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Great Teachers Inspire

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


Bob Klima

Center Director

As Center Director, Bob leads the marketing and sales operations for Sylvan of Gurnee on a daily basis. A former engineer and scientist in the packaged foods industry, Bob chose a career in the tutoring business because of his passion for teaching and sharing knowledge (especially math) with others. He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Drexel University in NJ. When he’s not at Sylvan, you’ll find him listening to Classic Rock N Roll and rooting for both the Cubs and Phillies, or relaxing watching his favorite movies.


Betsy Thomas

Director of Education at Sylvan in Gurnee

Betsy is a graduate of Western Illinois University, with a degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Prior to Sylvan she taught 3rd grade and worked with BD/LD students. Betsy has been with Sylvan over 20 years and is in charge of the overall management of the Gurnee Sylvan Learning Center. She enjoys working with the families and surrounding schools to help the students reach their academic goals and build their confidence.


Laura Rigwood

Tutor at Sylvan in Gurnee

Laura is a certified elementary and middle school teacher and has taught in several area schools. She also taught special education in Highwood, North Chicago, Waukegan and Mundelein before coming to Sylvan full-time. At Sylvan Laura tutors in our reading, math, writing, study skills and ACT/SAT programs, as well as provides homework support.


Rose Turk

Tutor at Sylvan in Gurnee

Rose graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in Secondary Math Education and went on to get her master’s degree from DePaul University in Curriculum and Development. She has over 30 years experience teaching math from 5th through 10th grades (arithmetic, pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry) at both private and public schools from McHenry, IL to Indiana Rose retired 2 years ago as a math teacher from Waukegan High School. You know she loves what she does because she is starting her 3rd year with Sylvan. Besides teaching the Sylvan math program, she provides math homework support, and ACT preparation. Rose has 3 of her own children and a new grandbaby.




Nathanael is a Tutor in Gurnee, Il. with a gift for working with kids. While Nate has many tutoring talents, he finds the greatest joy in English tutoring. He has studied at University of St Francis. When Nate isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find him cheering on his Cubs, dancing, spending time outside camping and roasting marshmallows with friends.




Brittany is a tutor in Gurnee, Il. with a gift for working with kids. while Brittany has many tutoring talents, she finds the greatest joy in reading and writing tutoring, as well as teaching our STEM program. She is currently in her last year of college at the University of Wisconsin Parkside. Her major is Elementary Education and her minor is English. When Brittany isn’t at Sylvan, she enjoys teaching in a classroom a few times a week.


Joan Thompson


Joan retired from her teaching career in Antioch, IL in June, 2018. Most of Joan’s 32 year career in IL and AZ was as a special education teacher. She also enjoyed 4 years as a second grade classroom teacher, and 3 years as an elementary school librarian. While Joan has many tutoring talents, she finds the greatest joy in teaching struggling readers, and helping them to achieve their fullest potentials. She earned her Bachelors degree at Edinboro State University in Pennsylvania, and her Master’s degree from University of Arizona at Tucson. When Joan isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her hiking, biking, and spending time with her husband and two college age children.


Ken Repel


Ken is a mathematics teacher at both the Gurnee and Bannockburn Sylvan Learning Centers. Ken has a gift of working with students and conveying information in an easy manner, without the typical frustrations students feel. While Ken can tutor a vast array of subject matter, he finds upper level math to be most rewarding. When he’s not at Sylvan, you will find him playing many types of strategy games.


Catherine Williams


Catherine Williams has been a Sylvan Tutor for over 10 years. She is a Special Education Teacher in Lake Villa District #41 where she became a certified Reading Recovery teacher and Reading Specialist. While reading is a passion, she also loves to teach math. She has over 30 years of experience working with students in grades K to 8. When Catherine isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her enjoying walks with her dogs or visiting the library to pick out the next book she will read.


Mitchell Gernhardt


Mitchell is a tutor in Gurnee, IL with a gift for working with kids. While Mitchell has many tutoring talents, he finds the greatest joy in high school math tutoring. He studied at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, majoring in Applied Mathematics with a minor in French. When Mitchell isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find him traveling, learning new languages, and spending time outdoors.

Start your child on the path to academic success today

Give us a call at (224) 944-5970 or fill out the form to discuss your child’s learning goals.


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(888) 338-2283