Meet our Spartanburg Tutoring Staff


Great Teachers Inspire

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

  • Joan Russell, Director of Enrollment & Education

    Joan Russell

    Director of Enrollment & Education

    Joan Russell joined the Sylvan team in January 2000, first as a teacher at Sylvan of Greenville and later as the Director of Education and Center Director. She holds a BS in elementary education and a MSEd in curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Joan now serves as the Director of Enrollment & Education in Spartanburg, overseeing the educational integrity of our programs, managing and training our team of instructors, and consulting with families to design programs that will meet their learning goals for students. Originally from Colorado, Joan enjoys spending time in the mountains and traveling with her family.
  • Ginger Hamwright, Assistant Director

    Ginger Hamwright

    Assistant Director

    Ginger joined Sylvan Learning of Spartanburg in August 2015.  Originally from Philadelphia, she received her degree in Social Relations from Cheyney University.  At Sylvan, Ginger manages our STEM programs, including Math Edge and Upper Level Math Edge. She also serves as our Assistant Director. Students love Ginger's engaging personality and the fun games she plans before and after instruction. Ginger is married and has two young boys. She enjoys singing in her church choir, reading, and spending time with her family and friends.
  • Shelly Hughes, Lead Teacher

    Shelly Hughes

    Lead Teacher

    Shelly Hughes joined the Sylvan team in October 2019. She has over 12 years' experience in the classroom but now enjoys volunteering and providing foster care. At Sylvan Shelly not only teaches reading and math but also assesses new students. In addition, she manages the learning plans for reading and math, making skill adjustments, as well as recommending teaching strategies and materials to provide the targeted growth that makes Sylvan the leader in the tutoring industry.
  • Koretta Parker, Asst. Director of Education

    Koretta Parker

    Asst. Director of Education

    Koretta Parker joined the Sylvan team in August 2016. She holds a Masters in the Art of Teaching from USC Upstate and is especially adept at teaching beginning readers. Her patient personality and engaging manner place our youngest students at ease.  Koretta also teaches for the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind. In her free time, Koretta enjoys walking her dogs and spending time with family, but she especially enjoys the Low Country boil and oyster roast in Georgetown on the day after Christmas.
  • Lizz Black, Lead Teacher

    Lizz Black

    Lead Teacher

    Lizz Black joined the Sylvan team in August 2016. From a family of educators, Lizz developed a love of teaching and currently teaches in Union County. Lizz is especially proficient at teaching math, so at Sylvan she teaches SylvanSync math, Math Edge and Upper Level Math Edge. Her hobbies include cross-stitching, archery, cooking, and judging robotics competitions.
  • Melissa Deloach, College Prep Director

    Melissa Deloach

    College Prep Director

    Melissa Deloach joined the Sylvan team in May 2019. By day she's the Director of the Scholar's Academy for Spartanburg County, but in the evenings and on Sundays, she manages our college prep program, including writing, Upper Level Math Edge, and SAT/ACT prep. Melissa holds degrees from Clemson University and Converse College. When she isn't helping teens prepare for college either here or at the Scholar's Academy, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.
  • Alaina Sandbach, Administrative Assistant

    Alaina Sandbach

    Administrative Assistant

    Alaina Sandbach joined the Sylvan team in April 2019. Originally from Connecticut, she holds an associate degree in early childhood education and a bachelor's in liberal studies. During the school day she serves as an assistant teacher at McCarthy Teszler, but in the evenings she assists at Sylvan with greeting students, leading transition times, and general office duties. Alaina also enjoys hiking, scrapbooking, and a wide variety of craft projects.
  • Silas Henderson, STEM Teacher/Administrative Assistant

    Silas Henderson

    STEM Teacher/Administrative Assistant

    Silas Henderson joined the Sylvan team in February 2020. A senior at USC Upstate, he is pursuing a degree in special education. He is a graduate of Woodruff High School and enjoys teaching Math Edge at Sylvan. He also serves as part of our front office staff. In his free time, Silas enjoys playing with his cats and learning about history.
  • Christie Thornton, Teacher

