Mathnasium 7735 West Long Dr, #2, Littleton CO 80123 (303) 979-9077   littleton@mathnasium.com

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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:

Suzie Shride, Center Director 

Hello! I am the Center Director at Mathnasium of Littleton. I am a retired classroom teacher with a Masters Degree in Education and I am Master Certified through Mathnasium University. That means I have more than 2500 hours of training in the Mathnasium Method. I know first-hand the Mathnasium Method works because my teenaged daughter went from hating math and declaring she "just didn't have a math brain" in 6th grade to math being her best academic subject in high school and her saying, emphatically, "Mom! I don’t need help with math! I am good at math!" and her 100% scores on math tests prove her right!

I am in the process of writing about my 20 plus years of world-wide climbing and outdoor adventures in an award-winning Young Adult series, Lucy Dakota: Adventures of a Modern Explorer. My debut novel, Rocky Mountain Beginnings  won the Colorado Book Award for best YA novel in 2011.  The second book in the series, Journey to Nepal, is in the works. In July 2014 I hiked 96 miles along the West Highland Way in Scotland with my sister, Allison, and I am looking forward to our next trek, perhaps the Tour du Mont Blanc Circuit in 2017 or hiking in Norway?!

I am one of those kids who had to work at math in high school and college, and despite earning straight A's, I was a finger counter. I understand the pressure kids face to succeed at math. My wish is for every child who comes to our center to reach a point where math makes sense to them and I promise to give every student that passes through our doors the foundation they need to understand math! Who knows? They might even become crazy about math!

Fun Fact: I have climbed to the base camp of the world's highest and fifth highest mountains - Everest & Makalu!

Hobbies: Hiking, gardening, travel, animals

Favorite Number: 18 - it's my birthday and has always been my lucky number. In numerology it also has special meaning to me as it adds to 9 which is my favorite number for mathematics.

 

Larry Martinek, Creator of the Mathnasium Method

Larry Martinek, Chief Instructional Officer, Developer of Mathnasium Program. 

Larry has spent his entire career finding a better way to teach math. From inner city to public schools, to acclaimed magnet schools, to leading private and parochial schools, Larry has served as both a classroom teacher and as an educational consultant. He has designed curriculum, teaching strategies, and teaching materials designed to help students and teachers learn math more effectively. He has trained teachers in the art and science of boosting students' ability to “do” math, thereby increasing students' math scores and feeling of self-worth. Larry is the developer of Mathnasium’s educational program – one of the most comprehensive and innovative curriculas ever produced for teaching math.

While Larry is not an Instructor at our Center, he conducts many of the training sessions our instructors and center director attend, hosts special math afternoons at our annual Mathnasium convention and is a valuable asset we can call on to ask about specific students' scenarios for guidance and advice. This has helped to make sessions more productive and enjoyable for many of our students. 

The AMAZING team of instructors at Mathnasium of Littleton!

 

Doug Stiles, Assistant Center Director

Hi, my name is Doug Stiles and I am the new Assistant Center Director at Mathnasium of Littleton.  I recently retired from the classroom after more than ten years of teaching elementary and secondary math, and working as a math interventionist.  Prior to that, I worked for a college test prep tutoring company in California for a number of years, both as a tutor and as a director. I have a B.S. in Computer Science from Kansas State University, and I received my teaching certificate from Metropolitan State in Denver.  For many years before becoming an educator, I worked in IT as a consultant and in the corporate world. I did well in math when I was in school, but I really had to work hard at it.  I often had to find my own way because the way I was being taught didn’t always work for me.  I love helping students who are struggling find their way.  Seeing the “lights come on” and the confidence build is why I’m so thrilled to work with students here a Mathnasium of Littleton.

Favorite Number and Why:  My favorite number is 1089.  It has many “magical” properties.  First, it is a square number (33 x 33 = 1089).  It is also the smallest non-trivial reverse-divisible number (1089 x 9 = 9801, notice that the digits are reversed).  It has many other interesting properties as well.  Google it!

