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:
Steve Varga, Center Director / Owner
Steve is the Center Director and Owner at Mathnasium of Lopatcong. Prior to opening his Mathnasium center, Steve worked in the Industrial Gas business in progressive roles of responsibility in distribution, operations, warehouse management and procurement. He has an MBA from University of Phoenix and a BA in Economics from the Virginia Military Institute. He has taught business classes at Butler County Community College and online with University of Phoenix. Having struggled with math as a child, Steve is eager to help all children to truly understand math in a way that makes sense for them, and is enthusiastic about introducing the Mathnasium method to families in the community. Steve and his wife Sandy have seven children and have been homeschooling for twenty-three years. Steve has coached all seven of his kids in soccer and has been involved in Boy Scouts, Royal Rangers and trained in Taekwondo with his four youngest children.
Makensey Lindaberry, Assistant Center Director
Makensey loves Math. Along with working at Mathnasium to develop student's capabilities and confidence in their math skills, Mackensey is a substitute teacher in the Washington, NJ area. She has a BA in Mathematical Science, and has been recognized numerous times on the Dean's List at Kean College. Makensey has completed her BA in Mathematical Science and is currently taking graduate level Math classes. In her spare time Makensey enjoys yoga, watching football, and kickboxing classes.
Lisa Pysher, Education Director
Lisa has extensive classroom experience. She has worked in a variety of educational contexts for thirty years, teaching both Algebra I and II, and Geometry, among other high school math courses. Her experience with all ages and skill levels, and her desire to help students build confidence in their math ability enables her to motivate every student to success. Lisa has her Master of Science in Education as well as a BS in Mathematics Education. When she is not teaching, Lisa enjoys gardening, spending time with her children, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Todd Velianski, Lead Instructor
Todd is a local boy, having attended Pohatcong Elementary School and Phillipsburg High School. Todd graduated with a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in 2013, and has lived in throughout the country, working in education, library services, and at Boston Symphony Hall. Todd recalls being challenged by math in high school, but through dedicated teachers and hard work, he eventually excelled in AP Calculus, AP Statistics, and SAT math. In his free time, Todd enjoys boxing, reading philosophy, and cheering on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. He is known by his students for his terrible puns.
Edward Harwelik, Instructor
Prior to becoming an Instructor at Mathnasium, Edward worked for over 28 years in various Finance positions at Verizon, including 14 years supporting International Operations. He is bilingual, fluent in both English and Spanish, and has a B.S. degree from the University of California at Northridge, as well as a Certified Finance Planner (CFP) certificate from New York University. In his spare time, Edward enjoys running his middle school daughter to school, band rehearsals and basketball practice, as well as keeping in shape with strength training.
Clara is a recent high school graduate who enjoys the learning how to instruct others, and outside of tutoring math, she has taught elementary art to grade school students. She especially enjoys math when applied to other subjects she finds interesting, such as science and geography. Some of Clara’s favorite pastimes include stargazing and playing the piano at high speeds.
Tara joined the Mathnasium team as an instructor in November 2017. Her mornings are filled with teaching advanced math classes at Saints Philip and James School in Phillipsburg, NJ. There she shares her passions for Jesus and math with the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. As a graduate of Montclair State College, Tara earned degrees in business/marketing with an additional minor in mathematics. Her current chapter as a teacher enables her to share her love of math and inspiring children. She is grateful that Mathnasium affords her the opportunity to extend that passion to the wonderful students enrolled there. In her free time, Tara is very involved with her church and various ministries, and enjoys spending time with family and friends, as well as crafting, homemaking, gardening.
Alex Kollias, Instructor
Some people excel in math from an early age. Such as it is with Alex, a junior at Phillipsburg High School, but with exceptional math ability. Alex works very well with our students and is helping them understand math in a way that makes sense to them. Alex is from Lopatcong, so he is familiar with our area and the schools. Alex brings a positive attitude and a great work ethic to our Learning Center. He plays basketball year round and currently plays on the Varsity team for the Stateliners. Outside of his busy schedule Alex enjoys sports and spending time with friends and family.
Ryan Lattner, Instructor
Math has always come naturally to Ryan, who enjoys learning and sharing his knowledge of math concepts with others. Ryan is a junior at Phillipsburg High School with the goals of one day using math in everyday life to make a living. He strives to bring out positive energy from students wanting help with math. There is nothing that satisfies him more than seeing a students face light up with enjoyment from understanding and learning new math concepts. Outside of his academic involvements, Ryan is a captain on the Varsity golf team for the Stateliners. And he likes to spend a lot of his free time enjoying the luxury of playing golf with family and friends.
Michelle Rajan, Instructor
Ever since her first words, Michelle's been saying that when she grows up, she wants to be a doctor-teacher-author. While she has a long ways to go until med school, or even her first book, Michelle has spent several years tutoring in various subjects --- especially math. In fact, her favorite topics to teach are Calculus, Statistics, and Geometry. She graduated from Phillipsburg High School and studies neuroscience and creative writing at Muhlenberg College. Besides tutoring, Michelle also loves to play tennis, work on baseball stats, and spend time with her friends and family.
Mandy Chan, Instructor
Mandy is a graduate of Phillipsburg High School and part of Cornell's Class of 2020. She has been tutoring math ever since she was in middle school. Needless to say, math has always been her strongest and most favorite subject. In her spare time, Mandy also volunteers at her local hospital and helps her parents out at work. She also enjoys playing the piano, reading, and spending time with her family and friends.
Tom Pregel, Instructor
Tom is a senior math and economics major at Lafayette College. He loves working with students and, also, volunteers at the childcare center at his local YMCA. In his spare time, Tom enjoys sports and is a member of the club basketball team at Lafayette.
Christie Hearn, Instructor
Christie has many years of experience teaching math to students with a range of abilities. In 2009, she graduated from Bloomsburg University with a BS in both Elementary Education and Special Education, as well as a concentration in math. Right after graduation, she started teaching in the Mount Olive School District. She has taught both 4th and 5th grade, general education and special education. Although she teaches all subjects, her favorite subject to teach is math. In addition to teaching, she has tutored students in math using different methods and strategies to help them grasp the concepts and become more confident in their abilities. In order to grow as a professional, Christie went back to school and received a MA from Walden University in Integrating Technology in the Classroom. In her spare time, Christie enjoys going for walks, spending time with her husband and daughter, and shopping.