Meet our Salinas Tutoring Staff


Great Teachers Inspire

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

  • Cary Swensen, Owner/Executive Director

    Cary Swensen

    Owner/Executive Director

    Cary Swensen has a BA in Education from Western Washington University and a MA in History from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has worked for Sylvan Learning for 26 years before opening up her own Sylvan. She likes reading, music, and spending time with her family!
  • Joe Petche, Tutor

    Joe Petche


    Joe has been a lecturer in the Department of Geology at San Jose State University since 2003. Although his research focuses primarily on magma chambers and structural geology, he has built a solid career in science education through his teaching and published works, which include a college-level textbook about prehistoric life and a USGS geologic map of Yosemite National Park. A tutor at the Salinas Sylvan Learning Center for over five years, Joe is especially proficient in math, science, writing, biology, chemistry, SAT/ACT/GRE prep, and general “homework help”. His hobbies include hiking, nature photography, and science writing.
  • Michael Ebel, Tutor

    Michael Ebel


    Michael Ebel was born and raised in California. He earned a California teaching credential in Art Education while attending Humboldt State University in the 1990s. Michael is a three-time Peace Corps Volunteer and served in the countries of Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, and the Republic of Georgia. In addition, he has taught English in Japan for two years and has just returned from teaching English in South Korea for the last 9 years. He enjoys spending time in nature and being creative at home working on different art projects.
  • Tamara Duran, Tutor

    Tamara Duran


    Tamara was born and raised in Salinas, CA. She was inspired to pursue a career in education from various teachers she had from elementary school through college. She attended Monterey Peninsula College before transferring to Sacramento State University where she obtained a BA for Art Education in January 2018. Her future plans are to further her education by entering a teaching credentialing program. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, drawing, painting, and spending time with her friends and family.
  • Mick Wiley, Tutor

    Mick Wiley


    Mick has had the opportunity to work in education for 21 years and holds a BA in Criminal Justice and a teaching credential from Cal State Fullerton. He taught reading and writing to students with dyslexia and other learning differences for thirteen years in Southern California. Mick works for a nonprofit serving schools in Santa Cruz County and has taught at Sylvan for 4.5 years. Jogging, biking, laughing, and traveling are among Mick’s favorite activities.