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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:

CenterDirectorKristi Darnell, Owner and Center Director 

Kristi is the Owner and Center Director at Mathnasium of Desert Ridge. Prior to opening her Mathnasium center, Kristi has worked as an educator, teaching grade levels pre-k to 6th grade. Kristi received her Bachelor of Science from California State University, Long Beach and is a credentialed teacher in Arizona. Having a child who struggles with math is what drives Kristi in her passion for math education. She believes in the concepts taught at Mathnasium and is committed to bringing the Mathnasium Method to the children in the community. Married with 2  kids, Kristi also serves as Business Manager for her son's football team and is invloved in partnering with the community.  When not at Mathansium, you can catch Kristi watching her boys play sports on the weekends.


Mikayla Preston, Lead Instructor

I enjoy helping individuals grow in their skills and confidence levels, especially when it comes to understanding and enjoying math!  Of course, everyone needs balance in their lives, which is why I often find myself hiking and dog sitting!  I look foward to the wonderful work we'll be able to do together...and have some fun along the way! 

Patrick Shambayati, Instructor

From an early age, I had great math teachers that sparked my love for the subject and led me to pursue research in the field of Abstract Alegebra in college.  I became a tutor becuase I want to provide a fresh learning perspective to my students, and foster their growth so that they may see the inherent beauty of mathematics for themselves.

Courtney Hoit, Instructor

I am finishing my Bachelors in Elementary Education and student teaching this semester.  I am looking to teach middle grades in Math.  I always enjoyed math in school because there was a definitive answer.  I had inspiring teachers that showed me how the math concepts we learned could be applied to real life.  When I am not teaching, I enjoy hiking, camping, snowboarding, and other outdoor activities...and spending time with my dog!

Vishesh Kumar, Instructor

I have always loved math; being an instructor has allowed me to spread that love and help my students.  It was with the support of my teachers and tutors that I have been able to excel at math.  Now I help others achieve their own mathematical goals.  In my spare time I play soccer and track for my school.

Kathryn Dziszuk, Instructor

When I am not at school, I participate in drama as both an actor and as a technician.  I fell in love with math in first grade, and I have loved it since.  I am proud to call myslf a Mathnasium instructor.

Deepthi Cherukuri, Instructor

I am originally from India.  I received my degree from ASU in Mathematics.  Solving problems, especially in math, has been fun and interesting to me since high school.  It started the day I had an amazing math teacher who taught me math in a totally different way.  The passion for math led me to pursue my career in this field.  I wanted to help kids get the same benefit and learn that math can be easy and fun.  In my spare time I love to travel, hike, cook , and read.  My favorite book that I have read recently is, The Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell.