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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:

 

 Quinton DeWald, Center Director 

My name is Quinton DeWald. I grew up in Evans, and I went to Lakeside Middle and Lakeside High. I didn't always enjoy math. My distaste for math changed when I finally began to understand important  math concepts and applications in middle school. This love for math continued as I graduated high school and went to UGA. I am a GA grad with a math major!  Go Dawgs!!  In addition to enjoying math, I also love to work with youth. I spent a couple of summers working as a youth intern at Lakemont Presbyterian Church in Augusta, and I have volunteered with Redeemer Presbyterian's youth in Athens. Moreover, I have tutored at several Athens-Clarke County Schools during my years at UGA. My love for math and working with youth and students has made Mathnasium a perfect fit! I can't wait to work with you at Mathnasium! 

 

 

 

 

 

Colleen Salazar, Assistant Director

Hello! My name is Colleen Salazar, and I am a graduate from UCLA with a bachelor's degree in Applied Mathematics. I recently moved to Georgia from California, and am very excited to help teach math at Mathnasium over here! Math has always made sense to me, and I hope to help others understand it as well. The highlight of my day is seeing the light in a student's eyes when they grasp a new concept, or make a connection that they hadn't seen before. I can't wait to help foster these moments at Mathnasium, and I know we are going to have a great time learning together! 

 

 

 

   

 
 

Lindsey Siegel, Training Director

I have taught math at Jefferson County High School for 5 years and I also did my student teaching there. Friends, family and even strangers cannot believe that anybody would actually want to teach math, especially to high-schoolers, but I think that is because they remember not doing well in math themselves. Even the most difficult problem can be broken down to a simple problem if you look at the core meaning; and that works for anything, not just for math. I believe anybody at any age can learn the skills of thinking that come with knowing how to "do math", but each person does that at their own pace. I am thrilled I get to help students make math make sense at MATHNASIUM! learning is one of my favorite things to do (not everyone realizes that it's actually a FUN thing!). I can't wait to meet you at Mathnasium! 

 

Jeff Rucker, Owner 

Jeff LOVES forecasting success for your child's future!  Before opening the first area Mathnasium (in 2011), Jeff was the Chief Meteorologist at NBC Augusta for 12 years. His decision to bring Mathnasium to the CSRA is a logical follow-on to all his previous work as a Navy and broadcast meteorologist. Jeff often jokes that meteorology is 70% math, 20% science and 10% art. “I think I took more math classes in college and grad school than I did weather classes.” Since beginning his broadcast meteorology career back in 1996, Jeff has made school visits and weather education outreach a top priority. From pre-K to high school, Jeff has spoken to hundreds of classrooms all over the CSRA. Anyone who has ever seen one of Jeff’s weather talks (or weathercasts) knows that Jeff loves to teach. Besides making regular visits to area classrooms, Jeff teaches elementary kids at his church, Stevens Creek, and college students at Augusta State.  Mathnasium affords Jeff the wonderful opportunity to expand his gift of teaching. “Now I can be in my own classroom all day!”   Jeff also believes that math and science expos and fairs are critical to helping all kids understand how important and fun math can be. Jeff has played critical roles in the Middle School State Science Olympiad, SRS Technology Days, and Science Education and Enrichment Day at USC Aiken. “If kids can learn how to think, they will gain confidence to solve problems. Mathnasium is all about building a rock-solid mathematical foundation – we call it number-sense – that leads to confidence and accomplishment in all areas of life, not just in math!” Jeff holds a B.S. in Physics from the U.S. Naval Academy and an M.S. in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA. Jeff’s love for math started early! He even earned his high school varsity letter on the math team!  
 

Christine Rucker, Owner & Marketing Director

Christine, Jeff's wife, is his biggest cheerleader and is so excited to be involved with MATHNASIUM here in the CSRA!  She is the behind-the-scenes staple that keeps it all together. 

Christine holds a B.S. in Communications from Old Dominion University. She has worked as a news producer at NBC and CBS in Norfolk VA and at NBC here in Augusta. Her experience line producing local news helps her juggle all the ins and outs of the Centers.

As a mother to two middle school-age children, Christine knows how to make kids feel comfortable, encouraged and welcomed! She's excited about seeing you at the center very soon. 

 
 

 

Desire Rohde, Instructor

My name is Desire & I am VERY excited to work with you!  I am nearly finished with both a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and a Masters of Arts in Teaching. I love Math and Science almost as much as I love working with kids, but that has not always been the case for me. All through Elementary School I hated math until my 5th grade teacher showed me how fun, and useful math can be. From that point on, Math has continued to grow on me and become an important part of my life. Teaching kids, however, is my real passion. I have consistently interned at CSRA high school and middle schools for the past 3 years while pursuing my degrees and have loved every minute of it. Nothing will ever beat the feeling of helping a student understand something new, whether that be 2+2=4 or the importance of enzymes as biological catalysts, which makes Mathnasium a perfect fit for me. Looking forward to meeting each and every one of you! 

