Meet our Irvine Tutoring Staff


Great Teachers Inspire

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

  • Joe Liu, Executive Director

    Joe Liu

    Executive Director

    Master of Arts Education: Education Management Emphasis; Grad. Dip. Ed., Education; Bachelor of Arts: Environmental Analysis and Design; Certificate: Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language/ESL
  • Shawn Venter, Center Director

    Shawn Venter

    Center Director

    As Center Director, Shawn leads a team of dedicated tutors for Sylvan of Irvine. Shawn chose a career in the tutoring business because Shawn truly believes in the program and the incredible changes it can make in a student's life. When Shawn isn't at Sylvan, you’ll find him working in philanthropy playing sports hiking, or spending time with his family.
  • Marlene AKA Melody Perez, Director of Education

    Marlene AKA Melody Perez

    Director of Education

    Bachelor of Science: Human ServicesAssociates of Liberal Arts Multi-subject Teaching Credential
  • Beth Ullman, Teacher

    Beth Ullman


    Master of Arts: Library Sciences; Bachelor of Arts; Credential: Multiple Subject  
  • Susan Li, Teacher

    Susan Li


    I received my teaching degree from the University of Michigan. I taught elementary education for 10 years and enjoyed watching my students learn and grow. In my free time, I like to read and do crossword puzzles.
  • Daniel Vo, Education Coordinator

    Daniel Vo

    Education Coordinator

    Bachelor of Science: Sociology
  • Shirlee Smith, Lead Teacher

    Shirlee Smith

    Lead Teacher

    Master of Arts: Deaf Education; Bachelor of Arts: Psychology; Credential: Multiple Subject; Specialist Credential in Communication Handicapped
  • Jon Levin, Teacher

    Jon Levin


    PhD: Culture and Curricular Studies; Masters of Education: Education Culture and Society; Bachelor of Science: Environmental Studies
  • Romy Runcie, Teacher

    Romy Runcie


    Master of Arts: Counseling; Bachelor of Arts: Criminology, Law & Society; Bachelor of Arts: Psychology & Social BehaviorCredentials: Multiple Subjects Certificates: Teaching in Gifted & Talented Education
  • Conor Matthews, Teacher

    Conor Matthews


    Master of Arts: Teaching; Bachelor of Arts: Anthropology; Credential: Multiple Subject; Certificate: TEFL/TOFL/TESL 
  • Donna Linzey, Teacher

    Donna Linzey


    Master of Arts: Education Master of Science: ReadingBachelor of Science:  AccountingCredential: Multiple Subject; Reading Specialist 
  • Dan Linzey, Teacher

    Dan Linzey


    Bachelor of Arts: Liberal Arts; Credential: Multiple Subject 
  • Erin Ortega, Teacher

    Erin Ortega


    Bachelor of Arts International Studies; Credential: Multiple Subject
  • Susan Romito, Teacher

    Susan Romito


    California Administrative Service Credential; Bachelor of Arts: Spanish; California Community College Credential: Basic Education/Ethnic Studies; Credential: Single Subject Spanish and English; California Bilingual Cross-Cultural Specialist Credential K-12
  • Marge Packman, Teacher

    Marge Packman


    Bachelor of Arts: English Minor in Education & French
    Teaching Credential 
  • Alexander D'Agostino, Teacher

    Alexander D'Agostino


    Bachelor of Science: Mathematics
    Teaching Credential
  • Emely Solis, Teacher

    Emely Solis


    Bachelor of Arts: Spanish Language and Linguistics 
    Teaching credential
  • Dante Velasquez, STEM Teacher

    Dante Velasquez

    STEM Teacher

    Bachelor of Science: Science and Computer Science
  • Deirdre Newman, Teacher

    Deirdre Newman


    Bachelor of Arts:  Political Science Credential: Multiple Subject