Favorite Math Joke:  Why is 6 afraid of 7?  Because 7 8 9.

Fun Fact:  I sang in a commercial with Tracey Ullman for a show that she was developing.  It was actually on TV once or twice.

Your Best Math Story:  Several years ago, I worked with an 8th grade student who had been failing math since before middle school.  She was discouraged and had given up even trying.  Getting some one on one help was new to her and it took a lot of work to get her to buy in.  I ended up working with her several times each week outside of her math classes.  By the end of the year, she won the award for growth in math at 8th grade continuation.  She has continued to be successful in high school math.


Zach Chaney, Lead Instructor

Hello, my name is Zach. I’m a senior at the Colorado School of Mines pursuing a degree in mathematics. One fall semester I took five math courses including an independent study course in Combinatorial Set Theory! I’m also finalizing a research paper on Ramsey theory that we will hopefully submit for publication later this year. I’ve been interested in math for most of my life. In fact, I remember back in elementary school I became quite fascinated with figurate numbers. My teacher at the time encouraged this curiosity and helped me develop a formula for the triangular numbers. I later discovered formulas for squares, pentagons, and eventually a general formula for regular polygonal numbers. The encouragement that I’ve received then and over the years has helped push me toward my pursuit of math thus far. This is why I feel like it is so important to help encourage students so they can gain confidence and explore their own interests. I hope to continue my education through graduate school and one day pursue a career in academia. It’s my dream to share the beauty and awe that I have for math to anyone willing to listen.

Favorite Number and Why: 8128 because it was the fourth and largest perfect number known to the ancient Greeks. It took mathematicians over 1400 years to find the next perfect number, and it’s still left unproven whether or not there exists infinitely many perfect numbers.

Favorite Math Joke: Why is a set always so excited? Because it can’t contain itself.

I love Mathnasium because… It encourages every student to apply oneself and breeds mathematical curiosity.

Fun Fact: After my research paper is published I will have an Erdös number of 4.


Zach Aparicio, Senior Instructor

Hello, my name is Zachary and I am a sophomore at Colorado School of Mines. I have been an instructor at Mathnasium of Littleton for 3 years. I am pursuing  a degree in applied mathematics. Besides my passionate love for mathematics and teaching the subject, I enjoy many things. During the summer, I enjoy paddleboarding along with playing Ultimate Frisbee and tennis. During the winter, I enjoy skiing and relaxing. In addition, I love to travel, whether it be to Europe, Mexico, Washington D.C., Moab or Glenwood Springs. I traveled to Mexico a few years ago to help with a Habitat for Humanity project through my Spanish class at school. In my free time, I enjoy solving logic puzzles, such as Sudoku or one of my Rubik's Cubes, riddles, and trivia. I also enjoy challenging myself at Math Competitions. I've always loved working with kids and have always enjoyed math so sharing my knowledge with students at Mathnasium is a perfect fit.

Favorite Number: 52 because it is the number of weeks in a year and the number of cards in a deck (I love card games)!

Favorite Math Joke: How do you make 7 even? You remove the "s"

Fun Fact: I visited the Normandy Beaches 3 days after the 70th anniversary of D-day

What is your dream? To be the CEO of a company or franchise


Hayley Black,  Lead Instructor

 Hi, I'm Hayley. I'm a freshman at CU Denver. I wanted to work at Mathnasium because I wanted to have a job that involved something I enjoy. At school, I've always helped my friends with math they didn't understand. When I began to look for a job, I used this mindset. Working in a restaurant or a department store didn't appeal to me, so I began to look for a way I could work using my favorite subject in school. Between yearbook, choir, and school work, I'm always busy, however I'm really glad to be working at Mathnasium to help other students with math. I hope to use everything I've learned in math to become an engineer and travel the world.

