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Great Teachers Inspire

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


Anthony Martin., B.S.C.I.S., M.S.C.S.

Center Director

Anthony has been a valuable team member at Sylvan Learning of the Cumberlands since 2009. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Computer and Information Systems and from Bellevue University where he obtained a Master’s degree in Computer Systems Management. Previous to tutoring at Sylvan Learning of the Cumberlands he was with the U.S. Air Force for a 25 year career in project management, systems development and integration and information security which required a Top Secret security clearance. He also led a team performing quality assurance at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. When not at Sylvan you will find him farming in Baxter.


Lisa Martin, B.A.E.

Director of Education

Lisa has a particular gift of working with all kinds of kids. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Maryland European Division. Lisa formerly worked as a military librarian for 15 years. As a librarian in an area with over 200 home school families, she developed and implemented special literacy programs. In 2007, she became the first civilian in Services Division to win the Civilian of the Year Award. Lisa has a particular gift of matching up with the individual student’s learning style, so they can progress at their optimum pace and achieve their full potential. When not at Sylvan, you’ll find her doing farming, gardening, and photography activities.


Scott Baas, B.S.B., M.A.E.

Director of High School Studies and Sylvan Prep

Scott has been a valuable team member at Sylvan Learning of the Cumberlands since 2006. He is a graduate of Oakland University where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a PreMed concentration and from Tennessee Tech University where he obtained a Master’s degree in Education. Previous to Sylvan Learning of the Cumberlands, Scott worked in the Human Gross Anatomy Lab at Oakland University. He also taught in Putnam County Schools. He designed the Tennessee Tech College of Education Academic Advising Center web page. Scott also has eight years of tutoring experience working as a instructor and program manager for Sylvan Learning.


Kimberly Green, M.A., CCC-SLP

Early Intervention Specialist

Kimberly has worked in the public schools with both elementary and secondary students and in private practice. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas and her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She has a passion for helping children learn to read and write and overcome communication challenges. Kimberly is married and has two teen children. She enjoys reading, hiking, and painting with watercolors.


Kay Lynn Elders, B.S.C., M.S.M.

Senior Instructor, Crossville Mobility Site at Roane State Community College

Kay Lynn is a Senior Instructor at our Crossville Mobility site at Roane State College. She is a graduate of University of Missouri with a B.S. degree in Chemistry and a Masters of Science degree in Mathematics from University of Wyoming. She currently teaches math at Roane State Community College. She formerly taught college algebra, statistics, and calculus courses at various colleges and was also an ESL instructor in Kazan, Russia. She is highly talented at getting students at all levels to understand math. When not teaching at Sylvan you will find her teaching classes in her local church and doing mission trips to build church buildings and provide disaster relief in other communities.


Hannah Arrington, B.S.C.S.

Senior Instructor

Hannah is a recent graduate from Western Governors University in their Computer Science Program. Hannah is upbeat, positive, and just fun. Educators all over the country face an even more daunting task: overcoming the longest most profound disruption to student education we have witnessed in modern history. There are no easy answers, but Hannah knows how to reach out to all and ignite academics with her growth mindset. She loves helping struggling students understand the concepts being taught and how to best apply their newly learned skills so they can perform to their full potential. She is a member of Women in Cybersecurity. She also enjoys reading, history, crochet, and gardening.


Carrie Ward, B.S.M.S.

Senior Instructor, Crossville Mobility Site at Roane State Community College

Carrie is a Senior Instructor at our Crossville Mobility Site at Roane State College. She is a graduate of Tennessee Technological University with a B.S. degree in Multidisciplinary Studies. She holds Tennessee teacher certification. Carrie brings a wealth of knowledge to Sylvan Learning of the Cumberlands and has a true compassion for impacting lives. She is very talented at helping break down significant barriers for under-performing students. She enjoys working with middle and high school students and helps them with organization and time management skills. This benefits students who experienced some learning delays such as slow processing or short and long-term memory issues as well.


Sandra Inman, B.S.A, M.A.E.

Senior Instructor, Crossville Mobility Site at Roane State Community College

Sandra is Senior Instructor at our Crossville Mobility site at Art Circle Library.  She is a graduate of University of Michigan at Ann Arbor with a B.S. degree in Zoology and Anthropology and a Masters of Arts degree in Education. She is a certified teacher teaching high school Biology, Chemistry and Physics in the Chelesa School District for 35 years. She also taught medical students in measuring competency skills required at the University of Michigan Medical School. She is highly skilled at motivating students having taught various after-school elementary classes in science. When not teaching at Sylvan you will find her involved in her Garden Club, Golfing Leagues and Hospice Services.


Yolanda Scott, A.S.E.

