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:
Caleb Stevenson, Center Director
Caleb completed a BS degree in both Math Systems/Computer Science Systems at Taylor University. He went to Naperville Central H.S. Caleb worked at a financial tech company doing data analysis before starting at Mathnasium. Caleb’s favorite thing about math is the ability to say, “This is the correct solution” and how Math builds from one topic onto another. His ambition is to make math a less scary subject for children. He enjoys soccer, playing the violin and math.
Advice to Mathnasium students: The more complete your fundamentals of math, the less frustrating math will be.
Fun fact: Caleb can water ski and wakeboard, but he can't snow ski or snowboard.
Favorite number: 14, as it was his jersey number for soccer all through his childhood and 1/14 is around .07 and 1/7 is around .14 .
Math joke: Q: Why did the chicken cross the Mobius Strip? A: To get to the same side!
Dayawanti D’Sa, Instructor
Dayawanti attended Welham’s Girls High School in India and Stonar School in England and Assumption University with a Finance and Banking major then went on to study Applied Kinesiology. She is passionate about Brain Integration and Dyslexia work and seeing mathematical patterns in nature. And she lover the Beatles! Dayawanti’s favorite thing about math is that it’s clear and therefore easy to explain and get the concepts across. Plus, math relates so directly to the real world.
Advice to Mathnasium students: When you are not sure, don’t hesitate to speak up!
Fun fact: Dayawanti knows some neat 60-second brain Integration methods that can make studying easier. Also, she traveled the globe in her childhood because her dad was in the United Nations.
Favorite Number, 13, because she was born on the 13th and it has been super lucky for her.
Math joke: One and one is one. (We are all one, irrespective of race, religion, age, size, color and background)
Rohan Desai, Instructor
Rohan currently attends Naperville North High School where he is focusing on math and science. His dream job is to be an Aerospace Engineer where he hopes to design planes of the future. Rohan is passionate about music and robotics and enjoys playing drums, sports and video games, camping and Boy Scouts. His favorite thing about math is the thrill of solving a problem. Rohan thinks math is cool because you can get to the same answer by solving it through different methods.
Advice to Mathnasium students: Never give up on a problem when you get stuck. It’s more fulfilling to persevere and solve that problem on your own.
Fun fact: Rohan has a good sense of humor.
Favorite number: 0, because it is a number that has no value but has so many applications as an integer.
Math joke: Why is 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 8 9!
Rowa El-khateeb, Instructor
Rowa is a senior at Metea Valley High School. She is passionate about math and science and plans to study neuroscience while following a pre-dental track. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering for local organizations and traveling. She loves seeing how math makes up the world around us.
Advice to Mathnasium students: Focus on small things in math. Don’t get something wrong because you forgot the negative sign.
Fun fact: Rowa has lived in 5 states in 7 different cities.
Favorite number: 1, because it is so underestimated.
Math joke: What do you call a number that just can’t stay still? A ‘roamin’ numeral!
Leslie Igbo, Instructor
Leslie attends Bolingbrook High School. Inspired by her mother who is a nurse, she has always been fascinated by medicine. One day she’d like to be an orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon. Leslie enjoys playing the flute, volunteering and traveling. Her favorite thing about math is that there is always a definitive answer to a problem. No interpretation necessary.
Advice to Mathnasium students: Don’t give up. It can be discouraging to get the wrong answer, but learn from your mistakes and with practice, you will learn the process that will get you to the right answer. We are here for your math homework help!
Fun fact: Leslie does not do Social Media!
Favorite number: 7, because it’s odd – like her – and it’s her birth month.
Math joke: i 8 sum pi (and it was great)
Mira Kaushik, Instructor
Mira attends Naperville North High School. Someday she’d like to work in the medical field. She is passionate about the arts, especially singing and drawing. She enjoys math for its ability to induce learning.
Advice to Mathnasium students: Apply math into everyday life because, like friends, it will stick with you for life.
Fun fact: Mira has a horse that acts like a dog.
Favorite number: Pi, because it never ends.
Math joke: Why are obtuse angles so depressed? Because they are never right!
Trenton Ness, Instructor
Trenton is currently studying Mathematics and Education at College of DuPage and would like to teach math in either middle school or high school one day. He likes to cook and play card and video games. Trenton’s favorite thing about math is the elegance of how everything fits together.
Advice to Mathnasium students: If you don’t know where to start, break down the problem and you won’t be confused or overwhelmed. Plus, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Fun fact: Trenton has played a variety of instruments throughout his life including piano, viola, guitar, bass, ukulele, violin and cello!
Favorite number: 73, because it is the 21st prime number and its mirror, 37, is the 12th.
