Meet our Santa Monica Tutoring Staff

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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.
  • Caleb Humpal, Biology and Chemistry Instructor

    Caleb Humpal

    Biology and Chemistry Instructor

    Caleb Humpal is a dedicated and hard-working Biologist. He received a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2022. Caleb’s knowledge and passion for biology make him well equipped to teach and tutor students in the subject. As a tutor, he hopes to instill a sense of wonder and love for learning in all of his students.
  • Tammy Brenner, Reading and Writing Instructor

    Tammy Brenner

    Reading and Writing Instructor

    Tammy has taught K-8 for 29 years, and she is currently a full-time teacher for 4th and 5th graders. She has a Master's in Curriculum and Instruction. An avid sports fan and traveler, Tammy loves to enjoy the moment and meet new people. For Tammy, learning is done best in a supportive environment that encourages positive, happy learning!
  • Melanie Aquino, Chemistry Instructor

    Melanie Aquino

    Chemistry Instructor

    Melanie is passionate about education and is a fervent supporter of student-centered learning. She received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and is currently pursuing a teaching credential. She has experience tutoring various levels of mathematics and science and also has experience working with children of all ages. Whether she’s teaching phonics to kindergartners or dimensional analysis to high schoolers, Melanie always strives to find the best method of learning for each student. Melanie is always looking for new ways for students to connect to their learning so that it can be enjoyable for students to learn
  • David Simpson-Heil, Physics Instructor

    David Simpson-Heil

    Physics Instructor

    David has a degree in physics with a minor in mathematics from Occidental College. He provides support with all levels of K-12 math and physics. David believes all students can succeed with the right support, and Sylvan can provide that. The most rewarding aspect of his work is seeing students meet their goals. David’s favorite moments are when it’s clear that a student has more confidently understood a concept or process they previously struggled with. 
  • Sydney Harrison, Reading and Writing Instructor

    Sydney Harrison

    Reading and Writing Instructor

    Sydney is a reading and writing instructor. Along with her passion for the arts, she is also passionate about helping students build confidence and realize their full academic potential in the classroom. Her favorite subject in school has always been Language Arts, and she excels in both essay writing and creative writing. 
  • Pierce Adalete, Math Instructor

    Pierce Adalete

    Math Instructor

    Pierce is a UCLA student who enjoys helping students achieve their goals. Pierce helps students with math, reading, and chemistry. Education is something that he holds a lot of value towards and ensuring that students get good grades is his top priority.
  • May Claire La Plante, Instructor

    May Claire La Plante

    Instructor

    May Claire has a BA from UCLA in Ethnomusicology and a Master’s from Oxford University in Music Performance. She loves tutoring and teaching academics and music to help students reach their potential and believe in themselves. She has been teaching for 9 years. May Claire is also a singer and harpist, and also likes to dance and do acrylic painting.