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Our Team

Our specially trained math instructors will teach your child how to understand math in an individual setting; our unique approach enables us to explain concepts really well and lend a helping hand to every student. Our tutors foster a caring, encouraging environment that helps kids thrive and learn! Read below to learn more about our talented team:

Carl Giordano, Owner / Center Director

Having spent fourteen years in the financial services industry, Carl understands first hand the importance of mathematical fluency. He holds two Master's degrees, one from the University of Chicago and one from New York University. Carl completed his undergraduate work at Boston College where he was a swimmer all four years and the team captain his senior year.

Recognizing the inadequacies of math education in many New York City schools, Carl decided to pursue a career where he could make a difference. His passion for education and belief that mathematics is of critical importance to a child's development led him to Mathnasium.

Damian Jhagroo, Education Director

For Damian, math is synonymous with problem solving and building mental discipline. His passion is to empower kids to become independent thinkers. Growing up in Trinidad with the British educational system prepared him to appreciate the need for a strong foundation in mathematics. Damian started tutoring in mathematics and science in response to his own family's needs for tutoring. He recognized that his own niece and nephews' educational curriculum was not focused on building critical thinking and analysis.

With a B.S. in Philosophy from CCNY, Damian is equipped to handle the growing demand for the integration of problem solving through math acuity. At Mathnasium, he brings his enthusiasm and appreciation for a strong foundation in mathematics in building a better learning experience.

Karen Ostroski, Education Director

Karen began tutoring in college at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign while earning her BS in mathematics. She has worked in various fields from non-profits to insurance, but throughout her career she has stayed active in curriculum development and math education in local schools. Karen’s philosophy on mathematics learning is that every student is capable of mastery of high-level material, and that all a student may need is a boost of confidence and to be guided to a new approach. Fun fact – one of Karen’s daughters is studying applied math in college and is a math instructor at a Mathnasium in New England.
Michael Borden, Instructor

Born and raised in beautiful upstate New York. Graduated from the University of Plattsburgh with a Degree in Finance where I started to develop a love for statistics and logical structures. The next semester after my bachelor’s I started working on an associates in Computer Science from Hudson Valley Community College. My skills consist of understanding multiple programming languages (such as Python, Java, C/C++), Raspberry Pi (B+, 2, 3, Zero), Linux operating systems (Raspbian, Ubuntu, Kali), and designing models with CAD programs to make robot arms or an autonomous rovers. My hobbies include reading textbooks, developing an educational website, and trying to design the next big thing. I’m a maker!

Michael Cerchia, Instructor

Mike started tutoring in college, where he worked with students in classes ranging from Pre-Algebra through upper level courses such as Real Analysis. While studying at SUNY Geneseo, from where he graduated in 2012 with majors in Mathematics and English, he participated in several problem solving competitions, including the Putnam Mathematics Competition. When he’s not tutoring, he does freelance web development. Some of his hobbies include working through the problems on the mathriddles subreddit, chess, and playing music. 

Jana Fears, Instructor

Jana has always loved Mathematics since the young age of 3. From then on, Math was her favorite subject throughout her studies. With her love of Math grew her passion of educating. Jana disliked the lack of devotion that some of her Math teachers had and vowed to become better than what she had experienced in the classroom. She then began to enjoy the art of teaching Math to all ages. Jana went on to graduate from SUNY College at Oneonta as a dual major with a B.S. in both Mathematics and Sociology. Jana is aspiring to continue her education and become a Math teacher. She wants to teach people to not see Math as an obstacle but as comprehensible and enjoyable.

Christina Ferrara, Instructor

Christina is a New York State certified teacher with a Masters Degree in Childhood Education. Upon graduation, Christina began teaching the course Mathematics in Education at Brooklyn College, where she shared her passion and knowledge for math education with future elementary teachers. She began working at Mathnasium in 2011, and is proud to be a part of their fun and supportive learning environment!

Jewel Galbraith, Instructor

Jewel is a lifelong math enthusiast who enjoys every topic from counting to calculus.  She graduated from Fordham College at Lincoln Center, where she studied philosophy and took math courses whenever she had the chance.  After graduating, she spent two years teaching and tutoring students in SAT prep.  Jewel loves working with kids and watching them grasp new concepts that once seemed impossible to understand.  She hopes to pass on her passion for math to as many children as possible.  In her spare time, Jewel loves reading, running, and watching The Simpsons.

David Gromberg, Instructor

David holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Growing up in Moscow, he was very lucky to have a great teacher in math from the very first grade who taught him the logical thinking that is so essential in mathematics. Embarking on a teaching journey the past couple of years, David has been fortunate to prepare a classroom for SHSAT and tutor math of many levels; from pre-k to calculus. There are not many things more enjoyable than sharing your wisdom, especially in a subject that many people are scared of.  To be able to help children build confidence and start believing in themselves is a very rewarding and enjoyable experience.  

Maximo Medrano, Instructor

Maximo always had a love for math, until he reached high school and started algebra and was completely lost. After his father explained it to him, he was able to take it from there and develop a passion for math that he didn't have for any other subject. Even after excelling in math in high school, Maximo decided to enroll at CCNY as a civil engineering major. He decided to change his major to applied mathematics realizing that he was only an engineering major because he liked math. This spring Maximo decided to become a high school math teacher and has started his education courses at CCNY. After having tutored for over four years he realized the deficiencies students have in math and hopes to change their thinking; that they don't like math because it's hard, rather because they don't realize how easy it can be. What Maximo loves most about math is the universality of it and how it can be manipulated to work for you.

