Meet our Ocala Tutoring Staff


Great Teachers Inspire

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

  • Seth Patrick, Executive Director of Education

    Seth Patrick

    Executive Director of Education

    Hello! Seth oversees the educational integrity of our programs and managing/training our team of tutors in Gainesville. Seth brings a wealth of knowledge to Sylvan of Gainesville. He graduated from Manchester University in Indiana. When Seth isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find him playing golf or doing mathematics. Furthermore, Seth oversees all of the academic programs in our center and meets with all of our Sylvan families each month to update them on their student's progress. Seth also supervises our instruction floor and helps our students grow in order to achieve their goals! He is very dedicated to his position and is ready to serve you in any way that he can. Welcome to the Sylvan Family!!!
  • Martha Alvarez, Center Director

    Martha Alvarez

    Center Director

    As Center Director, Martha leads her team and works with families in getting their programs underway at Sylvan of Ocala. A former business manager, Martha chose a career at Sylvan because she loves helping families achieve their goals and watching students grow.
  • Kayla King, Associate Director

    Kayla King

    Associate Director

    Hi There! My name is Kayla King, I graduated this past spring with my bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida. I am an alumna of Alpha Sigma Alpha and the last three years; I have worked with students with special needs. I have been married to my handsome husband for almost two years and when I am not in the classroom, I love helping people and park hopping at Disney!
  • Derek Murray, Lead Upper Level Teacher

    Derek Murray

    Lead Upper Level Teacher

    Derek has been teaching at Sylvan of Ocala since 2005. He teaches all of Sylvan’s programs, including individualized reading, math, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GED prep courses. He also teaches physics, statistics, calculus, and trigonometry homework support. He wanted to work in the education field because he wanted to use the experience that he’s acquired to make a difference in his students’ lives.

    “I work at Sylvan because I enjoy watching the kids become confident when they take a test or when they pass a class they have had difficulty in.”
  • Linda Hallman, Teacher

    Linda Hallman


    Linda began teaching at Sylvan Learning of Ocala in September 2014. She teaches Math Essentials, Academic Reading, Advanced Homework Support, SAT and ACT prep. Linda has been working in education for more than 31 years! She understands that many students may feel like math, such as geometry, algebra, algebra 2, trigonometry, or calculus, seem like a foreign language. She enjoys explaining and translating those subjects to show her students that if they take it one step at a time, they can be successful.

    “I enjoy working at Sylvan because it’s a great atmosphere with devoted co-workers and I can give each of my students one on one attention.”
  • Larry Shaffer, Teacher

    Larry Shaffer


    Larry has been teaching at Sylvan of Ocala since March 2012. He teaches Sylvan’s Math Essentials, geometry, pre-algebra, and algebra 1 programs. He also teaches chemistry and biology homework support. In the past he worked as a veterinarian specializing in horses. He is excited to work for Sylvan so that he can have the opportunity to interact with youth and give back to the community.

    "I enjoy working at Sylvan because I get to see my students' self esteem blossom. Watching young people grasp a new concept is particularly rewarding."
  • Nancy Lane, Teacher

    Nancy Lane


    I have been working at Sylvan since 2007. I teach Beginning Reading, Academic Reading, and Math. I taught Elementary Grades and Special Education in Tennessee for 30 years. I have a BA in elementary education and MA in Special education. I love working at Sylvan, because it is very rewarding watching students’ progress as they understand a skill. In my spare time reading and knitting are my hobbies.
  • Mary I. Hurst, Teacher

    Mary I. Hurst


    Mary Hurst is a follower of Jesus Christ and a member of Woodside Baptist Church in Ocala, Florida. She is originally from the Berkshire Mountains of Connecticut where she grew up with her six siblings. She has five children of her own as well as three grandsons. She received her Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of Georgia, majoring in Spanish and English and her Master’s Degree from Central Connecticut State University. Mary has taught Spanish and reading at the middle, high school, and college level in Connecticut, Georgia, and Florida for thirty years. She also has been tutoring students of all ages in Spanish and English for the last ten years. At home, she enjoys painting, sewing, writing, swimming, and gardening.
  • Tammy Landers, Instructor

    Tammy Landers


    My name is Tamela Landers. I have been a member of the Sylvan Family for the past two years! I have lived in Ocala all of my life and am a product of the Marion County School System. I graduated from FSU with my bachelors degree in education and have been an Elementary teacher for 27 years! Teaching is a passion of mine, and I absolutely love teaching and working at Sylvan because it enables me to accomplish my mission to instill a love for learning in all of my students.