirit is evident to his students. José has taught for over 30 years at local schools, including Chattanooga State, Tennessee Temple University, and Central High School. In addition to being the chair of the Foreign Language Department at Central High School, José finds time to pursue singing and percussion as a member of a Latin praise band. Sylvan team member since 2000.
  • Alan Schide, B.S., Instructor / Test Administrator

    Alan Schide, B.S.

    Instructor / Test Administrator

    After earning a degree at Vanderbilt and serving a career in the US Navy, Alan completed additional education at UTC for elementary education. Known for having the heart and commitment of a teacher, Alan sees each student as an individual with untapped potential and passionately develops a love for reading and math in each child he tutors. Carrying over his experience teaching in various local Chattanooga schools, Alan really enjoys meeting and developing a partner relationship with parents. Sylvan team member since 2002.