    Christie Thornton


    Christie Thornton joined the Sylvan team in spring 2017. She holds a B.A. in early childhood education and an M.Ed. in elementary education, both from Converse College. Christie has taught in Union County Schools for over 20 years. She now enjoys teaching at Sylvan in the evenings as well. Particularly skilled at teaching reading, Christie especially enjoys working with our beginning readers. in her free time she likes to read and travel, especially to the beach.
  • Acacia Ritter, Teacher

    Acacia Ritter


    Acacia Ritter joined the Sylvan team in fall 2016. A passionate elementary teacher with  a special affinity for math, she holds a BA in elementary education, as well as a MA in curriculum and instruction of math education.  Acacia has spent several years teaching in Title 1 schools but currently teaches 5th grade at High Point Academy. Acacia has a love for sunsets and enjoys them as often as she can.
  • Anita Zemke, Teacher

    Anita Zemke


    Anita Zemke joined the Sylvan team in August 2017. She holds a B.A. in biology and a Master of Associate Medical Sciences in biocommuncation arts. Anita made a career change and completed a teacher preparation program. Anita teaches math and reading at Sylvan, but when she's not here, she enjoys playing tennis and traveling with her husband, especially to historical sites.
  • Dione Williams, Teacher

    Dione Williams


    Dione Williams has taught at Sylvan for seven years. She holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education, as well as two master's degrees, one in elementary education and one in technology in education. Dione currently teaches gifted/talented students in District 7. She enjoys reading a good book, getting mani/pedis, and especially watching those "aha" moments when students figure something out.
  • Madelyn Wojnisz, College Prep Teacher

    Madelyn Wojnisz

    College Prep Teacher

    Madelyn Wojnisz joined the Sylvan team in May 2019. She holds a bachelor's in English/secondary education from Furman, as well as a master's in literacy from Clemson. She currently teaches English in Spartanburg School District 2. Besides teaching, Madelyn enjoys playing with her dogs, watching Disney movies, and baking.
  • Taylor Simmons, Teacher

    Taylor Simmons


    Taylor Simmons joined the Sylvan team in November 2018. She holds a BA in secondary education and teaches English in District Five. Teaching middle school in the classroom, she enjoys working with beginning readers at Sylvan. When she isn't teaching, she enjoys hanging out with friends, shopping, listening to music and watching movies.
  • Lynnell Lawson, Teacher

    Lynnell Lawson


    Lynnell Lawson joined the Sylvan team in June 2019. She holds an Ed.S. from Converse, as well as a Master of Arts in Human Resource Development from Webster. She’s certified as an elementary teacher and spends her days as an assistant principal in District 7. When she isn’t working as an educator, Lynnell enjoys shopping and spending time with her daughters.
  • Kesonia Jones, Teacher

    Kesonia Jones


    Kesonia Jones joined the Sylvan team in February 2021. A graduate of USC Upstate, she holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and teaches first grade in district 6. Kesonia also enjoys watching Netflix and spending time with friends.
  • Jennifer Nockels, Teacher

    Jennifer Nockels


    Jennifer Nockels joined the Sylvan team in 2021. A graduate of Converse College, she holds teaching certifications in elementary and early childhood education. Jennifer is also very involved in the Spartanburg Little Theatre and enjoys reading, movies, and time with family and friends.
  • Sandra Nazworth, Teacher

    Sandra Nazworth


    Sandra Nazworth holds a BA in history education and a M.Ed. in distributive education. She is certified in history education and in elementary education, but she has spent most of her career teaching at the elementary level. Originally from Florida, she now makes Spartanburg her home where she is a member of the Spartanburg Historical Society. She also enjoys hiking, kayaking, walking, gardening, and reading.
  • Kelsey Lucas, Teacher

    Kelsey Lucas


    Kelsey Lucas holds a BA in English Education and joined the Sylvan team in 2021. Kelsey enjoys writing fiction and creating both digital and traditional art. In addition, she loves to crochet and play video games.