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Great Teachers Inspire

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


April Samp


April Samp is the proud Co-Owner of all four Sylvan Learning of Iowa Centers. April is a graduate of Iowa State University and invested many years into the communities where she lived by covering and investigating meaningful stories as a journalist and News Director. April worked in TV News/Marketing and Advertising for 25 years at stations like WOI-TV, KGAN/KFXA, KWQC and WHO in Iowa, KCTV and WDAF in Kansas City, WAVY/WVBT in Virginia and KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City. April’s love of education and everything it does for a person started very early. Both of her parents were educators. April and her son Cale live in Waukee and cheer loudly for the Cyclones and play golf whenever possible!

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Jody Simpson

Regional Director

Jody has been with Sylvan for over 20 years. Jody conducts conferences, assists families with their needs and ensures that our center is always upholding the Sylvan Pledge! She loves to build relationships with families and create life long partnerships. In her spare time (ha!) she volunteers at Van Meter schools, plays with her three kids, dog and husband!


Natalya Rasske

Center Director

As Center Director, Natalya leads family communication, staff oversight, and community outreach for Sylvan of Ames. As a former Director for Sylvan of Cedar Rapids, she has a great appreciation for the positive impact Sylvan can have on families. Natalya studied Elementary Education and Cross Categorical Special Education at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. She is also currently pursuing additional education and research opportunities through UNI. When Natalya is not at Sylvan you can find her soaking up time outdoors, scouting new coffee shops or curled up with her cats and a good book.


Madelyn Arthur

Director of Education

Madelyn oversees the educational integrity of our programs, managing and training our team of tutors in Ames. As a former tutor at Sylvan, Madelyn brings a wealth of knowledge to Sylvan of Ames. She is continuing her education at the University of Northern Iowa where she furthers her knowledge on education practices. When Madelyn isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her building legos, or relaxing with a good book.

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Lydia Berns-Schweingruber

Operations Manager

In her role at Sylvan, Lydia is responsible for smooth operations at the center and works to assist teachers and students in any way possible. She is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa’s elementary education program and has a variety of teaching experiences working with students from kindergarten through college. While Lydia has many tutoring talents, she finds the greatest joy in tutoring math. When Lydia isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her running, lifting, traveling, and reading.


Bemis Smith-Treu

Director of Fun & Organization

Bemis is the Director of Fun & Organization in Ames, IA. She loves structure and is passionate about curating an atmosphere for the students that is both stimulating and creative. Bemis enjoys stepping in to help the center instruct younger children in academic reading. She studied at Valdosta State University. When Bemis isn’t working at Sylvan you can find her making crafts or artwork while binge-watching her favorite TV show, The Office.


Andrew O'Haver

Sylvan Certified Tutor-Lead Teacher

Andrew is the lead teacher at Sylvan of Ames. He earned his teaching degree at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. In the years hence, he worked with students in the classroom, at a boarding school, as a private tutor, and at Sylvan. He has worked for Sylvan at various times since 2005, in Indiana, Illinois, Texas, and now, Iowa. In his spare time, he reads to keep up on current events, science, and culture.


Brianna Sander

Sylvan-Certified Tutor

Brianna is working towards her secondary education major, mathematic major, and learning technology minor at Iowa State University. Her favorite part about working for Sylvan is teaching students math and helping them build their knowledge. When Brianna isn’t at Sylvan, you can find her cross stitching, sewing, or scrapbooking.


Evan Burley

Sylvan Certified Tutor

Evan is a reading and writing tutor in Ames, Iowa with a passion for building confidence in kids. Evan studied at Simpson College. When he isn’t at Sylvan, Evan enjoys reading just about anything, listening to punk and goth music, playing video games, and watching thriller movies.


Abby Davenport

Sylvan Certified Tutor

Abby is a tutor in Ames, IA. Abby chose to be part of Sylvan because of her love of kids and seeing them succeed. Abby loves math, so she enjoys teaching that the most. Abby graduated from Alma College with a degree in Math and Physics. She is currently pursuing her PHD in Astrophysics. When Abby isn’t at Sylvan you’ll find her at the gym, playing tennis, or studying A LOT!


Hunter Fullem

Sylvan Certified Tutor

Hunter is a tutor in Ames, IA with a gift for working with kids. While Hunter has many tutoring talents, he finds the greatest joy in math tutoring. He studied at Pennsylvania Western University. When Hunter isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find him rooting for his Steel City teams: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. He is a very big sports fan in general, though. Usually, you can find me spending time with my family and friends.


Kyle Lewin

Sylvan Certified Tutor

Kyle is a teacher in Ames, IA. While Kyle has many tutoring talents, he finds the greatest joy in math tutoring. He studied at Iowa State University. When Kyle isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find him hanging out with his wife and daughters, playing basketball, reading, or playing video games.


Emily Krstulic

Sylvan-Certified Tutor

Emily Krstulic is a new tutor for Sylvan of Ames. She is a teacher by trade, with experience as an 8th-12th grade English teacher. She works full time as the 7th-12th school counselor at South Hamilton Middle/High School in Jewell, IA. She earned her Bachelors and Masters from Drake University. When she’s not working with kids, she is enjoying time with her cat and dog or doing something crafty.

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Alyssa Fick

Sylvan Certified Tutor

Alyssa is a tutor in Ames, IA with a gift for working with kids. While Alyssa has many tutoring talents, she finds the greatest joy in reading tutoring. She is studying elementary education at Iowa State University and will graduate in May of 2025. When Alyssa isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her going on a run, spending time with her cat, Gus, or watching her favorite movie, Top Gun Maverick!

Sarah Auid

Sarah Auid

Sylvan Certified Tutor

Sarah is a tutor in Ames, IA, and loves to teach reading. She studied at Gustavus Adolphus College in MN and has taught elementary reading for more than 10 years. When not Sylvan, Sarah is a stay-at-home mom to three young children.

Start your child on the path to academic success today

Give us a call at (515) 817-1865 or fill out the form to discuss your child’s learning goals.


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