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Great Teachers Inspire

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


Liset Jimenez

Center Director

As our Center Director, Liset has guided parents and motivated students at Sylvan for over a decade. Liset’s primary motivation is to see every student achieve their goals and potential. Using her extensive background in tutoring and natural problem solving nature, Liset creates personalized recommendations for each student. Her passion for education and warm heart is felt by everyone who meets her. Liset has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication. When she isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find Liset spending time with her family, including her new son!


Michaela Kloninger-Frandy

Director of Education

Michaela is our Senior Director of Education, and she has been with Sylvan for over a decade. She brings a holistic approach, with a background as a therapist and life coach. Michaela has a Masters in Educational Psychology, Counseling and she is a Board Certified Life Coach. Michaela loves seeing students grow in not only academic skills, but in confidence. In her free time, Michaela is a Girl Scout troop leader and she loves making collage art.


Vanessa M.

Academic Progress Manager

Vanessa oversees the educational integrity of our programs, managing and training our team of tutors in Castro Valley. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The thing Vanessa loves most about working at Sylvan is working closely with families and children to build confidence, independence, and a love of learning. When Vanessa isn’t at Sylvan, she enjoys dancing, making things, being in nature, and going on local adventures with the people she loves.


Luann L.


LuAnn is patient, caring, and highly experienced within the education field since she graduated from California State, Hayward. During her eighteen years at Sylvan, LuAnn has utilized her many tutoring talents to find the greatest joy in our Beginning Reading Program. She is both calm and patient, assuring all students benefit deeply from her lessons with the leading philosophy that no student is left behind. She is a true expert in education that cherishes moments of student success. Outside of work, LuAnn is also a master of crafted-arts, often crocheting or knitting various projects.


Nic E.


Nic is a reading, writing, study skills and test prep instructor in our Castro Valley center. Nic is extremely creative and dedicated. While Nic has many tutoring talents, he finds the greatest joy in our Academic Writing tutoring program. He studied at the University of California, Santa Cruz with a BA in American History and an MA in Education with Honors. When Nic isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find him reading books or binge watching Netflix.


Rider S.


With his passion for writing, Rider creates a positive learning environment for his students. Whether your child is in elementary, middle, or high school, Rider ensures his students not only understand the information to a deeper level, but also grow to love their work and the process. To see a student grow in confidence and feel proud of their work brings him the greatest joy here at Sylvan Although he achieved his degree in Environmental Science from California State University, East Bay, Rider loves all academic subjects, thus he teaches Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. Outside of work, Rider is often writing either short-form narratives or on one of his novels.


Jessica J.


Jessica is a Math and Reading instructor here at Sylvan. She uses her unique talents of teaching to find paths leading to student success, and always encourages students to keep going! At San Jose State University, Jessica achieved a degree in Criminal Justice and cherished the academic process. Students working with Jessica can expect an environment with patience and can feel safe asking questions. Many students who’ve worked with her have grown above and beyond and feel more sure of themselves. When she isn’t at work, you’ll find Jessica making media for churches and local businesses.


Jonadel S.


Jonadel’s warmth is carried with her wherever she goes. Whether she’s with her fur-baby Akina or with students, Jonadel sends laughter and joy into the air. Her passion for education is matched with her desire to see the world as a better, more caring place. When she’s not at work, Jonadel and Akina explore the local horizons on their dozens of hikes. That is, of course, when she’s not trying any new local coffee place. When she’s at Sylvan, she ensures a steady and fun workplace as one of our Administrators.


Christine B.


Christine has received her bachelors in Liberal Studies from California State University, Long Beach, and her masters degree in Education from San Jose State University. Since her graduation, she has improved student comprehension and confidence levels for students within early math and reading programs. Christine creates a calm, safe environment for any student to thrive. Students that work with her discover that her patience is unmatched. Christine lends her skills as an Early Literacy Interventionist in Union City. In her free time, Christine delves into the world of self-care, discovering new movies and shows, and volunteering with local organizations!


Deven B.


Deven’s mind never strays from curiosity. He sought to understand the world from a deeper, more complex perspective. Through his journey, he achieved a degree in Mathematics from California State University, East Bay. During this time, he learned how he comprehends information and developed a strong urge to encourage the next generation of students to pursue higher education. Deven ensures students can truly learn mathematics, regardless of their initial understanding. He relates with the students through mutual interest in video games and popular culture. Students that work with Deven feel comfortable and grow beyond their own expectations.


Maddie A.


Maddie is one of our Reading and Writing Teachers. She recently graduated from California State University, East Bay with a degree in Psychology. Maddie finds the most joy from encouraging student growth across the curriculum, providing guidance where needed. When your child works with Maddie, they can expect a fun and engaging lesson that teaches students that learning can be fun and rewarding. During her free time, she spends time with her pets, plays video games, and explores tons of different recipes to improve her cooking skills.


Miguel R.


Miguel is one of our Math and Reading tutors with a degree in Psychology from San Francisco State University. Whether his students are in elementary, middle, or high school, he enjoys sharing moments with students as they reach their eureka moment. His students are always barrels of laughs during the learning process and always leave with smiles on their faces. When he’s not at Sylvan, Miguel works as a Behavioral Therapist in Union City. In his free time, Miguel enjoys jamming out some tunes on his guitar, exercising, and socializing with friends.

Start your child on the path to academic success today

Give us a call at (510) 200-0914 or fill out the form to discuss your child’s learning goals.


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