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
Kaitee Weiman, Senior Instructor
Hi I'm Kaitee and I am currently a middle school teacher at Alameda International Jr./Sr. High School. I had a six year undergraduate career, spending 2 years at the University of Northern Colorado and 4 years at Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU). I am a graduate from MSU, earning my secondary mathematics education degree in December of 2016. I'm so excited to help build the leaders of tomorrow by being a classroom teacher and a tutor at Mathnasium. It is vital to me that the students I work with know I believe in them and that they can do math. This is so important to me because I was once a student who struggled with mathematics and it really took a tole on my perception of myself. All it took for me was to have one teacher who showed me she believed in me by going above and beyond to help me understand. Her name was Ms. Halverson. I want to follow in Ms. Halverson's footsteps and show students I believe in them and with perseverance and hard work they can be a rock star in math. Aside from giving back to my community by helping others better their math skills, I enjoy volunteering in the horse community and riding my horse Joker. During the summer Joker and I ride on a drill team together and we travel all around Colorado volunteering our time to perform in Rodeos.
I love Mathnasium because . . . It gives students opportunities to expand their knowledge of mathematics outside of the classroom. Mathnaisum helps students learn to self – regulate and self – justify answers to problems. This in turn helps students gain confidence in math and beyond. Mathnasium is a place where students are able to grow and improve their math skills while also building character.
Hobbies: Riding horses, fishing, hiking, and watching sports.
Favorite math topic: Statistics – I love stats because it is applicable to everyday life. Statistics is all about collecting and analyzing numerical data in large quantities. It’s fascinating to me that data can be studied and used to make educated predictions for the future.
Hayley Black, Senior Instructor
Hi, I'm Hayley. I'm a senior at Columbine High School. 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.
Reyna Felipa, Senior Instructor
Hi I'm Reyna! I am a freshman at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. I am pursuing a degree in Human Development and Family Studies. I have been an instructor at Mathnasium of Littleton since my sophomore year in high school. While I may not be a scholar in math like my wonderful fellow instructors, I have a huge passion for children. The friendships and love I have developed for not only the staff here but also for the students are what makes Mathnasium such an important part of my life. When I am not working with children, I enjoy playing the saxophone, taking photographs (studying photography) and playing tennis!
Fun Facts: I am half Peruvian, half American and I have been to Peru six times!
In 5 years I will be . . .working with children in some way!
Favorite Math Joke: What do you call friends who love math? AlgeBros!
Brett Bernstein, Instructor
Hi, my name is Brett Bernstein. I am a junior at the Colorado School of Mines majoring in geophysics, as well as minoring in data science. My main interest in math comes from the fact that it is such a versatile subject. Not only can it benefit you in other subjects such as physics and computer science, but it also promotes a general mindset that encourages problem solving through critical thinking! About myself: I’m originally from Livermore, California, but have been loving every moment in Colorado! Aside from school, I also love music. I used to play a multitude of instruments such as the tuba, trumpet, and alto saxophone, but now I focus mainly on the bass, specifically jazz. I am a part of the the Mines jazz ensemble, as well as a smaller jazz combo with a few other talented musicians and friends. Through the two groups I have had opportunities such as performing on Denver’s jazz radio station 89.3 KUVO, as well as providing live music for various school events. When I’m not playing music, I also enjoy activities such as water polo and gaming.
In 5 years I will be . . . Hopefully pursuing a doctorate in the field of geophysics!
Hobbies: Listening to/composing music, playing the bass, Tetris, playing/watching competitive Super Smash Bros
I love Mathnasium because . . . It provides students the opportunity to learn and practice math in an efficient, easy-to-understand way.
Favorite Math Topic and Why: Differential equations! I enjoy seeing, as well as knowing how physical and conceptual situations can be modeled through math.
Varada Pothera, Instructor
Hi, I’m Varada. I’m senior at D’Evelyn Jr./Sr. High School. I love math because there is always a right answer, and there is always a way to get there. I’ve loved math ever since I was a little kid, and now I still love it while talking BC Calculus. I also love working with kids so I thought Mathnasium would be a great fit for me. One of my passions is dance so I was a cheerleader for the last three years. I also love traveling and photography. I am so excited to be working at Mathnasium!
