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Great Teachers Inspire

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



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.



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




Emily is one of our esteemed Reading, Writing, and Beginning Reading teachers here at El Cerrito. With degrees in English and Spanish from UC Berkeley, Emily inspires confidence for all of her writing students and spreads her passion for the writing process with them. Outside of work, Emily keeps her creative mind at work through her creation of various dishes and desserts!




Jessica is an awesome Reading teacher at our El Cerrito center. She achieved two degrees: one in Business Administration and the other in Early Childhood Development from San Francisco State University. When she teaches, she loves making connections with the students and cherishes their excitement during their academic journey. Jessica makes sure to keep her mind active by trying new coffee shops, reading, and exploring new places with her children.




When your student is with Jeff, you’ll know they’re receiving the very best tutoring. Jeff received his BA in Mathematics from Harvard and his JD from Stanford. At Sylvan, Jeff expertly instructs Math, Reading, Writing, Test Prep, and Homework Support. His teaching is driven by a passion to help students achieve their dreams and encourage them to never give up. While not at Sylvan, Jeff spends his time rock climbing, mastering chess, and playing an assortment of other games.




Whether he is teaching Beginning Reading, Math, Writing, or assisting with Homework, Sonam never fails to put a smile on his student’s faces. He is both an expert at the art of teaching and also achieved a degree in Environmental Economics and Policy from UC Berkeley. He carries a drive for success both at work and while he plans events, workshops, and conferences for various organizations! Students learn to love the education process when they work with him. In the near future, Sonam will work as a substitute teacher within local bay area school districts. Outside of work, he practices his clarinet skills as well as spending time with friends, playing tabletop games.




Dua is currently a student at UC Berkeley. She shares her vast academic knowledge across the curriculum through teaching reading, math, homework support, and the sciences! Students who work with Dua feel excited to learn and connect their personal experiences to their learning. At Sylvan, Dua instills the love of learning with her students and embodies what it means to work hard and to feel proud about their achievements. In the center, Dua connects the lessons to her own experiences in both traveling and learning languages.




Kerry graduated from UC Berkeley with a BS in Conservation and Resource Studies. Through teaching, Kerry plants the seeds of confidence at her table, inspiring the next generation of scholars to reach higher in their pursuits. Her passion for teaching is renewed each day as she sees her students progress through the subjects, whether that is through our Reading or Math Program. When she’s not at Sylvan, she continues her quest to study mycology during her many hikes!




Madison is studying for a BS in Health Science from Sacramento State University and wishes to pursue a career as a behavioral technician. As administrator, Madison ensures all goes according to schedule and finds ways to make all children enjoy the learning process. More than this, Madison is one of our administrators, but also teaches our Beginning Reading and Mathematics program. Regardless of the subject, she reaches the bond between students that is both productive and enjoyable to all involved. When your student is with Madison, you know they’re in good hands. When she’s not at Sylvan, Madison gives back to the community and explores local businesses.




Afra graduated from Contra Costa College and is about to pursue their BS in Biochemical sciences! They are always seeking new knowledge and spreading this eagerness to their students. As one of our administrators, Afra ensures the students always learn far more than they expected, and go home with confidence in their pocket. Afra is also an avid painter, and a true movie connoisseur.




Even on the cloudiest of days, Viktoria’s joy shines through. Her punctuality and eagerness to learn ensures everything goes according to plan. With English and Chinese Linguistics degrees from Kyiv National Linguistic University and a degree in Human Resources Management from Centennial college, Viktoria lays the groundwork for something that stays with the students throughout their entire life. She drives students to become more curious, more ambitious, and to always desire to learn more. To her, solving problems is a fun process and she spreads this enthusiasm to her students. Outside of work, she hikes and explores local food and art festivals, as well as taking part in small embroidery.




Gabriel has been with Sylvan for over 17 years. After obtaining his math degree from UC Davis, he briefly tutored at UC Berkeley before joining Sylvan in 2006. Gabriel started out as a math instructor, and now helps out with various administrative tasks within the company. When not at Sylvan, you can often find him taking photos, traveling, and keeping up with all the latest technology-based trends.

Start your child on the path to academic success today

Give us a call at (510) 292-4055 or fill out the form to discuss your child’s learning goals.


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(888) 338-2283