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!

  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • Susie Ingram, Instructor

    Susie Ingram


    While Susie has many tutoring talents, she finds the greatest joy in teaching chemistry and math. She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with her BA in Biology, and from Ilinois State University with her MA in Conservation Biology. When Susie isn't at Sylvan, you'll find her working as a naturalist with the Peoria Park District. Her ultimate dream is to start a non-profit organization for women intersted in the sciences.
  • Janet Kelch, Instructor

    Janet Kelch


    While Janet has many tutoring talents, she finds the greatest joy in reading and math. She studied at North Central College earning a BA in Elementary Education. When Janet isn't at Sylvan, you'll find her running, knitting and spending time with her family.
  • 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.
  • James Yost, STEM Instructor

    James Yost

    STEM Instructor

    James is a STEM Instructor in Peoria, IL with a gift for working with kids. While James has many tutoring talents, he finds the greatest joy in STEM tutoring. He studied at Western Illinois University. When James isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find him watching sports, specifically hockey and football, and learning about history.
  • Kelsey Drea, Tutor

    Kelsey Drea


    Kelsey is a tutor in Peoria, IL with a gift for working with kids.  While she has many tutoring talents, she finds the greatest joy in math tutoring. She studied at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, receiving her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics.
  • Ellie Gut, Tutor

    Ellie Gut


    Ellie is a tutor in Peoria, IL with a gift for working with kids.  She studied at Bradley University, receiving her Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. When Ellie isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her playing tennis, swimming, and spending time with family and friends.
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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.