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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:

Regional DirectorMike O'Hern, Owner

Mike earned his Bachelor's Degree in Metallurgical Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1988. He pursued graduate studies in Materials Science & Engineering while on the Research Staff at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Mike has worked as a research scientist, as well as in marketing and management.

Mike and his wife, Mary Lou, co-founded the Knoxville Children's Choir in 1996, providing a fun and wholesome atmosphere for children to learn about music and grow as individuals with joy and confidence. That experience, together with a 25-year history of teaching children and youth in local schools and church, led Mike to the conclusion that his passion lies in building character and confidence in young people.

Mike has had a life-long love of mathematics and teaching, and feels that math is not about learning to be ready for the next math class - it's about learning to think. He feels that Mathnasium is a great vehicle to build confidence in kids. "When a child develops that 'numbers sense' that helps them succeed in math, a whole new world opens up to them. That, in turn, builds a confidence that is born of real accomplishment, a confidence that spills over into all aspects of their lives." He's excited to bring Mathnasium to the children of Knoxville, where he will continue to contribute to students in his community. 

InstructorShalini Shantharaju, Instructor

Shalini grew up in Knoxville and graduated from the University of Tennessee. Although Shalini has always loved mathematics, she remembers some early concepts that were difficult for her to understand. With that in mind, she is eager to help young students who are struggling in math. She wants them to be confident in their math skills, and even if they don't develop a love for math, she hopes they won't fear it anymore!

 

InstructorSarah Drummond, Instructor

Sarah would never have believed that she would become a math tutor. After high-school struggles with precalculus deterred her from going to engineering school, Sarah made the best decision of her life by majoring in geology, which she now teaches at Pellissippi State. Struggles with Calculus II her first year of college convinced an already lacking-math-confidence Sarah that she fundamentally didn't understand the nature of mathematics. Only after reluctantly becoming a math tutor at UT after her master's graduation did she realize that she did have what Mathnasium calls "number sense"! Sarah enjoys tutoring at Mathnasium as she sees it as an opportunity for early mathematical intervention, so that these students do not become college students who struggle with math fundamentals, or do not become adults who fear math. Sarah also enjoys the opportunities to learn from her fellow instructors, and someday hopes to be able to re-take Calculus II with her new math confidence! When not teaching geology or tutoring math, Sarah enjoys going to ballet classes, cooking and baking, hiking and caving, reading nerdy books, and taking free online classes. She plans to go back to school for a PhD in planetary geology, continuing her master's research on hydrological processes on Mars and Saturn's moon, Titan.