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:
Todd Velianski, Center Director
Todd is friends with three leprechauns. Well... he knows three people who were the mascots for the Fightin' Irish of the University of Notre Dame, where he earned his BA after graduating from Phillipsburg High School. Todd has been an instructor using the Mathnasium Method since February 2017. His students know him for his quirky sense of humor and his insistence on learning the Latin and Greek roots of mathematical terms. Todd is hands-on and still instructs higher level math. While math is Todd's favorite language, he enjoys studying foreign languages in his free time. He also loves physical fitness, boxing, and blaring 90s music that the kids these days call "old."
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, Instructor
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.
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.
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 senior 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 senior 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.
Alain Gonda, Instructor
Throughout his childhood, math has been something that Alain has grown to love and excel in. He has always been good with numbers and has done well in his math classes throughout the years. Alain genuinely enjoys math and loves teaching and working with the kids, and his goal is to teach the kids math, and make it as enjoyable as possible. He brings positive energy, a great attitude, and math skill to the Mathnasium team. He is a classmate, and teammate of fellow instructor, Alex Kollias and they play basketball all year round together. Alain attended Lopat in his younger days and is familiar with the community. Some other things he enjoys doing is playing video games, going to the movies, and hanging out with his friends. He plans on attending college, and majoring in business someday.
Emily Thompson, Instructor
There’s nothing Emily loves more than helping people through the various stages of joy and frustration that come with doing mathematics, and Mathnasium is the perfect place for that. Emily is a 2014 graduate of Phillipsburg High School and a 2018 graduate of the College of New Jersey, where she majored in math and literature. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in mathematics secondary education at Rutgers University. Emily also enjoys contemporary fiction, non-contemporary dance, and learning about the proper usage of modern slang from her students.
Abigail Stadelmann, Instructor
Abigail has always taken pleasure in learning about math and also teaching the knowledge that she picks up along the way. Abigail is a Junior at Phillipsburg High School, and she aims to make math easy for every student that she encounters. As an AP math student, she understands the effort needed in education and is willing to give it her all to make sure another student “gets it.” She is from Lopatcong, so she is familiar with the community and school system. Abigail is in Honor Society, Debate Club, and the Veteran’s Day tribute team. Outside of this rigorous schedule, Abigail enjoys hiking, ice skating, and baking with her friends and family.
Barry Schaffer, Instructor
Barry is an artist and a scientist. He has a B.A. in Mathematics from King's College in Wilkes-Barre and a B.S. in Finance from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, but is sharing his gifts with us despite his allegiance to the great state of Pennsylvania. Barry has volunteered for many years working with kids through volunteering and youth sports, and he once won a Fraud Buster award for his tireless work uncovering corruption. He's basically Batman. He is known for his great sense of humor working with students and his heroic catch phrase, "Fly Eagles Fly!"
Ryan Peslis, Instructor
Ryan has had an affinity for math since his early days growing up through the Stewartsville school district. A graduate of Moravian Academy, Ryan is currently as senior at Lafayette College getting his B.A. in Mathematics & Economics w/ a Financial Certificate. His favorite classes he has taken are Financial Mathematics, Probability, and Operations Research. Upon graduation, Ryan will be working for PricewaterhouseCoopers as an actuary doing transaction services. When Ryan isn't studying or helping out at Mathnasium, he is either playing or watching soccer with his friends, hiking, or at the gym.