Meet our Plainfield Tutoring Staff


Great Teachers Inspire

Our tutors and staff in West Indianapolis consist of passionate educators who love inspiring children to succeed. Warm, caring and great at relating to kids, our tutors in Plainfield 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 West Indianapolis!

  • Kent, Center Director


    Center Director

    Welcome to Sylvan Learning Center! My name is Kent Kolbow, and I am the owner and one of the directors. I received my college education in Fort Wayne, Indiana. During my educational experience, I completed a bachelor's degree in Math with a strong background in Physics, Chemistry, and Psychology. I also earned an endorsement in education. During college, I taught at Sylvan Learning centers in Fort Wayne, and within a few years, became the Director. In 1997, I decided to purchase the Sylvan centers in Elkhart and Mishawaka. I have since had the opportunity to purchase nine additional centers in Indiana. My goal through working with Sylvan is “Success with Every Student.” 
  • Sarah, Executive Director


    Executive Director

    As Executive Director, Sarah oversees Indiana centers in Mishawaka, Elkhart, Merrillville, Schererville, Valparaiso, Fishers, Carmel, West Indianapolis, South Indianapolis, Fort Wayne North, and Fort Wayne South, and the center in Clermont, Florida. She thoroughly enjoys working with all of the students and their families. Sarah studied at Cedarville University.  When Sarah isn't at Sylvan, you'll find her spending time with her husband and her two beautiful daughters.
  • Rachel, Director of New Family Engagement


    Director of New Family Engagement

    Rachel is a born and raised Hoosier who has traveled all across the USA. She went to Abilene Christian University in Texas where she graduated as Valedictorian with a BFA in Theatre. She then began dual careers as an educator and actress, teaching in classrooms, studios, and theatres from Denver to Chicago as well as performing in over 70 live theatre productions. She returned to Indiana in 2019 to plant roots near her family and is glad to be continuing to elevate education for children with Sylvan. Away from Sylvan, you could probably find her enjoying fantasy literature/cinema, eating French toast, or going on adventures with her wonderfully introverted, non-theatrical husband, Evan. 
  • Erik, Director of Education


    Director of Education

    Erik graduated from Grand Canyon University with his Master’s Degree in Theology focusing on Youth and Family Counseling. Also, Erik has his Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Indiana University with his Organizational Leadership Certification at Purdue University. Erik has taught students that require an alternative education due to behavioral or medical needs. In addition to working as a teacher, Erik Smith develops websites for the private and corporate sector along with designing, creating, and producing podcasts and video streaming.
  • Alexis, Tutor



    Alexis is a graduate of Calumet College of Saint Joseph. She is the oldest of five siblings and enjoys spending time with them. She currently teaches fourth grade in Indianapolis and is in the process of becoming licensed to teach Middle School Math. Her hobbies include listening to music and reading her Book Club book of the month. Her favorite place to visit is Canada.
  • Barbara, Tutor



    Barbara is a retired teacher with a gift for working with children. While Barb has many tutoring talents, she finds the greatest joy in Reading tutoring. She studied at Governors State University and Indiana University. When Barb isn't at Sylvan, you'll find her watching her baby grandson, sewing, crocheting, baking, or helping out at church. She especially loves to visit her children and grandchildren.
  • Cassy, Tutor



    Cassy graduated from IUPUI with a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. She has five children and one grandchild. After her children were born, she chose to stay home and use her teaching skills by homeshooling all of them. With the last one now taking college classes, she is excited to be back in the public- teaching! She loves music, hiking, baking, and spending time with her family. 
  • Emily, Tutor



    Emily has been teaching first grade for 5 years now and enjoys bringing that experience to Sylvan to help more kids learn to read. She loves animals and caring for her three pets- Monty, Stormy, and Poot. Additional hobbies include reading, taking pictures, and a healthy obsession with coffee. She enjoys vacationing on the beach and listening to the sounds of the ocean. 
  • James, Tutor



    James is a graduate of Tri-West HS and was a member of the 1995 State Runners-Up Football team. He graduated from Franklin College with a Liberal Arts Degree and earned a teacher's license for K-12 Physical Education, 5-12 Health, and 5-12 Mathematics. He has taught 7th Grade Math for a total of 21 years between South Putnam Jr/Sr High School and Tri-West Middle School, coaching football for 16 seasons between the two schools as well. James teaches at Sylvan because he enjoys getting to work more one on one with students who are eager to solve math’s mysteries. James likes to spend time with his wife, Mindi, and two kids, Johnathan and Maci, often at Texas Roadhouse or on a softball field.
  • Jamie, Tutor



    Jamie is a graduate of Purdue University with a bachelors in Elementary Education and a concentration in reading. She finds joy in making learning enjoyable for students through interactive and engaging activities. Jamie’s hobbies include running, bike riding, crafting and watching basketball. She also loves to spend time with her family, friends, and sweet dog, Gus. 
  • Karen, Tutor



    Karen was a software engineer for 10 years, then was a classroom teacher for 19 years. She enjoys being able to explain the ‘why’ behind the answer to a math problem. She lives in Danville with her husband and her big rescue dog, Walter.
  • Kenda, Tutor



    Kenda is a teacher in Indianapolis, IN with a gift for working with kids. While Kenda has many tutoring talents, she finds the greatest joy in math tutoring. She studied Math Ed at Purdue University. When Kenda is not at Sylvan, you'll find her doing jigsaw puzzles, spending time with family, especially her grandchildren, enjoying time with church family and friends.
  • Michelle, Tutor



    Michelle is a native Hoosier, growing up on the west side of Indy and graduating from Ben Davis High School. She got her BS in Elementary Education at Ball State University and continued there to earn a master of Special Education. She has spent 20 years in Education, currently as a teacher at James A. Allison Elementary in Speedway. She married her high school sweetheart and they have 2 kids as well as a spoiled dog! She is obsessed with Hallmark movies, loves baking cookies at Christmas time, and enjoys taking her dog on walks. She loves being a soccer, band, choir, cheer, and dance mom! If she is not teaching or with her kids, she may be crafting with her Cricut.  
  • Sherri, Tutor



    Sherri is an East coast gal who spent over 40 years in Alaska (and still visits several times a year, yes, even in the winter!). Since 1990 she has worked with diverse populations of students. Her favorite academic subject is MATH, but ART is her all-time favorite. You will find her either engaged with students or creating at home in her studio or kitchen. If not home check local hiking/ biking trails, as she continues to explore Indiana and the rest of the “lower 48”.
  • Suzanne, Tutor



    Suzanne is a graduate of Anderson University in her 21st year of teaching- and she loves it! Her goal is to inspire kids to love learning new things. When she is not at school or at Sylvan, she enjoys reading, baking, and being outside with her family.