Tim Megna, Instructor

From a young age, Tim was the student who surprised teachers with new and imaginative ways of solving problems. He has taken math courses up through graduate level model-theory. He sees math as a game with infinitely many possible moves. The difference between succeeding or failing in a math class usually comes down to one simple thing: practice. 

Shannon Molloy, Instructor

Shannon believes that any student can excel at math as long as they believe in themselves first, and that positive reinforcement is the right way to begin an education in mathematics. Shannon earned a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics Education from St. Francis College in 2015, and is currently furthering her education at Brooklyn College. She believes that positive reinforcement is the right way to begin an education in mathematics, and that any student can excel at math as long as they believe in themselves first! Along with math, Shannon loves both listening to and playing music.

Thomas Molloy, Instructor

Thomas has enjoyed math ever since he was young. He is in his last year of earning a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, and during his studies has found great success in tutoring other college students who have trouble in their math classes. He really enjoys finding that point where everything clicks, and the student understands what they were missing before. He is looking forward to aiding young students find their footing in mathematics so they can truly enjoy their educations. In addition, Thomas really enjoys travelling in his free time.

Brendan Moran, Instructor

Brendan has over two decades of experience teaching math to high school students, a form of instruction he enjoys immensely. His fixation with all things mathematical stems from back when he was a high school student who couldn’t get enough of solving numerical puzzles and obsessing about geometric patterns. He was a mathematics major as an undergraduate before switching over to the field of architecture, and has since earned graduate degrees in architecture and history from Yale and Harvard Universities. When he is not teaching students about architecture in various programs in the New York City area, he tutors students for the SAT/PSAT/ACT tests, as well as many other state exams and high school/college entrance exams. He takes great pleasure working with younger, beginning students, and believes everyone can get good at math if they just have an opportunity to put their mind to it in a comfortable, relaxed setting with sound guidance.

Delrol Peters, Instructor

Delrol has always had a passion for Math and Science. He graduated from Brooklyn College with a degree in Biology/Psychology. While an undergrad he had the the opportunity to tutor and teach math from the elementary to college level. He has amounted over 5 years of teaching experience and soon discovered it as a passion. He also currently teaches Algebra at Kingsborough Community College. He takes great pride in being a bridge that helps students learn to succeed in math and learn they can also succeed in life. He firmly believes that math is not simply about numbers and equations but is a language that we must understand and experience with others.

Josh Reif, Instructor

Josh is from Atlanta, GA and graduated from University of Georgia and then completed a medical degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. He has excelled at all levels of math and science and enjoy teaching these subjects very much. He worked for 9 years as a summer camp counselor with ages 7-15 and has privately tutored high school and college students for several years as well. Josh tailors his tutoring sessions to each student's learning style. In my free time, he travels, plays guitar, and spends much of his time outdoors.

 Olga Safronova, Instructor

Olga comes from a family of engineers and programmers, so a thorough knowledge of math has always been a requirement as it was often part of daily conversation. She further realized the importance and extent of good math skills when she studied statistics and bioinformatics as part of her B.S. in Physiology at McGill University. Since graduating, she has worked both in laboratories (specializing in genetics) and taught in after-school programs, marrying her interests in science and education. She enjoys facilitating and witnessing student breakthroughs and hopes to make math more approachable. In her free time she is learning to code and dreaming of adopting a dog.

Kia Sayyadi, Instructor
Kia loves math, but by the time he got through the Civil Engineering program at UTSA, he realized he wanted to do something with a stronger connection to people. His journey eventually brought him to NYC where he’s worked as a writer, actor, director and producer of Off-Broadway theatre. Now, he combines performance and education as he gives historical tours throughout Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. His travels and experiences have given him the ability to connect with people from all types of backgrounds and he loves being able to create “Aha!” moments with his students and inspire a new love for learning.

Joe Schiaffino, Instructor

Joe discovered his passion for teaching in college, where he began volunteering as a tutor at the local YMCA while earning degrees in both Industrial Engineering and Economics from Northwestern University. He has continued tutoring ever since, working with students both on and individual basis and in a classroom setting. He has experience tutoring in all subjects, including SAT/ACT preparation, but particularly enjoys tutoring kids in Math. Joe understands the importance of having a strong foundation in Mathematics and believes that building that foundation in children must start at an early age. Math has always been Joe's favorite subject, and he enjoys the challenge of inspiring kids who may not share his enthusiasm for the subject to discover how fun math can be. When he is not working with students at the Mathnasium, Joe trades equities for a trading firm in Manhattan.

Roy Segal, Instructor

Roy has been a math instructor for fifteen years. He has a Master's degree in Math Education from Temple University, and has taught mathematics at an inner city Philadelphia high school. He believes that all students can achieve success in mathematics. He has a college math background that includes three semesters of calculus, linear algebra, numerical analysis, probability and statistics. He has passed Society of Actuaries Mathematical Exams and has worked as a pension actuary. In his spare time he enjoys reading novels and painting abstract oil paintings. He believes that math literacy is an important part of every child's education.