Meet our Manhattan Tutoring Staff


Great Teachers Inspire

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

  • Kirstin Palermo, Director of Operations

    Kirstin Palermo

    Director of Operations

    Kirstin leads Sylvan of Manhattan in implementing day-to-day operations as well as ensuring the academic growth of every student. Previously the Director of Education at Overland Park Sylvan, Center Director of preschools in Olathe & Overland Park, and Instructional Support Para for an elementary school in Overland Park, Kirstin brings a wealth of knowledge to Sylvan. She graduated from Wichita State University in Wichita, KS with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. Kirstin is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Emporia State. When Kirstin isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her spending time with her daughter and family, camping, and scrapbooking.
  • Tim Garrells, Director

    Tim Garrells


    Tim oversees the educational integrity of our programs, managing and training our team of tutors in Manhattan. A former Sylvan Director of Education in Wichita, KS, Tim brings a wealth of knowledge to Sylvan of Manhattan. He studied at Concordia University in St. Paul, MN majoring in Theology/Pre-Seminary Studies then graduated from Wichita State with a secondary degree in Education in Language Arts. Tim feels the greatest thing about Sylvan is that it works! That we are able to see significant gains in a very short amount of time. He is thrilled to be rejoining the Sylvan team! When Tim isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find him singing, swimming, traveling, and watching Sci-fi/Fantasy movies. 
  • Kim Belanger, Certified Lead Teacher

    Kim Belanger

    Certified Lead Teacher

    Kim is a lead teacher in Manhattan, KS with a gift for working with elementary-aged students. She graduated from Kansas State University and Emporia State University with graduate degrees in Teaching and Gifted Education. She loves to nurture kids to connect with their strengths and reach their full potential. When Kim isn't at Sylvan, you can find her hiking, going to soccer games, or attending performing arts events.
  • Austin Schroeder, Certified Teacher

    Austin Schroeder

    Certified Teacher

    Austin is a teacher in Manhattan, KS with a gift for working with kids. While Austin has many tutoring talents, he finds the greatest joy in creative writing tutoring. He studied at K-State and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Education. When Austin isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find him reading and creative writing. He was also on the Lacrosse team at K-State.
  • James Niederlander, Sylvan Certified Teacher

    James Niederlander

    Sylvan Certified Teacher

    James is a math tutor in Manhattan, KS with a gift for working with kids. While James has many tutoring talents, he finds the greatest joy in Advanced math tutoring. He is pursuing his PhD. in Math at Kansas State University. When James isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find him solving puzzles and reading.
  • Maci Murillo, Certified Teacher

    Maci Murillo

    Certified Teacher

    Maci is a teacher in Manhattan, KS with a gift for working with kids. While Maci has many tutoring talents, she finds the greatest joy in ELA tutoring. She studied at Wichita State University for my bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communication and Western Colorado State for my master’s in Education with an emphasis in Teacher Leadership. Maci finds the best thing about Sylvan is the opportunity to connect with students in a more personal setting and give them concentrated, individualized learning experiences. When Maci isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her taking road trips, cooking elaborate meals, and playing with my dogs!
  • Marilyn Beck, Certified Teacher

    Marilyn Beck

    Certified Teacher

    Marilyn is a teacher in Manhattan, KS with a gift for working with kids. While Marilyn has many tutoring talents, she finds the greatest joy in reading and math tutoring. She studied Elementary Education at Kansas State University and Elementary Technology at Pittsburg State University. Marilyn loves Sylvan because we provide students with the opportunities to work on skills and strategies that will help them reach their full potential.  When Marilyn isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her reading or refinishing furniture.