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Great Teachers Inspire

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

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Laura Vollmer

Executive Director

As Executive Director, Laura oversees the Center Directors at the Springfield and Peoria locations and leads daily operations at the Normal location. Laura oversees the educational integrity of our programs, and manages and trains our team of teachers in Bloomington/Normal. She joins Sylvan with a bachelor’s degree in education from Illinois State University. A former teacher in Bloomington/Normal, Laura brings a wealth of knowledge to Sylvan. When Laura isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her spending time with her husband and three children, volunteering at her church, and spending time with her friends and family.

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Vanessa Ross

CENTER DIRECTOR/OWNER

As Center Director, Vanessa leads operations for Sylvan of Springfield. A Project Manager by trade, Vanessa chose a career in the tutoring business because she wanted to help families and kids build confidence and knowledge. Vanessa studied at Truman State University, and UIS-Springfield, earning her M.B.A. When Vanessa isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her spending time with her family, her husband Phil, and two kids, Flynn and Oliver Ross.

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Phil Ross

CENTER DIRECTOR/OWNER

As an Owner, Phil leads operations for Sylvan of Springfield. An RF engineer by trade, Phil chose a career in the tutoring business because he wanted to help our families and kids in the community gain knowledge and confidence. He studied at The University of Missouri-Rolla, and UIS-Springfield, earning his M.B.A. When Phil isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find him spending time with his wife, Vanessa, and two kids, Flynn and Oliver Ross.

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Marcus Minteer

Tutor

Marcus is a tutor in Bloomington/Normal, IL with a gift for working with kids. While Marcus has many tutoring talents, he finds the greatest joy in higher level math tutoring. He studied at Illinois State University. Marcus is also a full time teacher. Outside of teaching, he enjoys art, reading, learning new things, learning new languages, swimming, sailing, kayaking, playing music, and hiking.

Katharine Seelinger

Tutor

Katharine is a tutor in Bloomington/Normal, IL with a gift for working with our high school students. While Katharine has many tutoring talents, she finds the greatest joy in math tutoring. She studied at Beloit College and Illinois State University. Katharine has her Bachelor of Science in Physics and Music, and is currently working on her Master of Science in Creative Technology.  When Katharine isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her creating art, playing music, playing Dungeons & Dragons, playing video games, cooking, and collecting dragons.

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Clarisse Slater

Tutor

Clarisse is a tutor in Bloomington/Normal, IL with a gift for working with kids. While Clarisse has many tutoring talents, she finds the greatest joy in teaching our reading and math programs to our elementary and middle school students. Clarisse has her bachelors degree in Special Education, Elementary Education from Illinois State University. She has her master’s degree from University of Illinois in Special Education.  When Clarisse isn’t at Sylvan, she likes to garden, especially container gardening. She likes to stay active in cardio dance and weight bearing programs at Four Seasons. She is also pretty busy with her grandchildren!

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Tyler DeVault

Tutor

Tyler is a tutor in Bloomington/Normal, IL. He enjoys getting to spend time with students and getting to build connections with them throughout their tutoring sessions. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Illinois State University. When not working at Sylvan, he enjoys making music, reading, hiking, cooking, and baking.

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Joel Pandess

Tutor

Joel is a teacher at Sylvan in Normal, IL. He has a gift for working with children and teaching History and Math! He is a student at Illinois State University studying to become a History Teacher. Joel loves the process of learning and observing when a student finally understands something difficult! When Joel isn’t at Sylvan, he likes to play piano, and ride his longboard when he has free time. He is also an avid watcher of Japanese Anime, he is currently watching “Bleach”.

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Imoni Smith

Tutor

Imoni is a teacher at Sylvan in Normal, IL. She enjoys teaching her students in Reading, Math and SAT/ACT Prep. She loves making connections and forming bonds with her students. Imoni is a second-year student at Illinois State University and is majoring in Sociology. Outside of tutoring, she enjoys reading, baking and dancing.

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Gabi Barshak

Tutor

Gabi is a tutor in Normal, IL with a gift for working with kids. While Gabi has many tutoring talents, she finds the greatest joy in math tutoring. Gabi is a second-year student at Illinois State University majoring in Elementary Education. When Gabi isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her doing puzzles, baking, or hanging out with friends.

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Anusha Bhojanam

Tutor

Anusha is a teacher in Bloomington, IL with a gift for working with kids. While Anusha has many tutoring talents, she finds the greatest joy in  tutoring reading. She studied at Illinois Wesleyan University. When Anusha isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her reading a book, cooking, or enjoying the sun outside.
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Chris Winkler

Tutor

Chris is a tutor in Normal, IL with a gift for working with kids. While Chris has many tutoring talents, she finds the greatest joy teaching reading and writing.  She studied at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois, and University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri.  When Chris isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her walking, reading or watching old movies.

Start your child on the path to academic success today

Give us a call at (309) 319-7606 or fill out the form to discuss your child’s learning goals.

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Call us today: (888) 338-2283

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(888) 338-2283