Meet our Southlake Tutoring Staff


Great Teachers Inspire

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

  • Stephany Zapata, Executive Director

    Stephany Zapata

    Executive Director

    As Executive Director, Stephany works closely with the Center Directors to ensure all students get the best education possible. Stephany is a graduate of Baylor University with a Math Major with Secondary Education. Stephany also holds a certification in 8-12 Mathematics. Stephany has over 10 years of experience with supplemental education. When Stephany isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her playing with her son and dog, cooking and traveling to where the beach is.
  • BRANDON ROBERTS, Executive Director


    Executive Director

    As Executive Director, Brandon works closely with directors to ensure students get the best education possible. Brandon started working at Sylvan while attending University and decided to turn his passion for educational leadership into a career. Brandon has been a part of Sylvan since 2009. When he isn’t at Sylvan you will find him spending time with family and friends.
  • Laura Merchant, Center Director

    Laura Merchant

    Center Director

    As Center Director, Laura helps to lead and facilitate the operations and management for Sylvan Learning of Southlake & Keller. Laura holds a Bachelors in Music Education from Texas Christian University. Laura is certified in Music EC-12, Generalist 4-8, Theatre EC-12, Special Education EC-12 and ESL Supplemental EC-12. Laura has over 15 years of Classroom experience. When Laura isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her writing, performing, baking, watching old movies and spending time with Bear (Yorkie!)
  • DENIA SCOTT, Director of Education


    Director of Education

    Denia oversees the educational integrity of our programs, managing and training our team of tutors in Southlake. Denia has experience teaching all levels of Reading, Writing, and Math. She is certified to teach Elementary K-6. Denia has a BA in Elementary Education and an M. Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction. Denia is passionate about spending time with family, shopping, traveling, and swimming.
  • Jacob Jones, Certified Tutor

    Jacob Jones

    Certified Tutor

    Jacob is a teacher at Sylvan Learning of Southlake and Keller. Jacob has experience teaching all levels of Reading, Writing, and Science. He is certified to teach Secondary ELA, Secondary Composite Science, and EC-8 Generalist. Jacob has a BA in Psychology, an MA in Theological Studies, and an MA in Media Arts & Culture. Jacob is passionate about working with students, freelance writing, mentoring early-career professionals, and editing for literary publishers.
  • Laura Moore , CERTIFIED TUTOR

    Laura Moore


    Laura Moore is a Math and Reading instructor for Sylvan Learning Center. Before coming to Sylvan, she taught in Texas, Kansas. She holds a BA in Elementary Education and MS in Special Education / Counseling from Baylor University. When Laura isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her reading, exercising, reading, and spending time with her family.
  • Lori Tipton, CERTIFIED TUTOR

    Lori Tipton


    Lori is a teacher at the Sylvan Learning of Southlake & Keller. Lori holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology & Mathematics and a Master’s in Administration Education. Lori teaches Math, Algebra, Geometry, SAT/ACT, Reading, and Writing at Sylvan. Lori also holds her certification in Special Education & Pre-AP. When not at Sylvan Lori likes reading, gardening, traveling, and cooking.
  • Marilyn Weber, CERTIFIED TUTOR

    Marilyn Weber


    Marilyn has utilized her 42 + years of classroom teaching in Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, inspiring students toward their educational goals at Sylvan Southlake since 1998. Marilyn holds her BA and MA degrees from Rosary College, NIU, and TCU, with dual certifications in Illinois and Texas for 6-12 History and English. She is currently working towards her Doctorate. She enjoys volunteering at her church, playing the piano, gardening, playing crossword puzzles, and reading historically based novels.
  • Mary Ann Leasman, CERTIFIED TUTOR

    Mary Ann Leasman


    Mary Ann joined the Sylvan team in Fall 2018.  She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Kinesiology and a Masters of Science degree from the University of Texas in Arlington. Following a career in the corporate world, she subbed In Keller and Northwest beginning in 2007 and received her alternative teacher certification in 2009. After teaching for several years in Wise County, she is currently teaching Science at Keller Middle School. Mary Ann enjoys running, cooking, reading, being outdoors, and DIY projects.  
  • Cindy McDonald, CERTIFIED TUTOR

    Cindy McDonald


    Cindy is a teacher at Sylvan Learning of Southlake and Keller. Cindy teaches Elementary Language Arts, Elementary Math, Middle and High School English, Writing, and SAT Prep. She holds her certification in English, History, Elementary Self-Contained, Elementary Principal, and Secondary Teaching. Cindy has a BA in English and History and an MS in Educational Administration. In her free time, Cindy likes baking, scrapbooking, and reading.
  • Rachel Smith, Certified Tutor

    Rachel Smith

    Certified Tutor

    Rachel is a tutor at Sylvan Learning of Southlake and Keller. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Behavioral Science and is EC-4 certified. Rachel teaches Beginning Reading, Academic Reading and Mathematics at Sylvan. When not at Sylvan Rachel enjoys reading, painting, swimming, hiking and dancing.
  • Lexi Cox, Tutor

    Lexi Cox


    Lexi is a Tutor at Sylvan Learning of Southlake & Keller. Lexi holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from University of North Texas and teaches Mathematics at Sylvan. When Lexi is not at Sylvan, you will find her reading or hanging out with friends and family.
  • Tehya Armstead, Tutor

    Tehya Armstead


    Tehya is a tutor at Sylvan Learning of Southlake and Keller. Tehya holds a Bachelors in Biomedical Science and teaches Mathematics and Science at Sylvan. When Tehya is not at Sylvan, she enjoys cross stitching and solving puzzles.
  • Miriam Acosta Torres, Support Coach

    Miriam Acosta Torres

    Support Coach

    Miriam is a School Support Coach for Math and Science at Sylvan of Southlake. When not at Sylvan, she loves listening to music, drawing and taking care of her dog.