Instructor - McMinnville Mobiliy Site

Yolanda is a Instructor at our McMinnville mobility site. Yolanda is a paper crafter, a voracious reader, a fan of musicals, roller coasters, coffee, and all things chocolate. She does teacher support at Eastside Elementary, WCHS Band Booster VP, and Girl Scout leader. Her willingness to learn the needs of each student has yielded some tremendous results and helps kids who had been struggling with math and reading for a long time break down those barriers. Yolanda is always up for a challenge and is our problem solver for getting students motivated. Her enthusiasm for learning helps kids improve their open mindset as to what they are capable of doing as they seek to perform to their potential.


Ivy Cummings, B.S.E., M.S.E.

Sylvan Senior Writing Instructor

Ivy Cummings has been teaching English and reading ACT Prep for 2 years. She is a graduate of Tennessee Tech University with a Bachelor’s degree English where she is also pursuing her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. Creative writing ignited Ivy’s desire to teach others. Her love for the craft is exemplified when teaching as she does so with clarity and passion. She firmly believes in an individualized approach to instruction, making her delivery of lessons exceptional. Ivy’s willingness to learn about the specific needs of each student has yielded some awesome results.


Casey Garrison, B.S.E.E.

Sylvan Grand STEM Challenge Winning Coach at Sylvan Mobility Site at Prescott Middle School

Casey is a graduate of Tennessee Tech University and is credentialed to teach all middle school courses. She is the former assistant principal at Prescott South STEM Middle School in Cookeville. She now serves as the STEM/STREAM teacher for grades 5-8 and the science co-chair. She has an awesome horticulture program at the school. Casey also served as our Sylvan team leader for Sylvan’s Grand STEM National Challenge which was held during the summer at the school. Our site has taken home 5 out of 18 national awards in two years of competition. She knows how to get kids to perform to their full potential by utilizing their creativity.  Casey has even bigger plans for future competitions.



Senior Intervention Specialist - McMinnville Mobility Site

Felicia is lead teacher at our mobility site in McMinnville with a gift for working with kids. While Felicia has many tutoring talents, she finds the greatest joy in teaching early elementary reading. She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, a Master’s degree in Teaching from Austin Peay State University and holds Tennessee teacher certification. Felicia formerly taught 2nd and 4th grades and is presently a 1st grade teacher at Hickory Creek Elementary in Warren County. When Felicia isn’t working at Sylvan you’ll find her working as a Red Cross volunteer, coaching a JV basketball team or conducting District Spelling Bees.


Karen Rosener, B.S.P.E.

Lead Instructor

Karen is a graduate of George Williams College of Aurora University with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Psychology and holds Teaching Certification. She has taught and supervised in multiple learning environments from YMCA to elementary and middle schools. She enjoys working with elementary grades and helps them master phonics and learn sight vocabulary. She creates a highly enthusiastic learning environment. It benefits students who have early learning delays due to some auditory or speech issues. Her caring attitude along with always being a part of the solution is her main strength. When Karen isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her gardening, hiking, camping, biking and farming.


Reda Spurlock, B.S.E.C.E., M.A.C.I.

Senior Instructor

Reda has a unique talent of teaching in a special way all our little kids. Reba has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Tennessee Tech University and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Tennessee Tech University. She also holds Tennessee teaching certification. She was formerly a Foster Care Case Manager for the Tennessee Department of Children Services. She is proactive and resourceful with a strong knowledge of community resources. She is a strong communicator with a passion for helping others. Reda has specialized training for helping all parents care for children with behavioral and emotional needs.


Brandi Ward

Student Intern

Brandi is a graduate of Upperman High and is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at Tennessee Tech University. When she sees a child fail she understands how to praise and help them figure out what they can improve for next time. That may mean trying a different strategy, rehearsing and practicing more, or refining their goals. By acknowledging the failure and then learning from it, she helps them turn a mistake into an advantage and change a negative to a positive. She also helps parents communicate better with their families so they are fully prepared to support their children. She also loves to play Lacrosse and work with the kids in her Sunday school class at her church.


Dr. John Keisling, B.S.I.M., M.B.A., Ed.D.

Director of Educational Outreach

John is responsible for maintaining the focus of the center on what we do best–personal learning–so we can put more families at ease and motivate children to succeed and thrive. He has been recognized with several awards such as Dollar General Literacy in intercity housing, National Workplace Literacy Award from First Lady Barbara Bush, Tennessee Small Business Person of the Year, Governor’s Outstanding Excellence Award, National Educator of Year Award from the WMIA, USDOA National Service Award, and Tennessee Welfare-to-Work Advocate of Year Award. He also served on TN Higher Education Commission. John has BS degree from Georgia Tech, MBA from Georgia State, and Doctorate in Education.

Start your child on the path to academic success today

Give us a call at (931) 284-4742 or fill out the form to discuss your child’s learning goals.


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