 

Austin Spurlock, Instructor
My name is Austin Spurlock.  I am a student at Augusta University. I'm studying mathematics with a speciality in secondary education. I'm planing on teaching high school math and coaching either football, basketball, or baseball! I love that moment when a child is struggling to understand, and then they get it. I want to show kids how they will use math for the rest of their lives. I love helping students reach their goals.

 

Austin Hendricks, Instructor

I am a graduate of Augusta University with a degree in Criminal Justice. While most would say that this really doesn't have anything to do with math, I would argue that math can be used in almost every aspect of our lives, not just the classroom!! I believe that everyone uses math, whether it is an athlete using physics to throw a ball or a painter using symmetry to create a masterpiece. It is just a matter of showing them that they can do it, and then teaching them how. I want to show others this connection, and believe that Mathnasium is the way to do it!

 

 

Matthew Lint, Instructor

My name is Matthew Lint and I am a graduate of Clemson University with a degree in Applied and Computational Mathematics. I have always found math to be a fascinating subject and really saw how useful it could be once I got to high school. My desire to use math in the real world led me to study engineering and then pure mathematics in college. The most important thing I learned is that math is so much more than numbers on a page. Math is everywhere and understanding how it works can benefit anyone! I feel that Mathnasium is the perfect way to share my passion for mathematics and to show students just how awesome it can be!
 

Daniel Hodell, Instructor

My name is Daniel Hodell. I attend Lakeside High School. I thoroughly enjoy math & I believe it’s the most interesting subject to teach. I want to share my enthusiasm for mathematics with every student who walks through the door. I look forward to seeing you all at Mathnasium!

 

Ankita Shah, Instructor  

Hello! My name is Ankita.  I was born in Chicago, and I moved to Evans when I was 9 years old. I attend Evans High School. When I'm not in school, I express my passion for art and creativity through writing, music, and performance. In the future, I have plans of continuing to pursue my passion for art and publishing my work. As a math instructor, I enjoy interacting with students of all ages. I love being at the Center and helping students gain confidence in their math class. With a little help and encouragement, anyone can succeed. It is my pleasure to assist your child, and I am eager to help them learn & become stronger math students!!

Reece Baker, Instructor  

My name is Reece!  I am originally from Myrtle Beach, but I have resided in Evans since 5th grade. I am a senior at Evans High School, and I plan to attend UGA in the fall. Math has always been something I have both excelled in and enjoyed. The feeling you get when you see a bunch of numbers and variables and are able to solve an equation is unlike any other. I am looking forward to helping your son or daughter not only understand math but make it enjoyable here at Mathnasium! 

 

Niki Chen, Instructor  

Hi, My name is Niki!  I attend Lakeside High School. Math has been one of my absolute favorite subjects ever since I can remember.  I love the way it instills creativity as well as strengthens problems solving and critical reasoning skills. My passion for learning and eagerness to help other students motivates me to spread my love for math on a daily basis. I am so excited to help students learn and love Math here at Mathnasium!

 

Riley Rodier, Instructor  

Hi, I am Riley.  I attend Greenbrier High School.  I find math very interesting & challenging to me.  I love overcoming the challenges math presents.  To me, it feels like puzzle pieces falling into place.  I love helping the students at Mathnasium see how to make the connections.  I love showing them that math can be exciting.  I look forward to working with your student!

 

Alyssa Behrend, Instructor

Hi! My name is Alyssa Behrend, and I attend Greenbrier High School. While I've always enjoyed math, I also take pleasure in other activities such as dance, Girl Scouts, and muscial theatre.  Math and critical thinking skills are some of skills that appear throughout life. I am so excited to help your child prepare for what's to come!  

Rob Poppell, Instructor

Hello, I’m Rob. I am close to finishing a degree in Computer Science at Augusta University.  I then hope to continue to get my Master's in Education.  I love the challenge of teaching and figuring out the best way to convey information to a variety of different students with a variety of different learning styles. I look forward to helping your student build their confidence and grow their mathematics ability!
 
Jayla Demaine, Instructor
I am Jayla, a current student at Evans High School. I have always had a passion for math and love to share my passion with others. I started tutoring my peers in middle school and now continue to help others grow in math because I believe it is important. I participate in math events with my school's math team and have a blast doing so! I hope my love of math positively affects others around me.
 

 

Belle Portorrico, Instructor

Hi, I'm Belle! I am from Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I started tutoring Math, Chemistry and Physics over 12 years ago. I have always been interested in science and math in general. This love took me to the Math Olympics once, and the Chemistry Olympics twice, and it later took me to study Engineering and Food Science. I am a determined person and tutor, and something Engineering taught me is to never give up, and always find a way around every problem. I am looking forward to seeing all of you at Mathnasium very soon!