Meet our Peoria Tutoring Staff


Great Teachers Inspire

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

  • Rob Keller, Executive Director

    Rob Keller

    Executive Director

    As Executive Director, Rob oversees all directors, facilitators, and teachers in the Normal, Peoria, and Forest Park Sylvan Learning Centers. Rob purchased the Sylvan Learning Centers in December 2015. He has a BA in Accounting with a concentration in Technology from Millikin University. Rob is passionate about overcoming obstacles and mentoring/coaching people to help them achieve their life goals, passions, and purpose. He finds it an honor and privilege to help students and their families achieve academic success. When Rob isn’t at Sylvan, you will find him with his family and friends, in his woodworking shop, or traveling. 
  • Kati Buckles, Center Director

    Kati Buckles

    Center Director

    As Director, Kati manages and oversees the day to day operations of Sylvan of Peoria.   A former classroom teacher, Kati started teaching at Sylvan and was so impressed with the program quality that she became a Director to help families solve their academic challenges.  Kati graduated from Millikin University with a BA in Elementary Education and is currently completing her Masters in Educational Leadership at Eastern Illinois University. When Kati isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her spending time with her kids, gardening, cooking, and traveling.
  • Karla Janicke, Center Director

    Karla Janicke

    Center Director

    As Center Director, Karla leads the day to day operations for Sylvan of Peoria. A former marketing specialist, Karla brings a wealth of knowledge about solving families' academic challenges and communicating her education passions to a crowd.  Karla also specializes in School Services and works with school districts to give their students extra academic support.  When Karla isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her spending time with her family and traveling with the high school show choir. 
  • Valerie Swanson, Director of Education

    Valerie Swanson

    Director of Education

    Valerie oversees the educational integrity of our programs, managing and training our team of tutors in Normal, Peoria, and Forest Park. A former upper-level math teacher, Valerie brings a wealth of knowledge to Sylvan. She graduated from the University of Iowa and is currently working on her Master's Degree. When Valerie isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her reading and spending time with her husband.
  • Lynn Campbell, Instructor

    Lynn Campbell


    Lynn joins Sylvan of Peoria with a Bachelors Degree in Secondary Education – English and Spanish – as well as a Master’s Degree in Secondary Guidance. She retired after 34 years of teaching high school and currently substitute teaches for a local high school. Lynn enjoys tutoring students of all ages and focuses on reading and English skills. She is active in the community, working with various literacy groups for both adults and children. Lynn is also our “go-to” for Spanish tutoring and bilingual students.
  • Susie Grana-Ingram, Instructor

    Susie Grana-Ingram


    Susie received a B.S. in Biology from Illinois Wesleyan University and a M.S. in Conservation Biology from Illinois State University. Before moving to Peoria, Susie worked for ISU as a laboratory instructor and the National Science Foundation as a Partner for Research in Math and Science. Susie enjoys working as a naturalist with the Pekin Park District as well as a Sylvan tutor. Her specialty is science and upper-level math. Ultimately, Susie would like to start a not for profit organization for young women interested in careers in the sciences.
  • Nancy Howeter, Instructor

    Nancy Howeter


    Nancy is a tutor at Sylvan of Peoria and specializes in Reading and Math for students in Kindergarten through 4th grade.  Nancy graduated from Western Illinois University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. Her Master’s Degree is also from WIU with a Reading Specialist Certificate.When Nancy is not at Sylvan, you will find her traveling the world and playing with her grandchildren.
  • Clare Knoblach, Instructor

    Clare Knoblach


    Clare’s focus as tutor at Sylvan of Peoria is Language Arts and Reading. Clare graduated from Illinois State with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and has concentrated her teaching in grades 1-5 and is certified in English as a Second Language (ESL). She is our go to gal for our Beginning Readers.  In her spare time, you will find Clare supporting her teenage daughter at various school activities.
  • Marilyn Williams, Instructor

    Marilyn Williams


    Marilyn is a tutor at our Sylvan of Peoria, teaching Reading, Math, and ACT prep.  She  received a BS from Central Michigan University and an MA from Bradley University.  Marilyn enjoys working with the older students and finding what motivates them.  She firmly believes in Sylvan’s “Learning is Personal” philosophy. When Marliyn is not at Sylvan, she can be found knitting, reading, and traveling to see her grandchildren.
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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.