Favorite Number and Why: 22 because it’s my birthday and my lucky number.
I love Mathnasium because . . . It teaches kids a new way to look at math so that they find a way to enjoy it even if they are struggling with it.
Fun Fact: I’ve been to India seven times!
Your Best Math Story: My brother comes to me almost everyday asking for help with some sort of math problem on his homework and I love helping him because I love helping people understand math.
Catherine Bailey, Instructor
Hello, my name is Catherine. I am a homeschool mom to my seventh-grade daughter. I graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics, a minor in mathematics, and a master’s in Public Administration. My daughter was born right before graduation, so I became a stay-at-home mom as soon as I was done with school. My family moved to Chicago while my husband was in law school, then we spent a couple years in Texas. We have lived in Colorado for almost seven years now.
I always liked math, but I didn’t realize I was particularly good at it until my high school math teacher invited me with several other students to participate in a math competition at the local college the next day. I decided to go because, hey, my friends were going and it meant I got to miss school. I didn’t expect to do well, with no time to prepare. But our school took first place in the team scoring, and I took second place in our division in the individual scoring and won a scholarship! That’s when I realized I had an aptitude for math, and I’ve been tutoring others since then.
Favorite Math Joke: A farmer counted 196 cows in the field. But when he rounded them up, he had 200.
I love Mathnasium because . . . . . It has a calm, positive atmosphere that helps students overcome their anxieties about math and learn to associate math with good things. The instructors are all happy, positive people who really care about helping the students learn and grow.
Fun Fact: I love to travel and see new places. It doesn’t have to be far away, just unique and beautiful. One of my favorite trips was to Great Sand Dunes National Park. I also love Yellowstone and all the parks in southern Utah.
Hobbies: Traveling, reading, hiking, teaching homeschool, playing the piano, quilting
Kathryn Lichlyter, Instructor
Hello, my name is Kathryn Lichlyter. I’m currently a senior at Columbine High School. Even though I’m an art-fanatic and planning on attending an art school next year, I’ve always loved working with numbers and math. There’s a lot of science and geometry that goes into planning out and creating an art piece, so I’m excited to help other students learn to use math as well in their own interests. I play cello and love to sing! I’ve worked with children ever since middle school, where I would volunteer at my community church during the summer. I hope to help kids find mathematics an enjoyable and applicable to any career they wish to pursue.
Favorite Number: Got to be 0. It’s such a weird number/place-holder, and it was such an important invention for early civilizations.
Fun Fact: I have a blind, diabetic Miniature Schnauzer named Paris. She’s adorable!
Favorite Math Topic: I’ve always loved Geometry and how applicable it is to art.
In 5 Years I Will Be. . . Working in advertisement for some company, fresh out of college and waiting for my career to start!
Favorite Math Joke: i said to pi, “Be rational.” Pi said to i, “Get real.”
Best Math Story: I write the Fibonacci sequence in a lot of my workbooks at school. I don’t remember how high I’ve gotten in the sequence. . . All I remember was that I needed to continue it on another sheet on looseleaf paper.
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.
Hi, my name is Joe. I am a senior at D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School. I love math because I love working with numbers and that math builds on itself and every concept you learn is useful. I have always loved math because I had fantastic teachers who taught me the importance of math. I also really enjoy science because you can apply topics you have learned in math to real world applications. I’ve been running cross-country for four years now because it is a great way to relax after school and clear your head of stress. I also run track in the spring. I found out about Mathnasium through my sister, Abby, and I thought it was such a great idea to teach kids in a way that made sense to them rather than through lectures in a classroom. So, I was very interested in becoming an instructor because I believe math is a vital concept to understand and I want to help as many people as possible enjoy math.
