Meet our Santa Monica Tutoring Staff

SylvanStaff_01

Great Teachers Inspire

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

  • Cindy Guirguis, Center Director

    Cindy Guirguis

    Center Director

    Cindy Guirguis received a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Riverside, and a B.S. in Communication Disorders and Deaf Education from Utah State University. Cindy also received an M.S. in Communication Disorders from California State University, Northridge. She worked for more than 7 years as a preschool teacher and then Director of Saint Abraam Preschool. Cindy has also worked with children as a Speech-Language Pathologist to improve their speech and language skills. If not working, Cindy can always be found in a park playing with her kids or encouraging them at their basketball games.
  • Israel Alejo, Math Instructor

    Israel Alejo

    Math Instructor

    Israel is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and received his degree in Applied Mathematics with a concentration in Statistics. He has been tutoring for about four years in a wide range of topics that fall under the S.T.E.M. umbrella. He enjoys tutoring and teaching students as it is always rewarding to help someone grasp topics that seem challenging at first. In his spare time, he enjoys reading up on new machine learning topics, listening to music, and keeping up with sports. He always says, “Mathematics is a subject that everyone is able to understand with the right attitude and effort!”
  • Malahat Zhobin, Reading and Writing Instructor

    Malahat Zhobin

    Reading and Writing Instructor

    Malahat's passion for reading and writing is inherent and central to her personhood. With a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Humanities and Literature, she is well equipped to teach and tutor students in the English Language Arts. Malahat's five-plus years of experience teaching and tutoring students have instilled within her the understanding that joy is an essential element in any student's pursuit of excellence in education. As an instructor, she aims to discover and cultivate each student's passion and joy for learning. 
  • Alexandra Armenta, Reading and Writing Instructor

    Alexandra Armenta

    Reading and Writing Instructor

    Alexandra is a passionate and hardworking English educator. She graduated from Regis University of Denver, CO in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Secondary Education. Alexandra loves to read and write, and hopes to motivate and inspire all her students to find a similar passion. 
  • Katherine Sanchez, Chemistry, Anatomy, and Physiology Instructor

    Katherine Sanchez

    Chemistry, Anatomy, and Physiology Instructor

    Katherine has been tutoring Chemistry and Biology at the high school and college levels for over nineteen years. Katherine received a B.S. and Master’s, and went on to complete her science education credential in Biology and Chemistry and taught Biology and Environmental Science at Bellflower High School for two years. Katherine tries to take a real-life approach to these subjects when assisting her pupils because she feels that seeing them in action in everyday life helps to improve comprehension and understanding of the subject. She prides herself on having an excellent ability to explain difficult concepts as well as a light-hearted persona and sense of humor.    
  • Khachik Hmayakyan, Biology Instructor

    Khachik Hmayakyan

    Biology Instructor

    As a UCLA Physiological Science graduate, Khachik’s area of expertise is in the field of high school, AP, and college-level biology, high school and middle school level general sciences, and reading comprehension. As a tutor, Khachik employs the heavy use of visuals such as sketching diagrams or simplified schematics of topics students may face difficulty with in order to help them better grasp abstract concepts. He finds that making the material interactive for students can help them better connect with their courses and develop a drive for academic success.  
  • Victoria Perez, Math Instructor

    Victoria Perez

    Math Instructor

    Victoria is a first-generation college graduate. She received her Bachelor’s in Applied Mathematics from UCLA. She strives to inspire others with her passion for learning and teaching. Her greatest achievement has been discovering her fascination for helping students as a tutor at the Learning Center at West Los Angeles College. She values responsibility, accountability, and, most importantly, humility. Her greatest achievement was realizing that anyone can succeed through mirroring her hard work and emulating her determination. She looks forward to nothing short of the scale of that incredible achievement and hopes to realize her own dreams of gaining experience in the education system.
  • Lluvia Zuniga, Physics Instructor

    Lluvia Zuniga

    Physics Instructor

    Lluvia’s interest in physics began in her Los Angeles high school. She received her Bachelor’s in Physics from UC Berkeley, and she went on to receive a Master’s. After graduating, she taught physics at Los Angeles City College for nine years as an adjunct professor. Her vast amount of experience has also given her a chance to collect resources available only to teachers. She knows what teachers want to see when assigning homework and exams. Lluvia’s love of physics and enthusiasm for teaching is contagious and gets results from the very first meeting with a student. Always a scientist at heart, she uses measurable metrics to determine improvement to inform her teaching methods.
  • Alexandra Bustos, Reading and Writing Instructor

    Alexandra Bustos

    Reading and Writing Instructor

    Alexandra Bustos is a passionate, results-driven, English educator. She graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2018 with a Bachelor’s in English Education and has lived in California for 2 years. She is determined to help and motivate students, and she values her experience and resources as a teacher to encourage academic excellence to students. Each student’s smallest achievements truly creates a spark of joy in Alexandra’s work.