Favorite Number: If I had to choose, two would be my favorite number because it is both prime and even, and every even number is divisible by two.

Why did you come to work at Mathnasium? I wanted to work at Mathnasium because I wanted to have a job that involved something I enjoyed. I heard all my friends complain about their jobs working at restaurants and other stores, and I decided that I did not want that. As a result, I began to look for jobs that involved math that a high school student could apply for.

Fun Fact: I used to be a competitive fencer.

Your Best Math Story: There was a day in my pre-calculus and trigonometry class where the whole class was taking a test. It was the last period of the day. My seat was along the wall that bordered an algebra one class. That class was learning the quadratic formula and their teacher was having them learn the song. The only problem was she would continue to replay the song until all of her students sang the song. While it was an effective method, it got annoying fast. My teacher, who had been listening to the song all day, had these giant stereo speakers in her room. She turned them up and played a trig rap that was so loud it shook the floor. I personally did not learn anything that day, seeing as I just wanted to take my test, but all of those algebra one students were able to learn and remember the quadratic formula in a fun way.


Michael Tucker, Instructor 

Hello, my name is Michael. I am a graduate of the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs with a bachelors in mathematics. I have been a college tutor and have worked in an elementary school for five years. I wanted to work at Mathnasium because I enjoy helping people out with concepts and topics that are causing them stress or difficulty. The atmosphere and vibe Mathnasium gave off was fun and inviting, so naturally I wanted to be a part of the team. I also enjoy working and interacting with kids. I remember tutoring and holding study sessions for a majority of my college algebra class. The experience was fun, plus it was a good feeling to be able to help my fellow classmates not be super stressed out about math. The teacher noticed I was doing these things and after the class was finished, helped me get a job as a tutor at the school's learning center. I hope to use my talents and personality in order to help students be the best they can be. In addition, I want to help them build confidence, not only in math, but in their everyday life as well.

 

Favorite Number and Why: ​18 because it's cool

Favorite Math Joke: Are monsters good at math? Not unless you Count Dracula.

In 5 years I will be . . . . teaching math.

Fun Fact: I used to play video games competitively.


Ryker Fish, Instructor  

 Hi, I’m Ryker. I’m a high school senior attending Red Rocks Community College. I love math because it allows us to make sense of the world surrounding us. We would not be able to explain the natural phenomena found in the sciences such as physics and chemistry, two of my other interests, without math. I have been a competitive rock climber for four years, which has surprising similarities to math. Climbers even call the routes they work on “problems”, since half the battle is to figure it out! I hope to be able to share my love for problem solving and discovery with the students during my time at Mathnasium.

Favorite Number: 26, because it is the only number that is directly between a square and a cube.

Favorite Math Joke: What do you call a number that can’t stand still? A roamin’ numeral.

In 5 years I will be… a chemical engineer.

What are your dreams? I want to compete in rock climbing on a national scale.

Favorite math topic: I like trigonometry because it involves lots of visuals and graphs, such as the unit circle, that are fun to use and easy to manipulate.


 

Hanna Boyer, Instructor

I am an environmental engineering student at Colorado School of Mines. I came to work at Mathnasium because I want to share my passion for learning and understanding math. I believe that understanding why you are doing something is so much more important than just memorizing a formula or method to solve a problem, and that is the way we teach here. True learning helps us better relate to the world around us, and I want to help other students let go of frustration with math. I have struggled myself with physics in college and I just though the other students just understood it better than I did for some reason. I was failing my physics class and had to get a tutor. My tutor was very patient and knew how to explain things in a way that made sense to me. I was able to pass physics and I learned the smartest thing I could do was work hard and ask for help.

Favorite Number:  My favorite number is 9 because I used to play volleyball and 9 was my number.

Favorite Math Joke: Why did 7 eat 9? Because you are supposed to eat 3 square meals a day!

In 5 years I will be . . . .working at an environmental engineering firm on renewable energy sources!

