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Great Teachers Inspire

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


Jessica Way

Center Director

As Center Director, Jessica leads community outreach and operations for Sylvan of Burnsville. Jessica chose a career in the tutoring business because of the joy in seeing students’ confidence grow and she has been with Sylvan for over 19 years! She graduated from the University of St. Thomas. When Jessica isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her spending time with her family, reading, cooking, and hiking.


Joy Grittner

Director of Education

Joy Grittner is the Director of Education in Burnsville. Joy grew up in Burnsville and has always had a passion for teaching and helping students grow in their learning. She is a graduate of Winona State University where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Music. When she isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her spending time with family, trying new restaurants, or thrift shopping.


Tami G.

Lead Instructor

Tami is a lead instructor in Burnsville, MN with a gift for working with kids. While Tami has many tutoring talents, she finds the greatest joy in study skills and reading tutoring. She studied at the University of Minnesota. When Tami isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her reading books, cheering on the Gophers, and spending time with her family and friends.


Kristy R.

Lead Instructor

Kristy is a lead instructor in Burnsville, MN with a gift for working with kids. While Kristy has many tutoring talents, she finds the greatest joy in reading tutoring. She studied at the University of St. Thomas. When Kristy isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her hanging out with her family, reading, or shopping.


Harvey J.


Harvey is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, where he obtained a degree in mathematics. He enjoys teaching a variety of subject areas including math and study skills. In his free time, Harvey likes to read books. His favorite book is Plato’s “Republic.”


Brad D.

Lead Instructor

Brad graduated with a master’s from Notre Dame in Electrical Engineering. He obtained a bachelor’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus in Physics with a minor in Mathematics. Currently, Brad is a full time physics teacher. Brad formerly worked as a teaching assistant helping undergraduate students. In his free time, he enjoys watching football, exercising and spending time with family & friends.


Carolyn P.


Carolyn is a graduate of Hamline University in St. Paul, where she obtained a master’s degree in education. Previous to Sylvan Learning of Burnsville, Carolyn was an elementary teacher in the Bloomington and Shakopee school districts. In addition to being a classroom teacher, Carolyn has experience as a math and reading intervention teacher as well as special education. She also has a background as a registered nurse. She enjoys teaching a variety of subject areas, including math and reading. She enjoys gardening, biking, hiking, and spending time at her family cabin in North Dakota.


Nikki P.


Nikki is a graduate of UW-LaCrosse, where she obtained a degree in Elementary Education and minor in Early Childhood. She also has a masters degree in Literacy from St. Mary’s University. In addition to working at Sylvan Learning of Burnsville, Nikki is a Kindergarten teacher at a charter school in Bloomington. Nikki has 7+ years of experience working for Sylvan Learning Centers, and enjoys teaching a variety of subject areas, including reading and math concepts that she does not normally teach kindergarteners. In her free time, Nikki enjoys running, biking and reading.


Jacob Chesney


Jacob has just joined us at our Burnsville location as a Teacher/Tutor and is excited to start his new role! He has held many positions working with kids in the past including being an Assistant Center Director for KinderCare and working in Osseo Area Schools for 7 years. He has an educational background from The University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire, earning his Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Special Education. Jacob chose to work at Sylvan because of the opportunity to work closely with students and to see their excitement as they excel in their work. When Jacob isn’t at Sylvan, he enjoys watching football and cheering on the Kansas City Chiefs! He’s also a collector of sports cards.


Ian F.


Ian is a tutor at the Sylvan in Burnsville, MN with a background in child education. He attended Sylvan when he was young and found it really helped him feel confident in school! He enjoys teaching students to expand their vocabulary and read confidently. When not at Sylvan, Ian can be found in the local theatre scene, hopefully on stage!


Megan L.


Megan tutors reading, math, and writing at the Sylvan in Burnsville but math is her favorite! She graduated from Winona State University with a degree in math and secondary math education. When she’s not enjoying her time with the students at Sylvan you will find her hanging out with her family, exploring new places, or watching Netflix.


Lindsey S.


Lindsey tutors reading and math at Sylvan, but reading is her favorite. One of her greatest passions in life is teaching. It gives her so much joy to see students progress and take pride in their learning. Lindsey attended North Central University and earned a degree in Global Studies with a minor in Music. When she’s not at Sylvan, you will find her spending time with family and friends and watching movies.


Ray R.


Ray graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of Florida in Microbiology. Ray has 10+ years experience working with students grades K-12 and at the college-level teaching Chemistry, Biology and Math and believes early intervention can make a big difference in every kid’s success. Ray enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his family during his free time.

Kari Grittner photo (1)

Kari G.


Kari tutors in reading, math, and study skills at Sylvan. Kari taught in higher education for 20 years and finds great joy in seeing students gain confidence in their skills and reach their potential. When Kari isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her gardening, cooking, or spending time with family.


Emmanuel Saye

Senior Area Director

Emmanuel has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He finds making a difference in the lives of the youth the most valuable aspect to his role with Sylvan Learning Centers. When he is not working with Sylvan, Emmanuel enjoys spending quality time with his family.


Olivia Snyder

Area Director of Operations and Support

Olivia is our Assistant Area Director and Center Director in Edina. She works with our Twin Cities centers to maintain operational and academic excellence. Olivia has been with Sylvan for 4 years and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Bethel University. Prior to working at Sylvan, Olivia taught 1st grade in Minneapolis. She is passionate about education and building confidence in all students. When Olivia is not at Sylvan she enjoys reading, watching soccer, and playing board games.

Start your child on the path to academic success today

Give us a call at (612) 276-6749 or fill out the form to discuss your child’s learning goals.


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(888) 338-2283