Favorite Number: 1 because it is a factor of everything
Hobbies: I enjoy running, playing basketball, and video games
Favorite Math Topic: Probability because it is used in everyday life and is such a useful tool for analyzing situations
Your Best Math Story: My fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Patterson, knew that many people in my class did not enjoy math so she spent time creating fun and engaging lessons that everyone in the class loved doing, and by the end of the year everyone was much more confident in their math abilities.
Joe Kraus, Instructor
Hi I am Joe! I am currently a substitute math and science teacher for Jeffco schools. My goal is to be a high school math or science teacher or to return to being a research librarian! With a background in physics and library science, I enjoy teaching students about mathematics and other scientific topics. I want to help children understand mathematics on a deeper level. When they acquire greater number sense, students will be able to have a wider variety of options available to them as they learn and grow academically. I have always liked prime numbers. When I was a kid, I assumed that mathematicians by now would have developed an easy prime number checker, but that is not the case. There are ways to verify certain specific types of large prime numbers, but not all types. In past years, I provided computational data for the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (https://www.mersenne.org/). A Mersenne Prime takes the form of 2p-1. Right now, 243,112,609-1 is the largest known verified prime number.
Favorite Number: 22. It was the day of the month I was born, and it is two twos.
Fun Fact: Geographers have known since the 1800s that maps can be made using just four colors. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_color_theorem) No more than four colors are required to color the regions of a map so that no two adjacent regions (such as states or countries) have the same color. However, it had not been proven mathematically until relatively recently (1976 through 2005) using different computational methods.
Hobbies: I really like doing astronomy, and I have been an amateur astronomer since 1989. I like traveling to view and photograph total lunar and solar eclipses. I’ve seen many lunar eclipses, one annular solar eclipse in Texas in 2012, and two total solar eclipses. One of those was in England in 1999, and I saw the most recent 2017 total eclipse was in Nebraska.
Favorite Math Joke: Math puns are the first sine of madness.
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.
Kelly Ryan, Instructor
Hi, I'm Kelly! I am a senior at Heritage High School. I love math and I love working with kids. Math is fun and I really enjoy doing it. I also enjoy helping people, so Mathnasium is a perfect fit. I am a dancer at Littleton Dance Academy and rehearse multiple hours each week, so I will only be working on Wednesdays during the school year.
Fun Fact: I have a pet gecko named Tumbleweed.
Favorite Math Joke: PLAN
Your plan has been foiled!
Favorite Math Topic: I really like anything algebra, like solving for x because that's when I first started to really enjoy math with one of my teachers who pushed me to work harder.
Leonard Farni, Instructor
My brother put a math meme on Facebook and suggested I check out Mathnasium. I have been retired from teaching for 3 years and have some free time, but didn’t want to go back to the University, so I decided to take a look. I taught college for 15 years so I wasn’t sure how I would do with elementary age kids, but after my first hour of helping the kids I was completely sold – I think this is a magnificent model of how we can help kids who get sidetracked in math. So, from a casual remark from my brother, I think I have found a place I will love. I might have to thank him for that next time I see him.
My dad told a story about an instructor named Mr. Yoder who took the time to ask how he was getting his answers since dad was definitely not using the canned methods the teachers used. I think dad was a spatial/geometrical thinker who had a real feel for relationships but was not buying into the algebraic manipulation model. What I took from this is that everyone has a different set of strengths in learning. A good teacher will help a student by appealing to their strengths, and a great teacher will help them make connections to other methods to reinforce them. I loved teaching trigonometry because you could write an algebraic system and get an answer or you could draw a picture and get the same answer. When I saw the connection between these seemingly very different approaches (long after I escaped from High School trig with a B) it was revelatory. My goal as a teacher has always been to be open to being Mr. Yoder (who I never met) for someone. You can tell when a student gets an “aha” moment and it is a great feeling.
Favorite Number: 16, because it is 2^4 and 4^2
I love Mathnasium because … Because the kids are cool and I love sharing my love for math
Hobbies: Music, travel and trivia
Fun Fact: I have tried out for Jeopardy! 9 times . . . still waiting to get on.
In 5 years I will be . . . . Playing the trumpet and collecting stamps in my passport
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!
Kim Foster, Administrative Assistant
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!!