Fun Fact: I have a cat named Meow!


Collin Blackford, Instructor 

 Hi! I'm Collin and I'll be a junior at D'Evelyn next fall. I have been tutoring students at my high school in math and realized I really enjoy it. When I heard about Mathnasium, I thought it would be a perfect fit for me. First semester of my freshman year I had an 82 going into the last week of school. Because of my lowest test score being dropped and doing well on the final, my grade rose to an 89.6% and I got an "A" in the class. I learned that if you study and work hard, anything in a classroom is possible. I am also an actor. I have been acting professionally since 2014 and will be in a movie coming out in theaters sometime this year. In 5 years, my dream is to be living in LA working as an actor. 

Favorite Number: My favorite number is pi because it never ends.

Favorite Math Joke: Why are obtuse angles always depressed? Because they're never right!

Hobbies: Acting, paying basketball, golfing and card tricks.


Devon Bountry, Instructor

Hi! My name is Devon and I am a junior at Bear Creek High School. I wanted to work at Mathnasium because I love helping others understand math, and helping them see just how amazing math can be. This seemed like the perfect job because I get the opportunity to work with kids and help them improve their math skills. Math is a universal language that can open many doors with endless opportunities. Besides math I also enjoy hiking with my dog Zeke, playing volleyball, skiing and riding horses.

Favorite Number: My favorite number is 9 because 3 is my lucky number and 9 is three 3's.

In Five Years I Will Be:  In college studying environmental chemical engineering.

Why did you decide to work at Mathnasium? I came to work at Mathnasium to inspire younger kids to become passionate about math by helping them understand it and enjoy it.


Matthew Peters, Instructor

Hello, I’m Matt Peters! I received my bachelor’s degree in geophysics from Colorado School of Mines, and am still studying there as a master’s student in computer science. My minor was in mathematics, so I’ve got a passion for the subject. I want to be a web developer. Or another software engineer of some kind. Maybe an AI researcher? I don’t quite know yet, but all I do know is that I need to be challenged in some way!   

Favorite Math Topic: My favorite math topic is complex numbers. Once long ago, we could only think of positive integers, like 1, 2, 3… At one point, someone decided to make nothing a number, and called it 0. At another point, it was discovered that there were numbers between numbers, and called them fractions. Eventually we made the concept of numbers less than nothing, and called them negative numbers. Essentially, as time went on and knowledge evolved, we kept finding utility in expanding our numeric system. Eventually, one of the most abstract discoveries was made with i, also known as the square root of negative one, or imaginary numbers. It doesn’t seem to make sense, and yet it does because the math works out! We discovered that numbers can have both real and imaginary components. That’s what complex numbers are.

Fun Fact:  I LOVE problem solving. Every day I look forward to a new coding challenge, whether it’s writing a program to efficiently traverse a binary tree to get the information I want, or figuring out how many times a word needs to be split such that there are at most 4 unique characters. One of the most important things I’ve discovered about myself is that if I don’t embrace challenge, I’m a very bored man.

Hobbies: Long-distance running and healthy eating. Also, playing difficult single-player video games! I love trying something new, failing, figuring out what I did wrong and could do better, then implementing a better course of action. Self-improvement is fun!


Hillary D'Amico, Instructor

Aloha! I'm Hillary. I am a middle school math teacher and truly love working with students in math! I have worked as a 2nd grade, 5th grade, 6th grade, and now 7th grade teacher! I have taught all content areas, but math is my passion, so I moved up to teach middle school math and absolutely love it! As a student, I struggled a bit with math in elementary school, mostly because I was learning the content in French! (I went to an IB school with an immersion program). Once I got to middle school, I had some amazing teachers who made me realize how fun math could be and I fell in love. I went on to be a part of the National Math Honor Society in high school, and graduated with plenty of college math credits from my AP classes. I kept up with math classes throughout college, and eventually took many courses on math education. It was great to learn how to teach math, what common misconceptions there are in math, and how to help students who are struggling or excelling! I'm very excited to be working at Mathnasium and the many "Aha!" moments from the students I work with.

