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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!

  • 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.
  • Lorrie Patrick, Assistant Director

    Lorrie Patrick

    Assistant Director

    Leading our team of tremendous instructors is Lorrie Patrick, who oversees our student's academic programs here at Sylvan Ocala. Lorrie also supervises our learning floor during instruction and meets with families every month to update them on student progress. 
  • 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."
  • Derek Murray, Teacher

    Derek Murray


    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.”
  • Nancy Lane, Teacher

    Nancy Lane


    Nancy has been teaching at Sylvan of Ocala since 2007. She teaches Sylvan’s Beginning Reading, Academic Reading, Academic Writing and Math Essentials programs. She has been working in education for over thirty years! Nancy goes above and beyond to give all of our youngest students the special attention they need.  She wanted to become a teacher because she enjoys working with children. 

    “I enjoy working at Sylvan because I love watching the students’ progress; the look on their faces when they understand a concept is so rewarding!”
  • Natalie Barnes, Lead Teacher

    Natalie Barnes

    Lead Teacher

    Natalie has been working at Sylvan of Ocala since 2008. She assists all of our directors, works with students who are testing, and teaches. She enjoys working closely with the students to help them reach their goals.  She is dedicated to helping parents with their questions or concerns. She decided to work in education because she enjoyed going to school and wanted to help younger students gain enthusiasm about their education.“I enjoy working at Sylvan because it is great to see how the students, over time, build up their self-confidence and meet their academic goals.”

  • Mary I. Hurst, Teacher

    Mary I. Hurst


    Mary has been teaching at Sylvan of Ocala since November 2011. She teaches Sylvan’s Beginning Reading, Academic Reading, Academic Writing, Math Essentials programs. She also teaches Spanish homework support. She has been working in education for more than twenty five years. She wanted to become a teacher since she was a small child.

    “I enjoy working at Sylvan because I love the people I work with, the friendly and helpful environment, and the children. I love that I can help the students improve themselves in a variety of areas.”
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    This information is pulled from the Manage My Center Information section on slclink. Visit that section on slclink to update your center’s contact information.