What are your dreams? I dream of helping children in math for many years, and hopefully making a positive impression on a few so they are inspired to become math teachers themselves! I aslo dream of visiting Australia for an extended period and really immersing myself in their culture and to see little blue penguins in the wild!

Favorite Number? My favorite number is 5 because it was my number when I was a water polo player.

Hobbies: Hiking, skiing, camping and going to concerts!

Best Math Story: I didn't always love math, but I had an amazing math teacher in middle school who made me feel confident and capable. I started loving math because of this teacher! My goal is to make any and all students I work with feel confident and to help them start enjoying math more!


Owen Petruzzi, Instructor

Hi! My name is Owen and I am a senior at Chatfield Senior High. I came to work at Mathnasium because after I spent time helping many of my friends and my brother with their math homework, I realized that I really enjoy helping people to better understand math. Once I realized this, I decided to come work at Mathnasium so that I could help teach math. I hope to go to college in order to research either particle physics or computer science.

Favorite Math Joke: Why do mathematicians always mix up Halloween and Christmas? Because Oct 31=Dec 25! (318=2510)

Fun Fact: I once memorized 512 digits of π for pi day, but unfortunately have forgotten a large portion of that since then.

Hobbies: I enjoy running cross country, playing video games, and computer programming.

Favorite Math Topic: My favorite math topic is Taylor Series polynomials. This is because not only are they necessary in graphing utilities, but they are required to prove Euler’s Identity, which states that e+1=0, which at first glance seems nonsensical, but actually manages to unite the mathematical constants e, i, and π in a single equation.

 

Scott Rukstales, Instructor

Hi I'm Scott! I am a Junior in the IB program at Lakewood High School! I like calculus because it was the first math class where my teacher showed many in-depth real world problems that could be solved using derivatives and integrals. I want to learn as many languages as I can and use them while traveling. I already know some French, and I am just starting to learn Chinese at my high school this year. I want to learn many more languages such as German, Korean, Russian, and Japanese to name the ones I want to learn the most. 

Favorite Number: My favorite number is 22 because it is my lucky and unlucky number.

Favorite Math Joke: When is the number 10 not equal to 10? When it’s a statistic.

In 5 years I will be  . . . . Working in Silicon Valley creating games or coding!

Fun Fact: I beat a former #1 globally ranked player in a video game called Armagetron.

Hobbies: video games, computer programming, lighting effects, African drumming, animals.

 

Kim Foster, Administrative Assistant

Hi! I'm Kim! I came to Mathnasium to work as an admin for Suzie. I have worked with Suzie previously in Girl Scouts. I have read Suzie’s book – Lucy Dakota and admired the adventures she had. I hoped that working at Mathnasium would be an adventure as well. I was not wrong!  No two days are alike and there is always something new to learn. Our students are inspiring for me! They keep trying and don’t quit! Our instructors are fun to work with too! We have a wonderful, big hearted staff!

Favorite Number: My two favorite numbers are 9 and 5. They are my lucky numbers!

In 5 years I will be  . . . .A mom to two high school graduates! 

Fun Facts: I have biked down Mt. Haleakala after watching the sunrise, I was previously an archery instructor and trivia is my jam! 

What are your dreams? I dream of finally traveling to Europe so that I can do all the touristy stuff then stay and enjoy all that the different cultures have to offer!  I want to learn about wine in Italy, France and Germany. I want to learn about cheese in Spain, Switzerland, France and Italy. I want to take the train through Scotland and visit the Midlands in England. I want to sit in a cathedral and soak up the history and peaceful, quiet moments. So many things!!  

 
 
 
Math is fun with the AMAZING instructors at Mathnasium of Littleton!