Math joke: "How do you do math in your head so well? I just use imaginary numbers!"
Also, a mathematical limerick that's pretty neat. (( 12 + 144 + 20 + 3 Sqrt) / 7 ) + 5*11 = 9^2 + 0 "A dozen, a gross, and a score / plus three times the square root of four / divided by seven / plus five times eleven / is nine squared and not a bit more."
Son Nguyen, Instructor
Son earned a M. Ed MESA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and would like to one day be a high school principal. He is passionate about teaching and enjoys reading and learning about cosmology. Son’s favorite thing about math is learning the steps and finding ways to get an answer.
Advice to Mathnasium students: The most important step in the learning process is failing. You learn more when you make mistakes.
Fun fact: Son was on stage with Far East Movement during one of their performances.
Favorite number: 7, because it is his lucky number.
Math joke: Dear Algebra, stop asking us to find your X, she is never coming back!
Sharath Palthepu, Instructor
Sharath is currently in high school and wants to study computer engineering or computer science in college and one day own his own business. He enjoys exercising, playing basketball, bike riding, hanging out with friends and listening to music. Sharath enjoys the formulas involved in math because by learning the formulas you can piece together a lot of the conceptual knowledge that goes into math.
Advice to Mathnasium students: Study math because it will always be around in your life. It helps to practice now because it will benefit you in the future.
Fun Fact: Sharath was born 3 months premature and weighed around 1 pound.
Favorite number: 23, because it is in his Instagram name and is the number of some very good basketball players, past and present.
Math joke: Q: What kind of baby does a triangle have? A: A cute one!
Aditya Ramachandran, Instructor
Aditya will attend the Olin College of Engineering to study Engineering with a concentration in Computer Science. Her future ambitions lie in Engineering or applied computer science. Aditya enjoys drone racing, teaching, engineering and hanging out with friends. Her favorite thing about math is working hard to understand a complicated but interesting topic like row-spaces, basis vectors, etc. in linear algebra.
Advice to Mathnasium students: Read. Read. Read. Reading is the key to understanding the world around you and the perspectives of all the people who share its resources.
Fun Fact: Aditya met Obama!
Favorite number: 77, because she loves the number 7.
Math joke: What did Al Gore play on his guitar? An algorithm!
Laurie Ryan, Instructor
Laurie achieved a BS in Mathematics from Illinois Wesleyan University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Aurora University and is now retired after 37 years of teaching junior and senior high school math. Laurie enjoys working out and spending time with grandkids. She sees math as a puzzle or a game and enjoys the logic it takes to win.
Advice to Mathnasium students: Keep trying, ask questions and always show your work.
Fun fact: Laurie attended Randy Hundley Fantasy Baseball Camp for a week.
Favorite number: 14, Ernie Bank’s jersey number.
Math joke: What did zero say to eight? Nice belt.
Suzanne Scott, Instructor
Suzanne earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in computer science from University of South Florida and another master’s degree in Actuarial Science from Georgia State University. She enjoys both listening and playing music. One day Suzanne would like to visit as many natural wonders and national monuments throughout the world as possible. Her favorite thing about math is that there is a solution to every problem.
Advice to Mathnasium students: Learning math can be a lot of fun. Enjoy the journey. A good math education can take you far in life.
Fun fact: Suzanne is a citizen of three countries.
Favorite number: 9, because the digits of any number divisible by nine always add up to nine.
Math joke: Dear Algebra, please stop asking us to find your X. She’s not ever coming back. Don’t ask Y.
Bhuvni Shah, Instructor
Bhuvni is currently a student at Naperville North High School. Her future ambition is to make life easier for those who find it the hardest. She enjoys solving jigsaw puzzles, playing piano and going on runs in the morning. Her favorite thing about math is that math is like a puzzle and it is necessary to use problem-solving skills to solve it. Also, the ‘aha’ moment at the end of solving a difficult problem.
Advice to Mathnasium students: Focus on finding the excitement in math and what you are learning from it rather than the prizes.
Fun Fact: Bhuvni can speak four languages.
Favorite number: 2, because it’s the perfect number of people for a game of cards.
Math joke: What’s a ballerina’s favorite number? 22 (tutu)
Hanna Stevenson, Instructor
Hanna graduated from Taylor University with a degree in elementary Education with Special Education. She is passionate about helping children and her goal is to continue to better her skills as an educator in order to impact the world, one child at a time. Hanna enjoys photography, horseback riding and hanging out with family and friends. Her favorite thing about math is that math has clear cut answers. Sometimes those answers can be shown several different ways, making math easy to teach for different learning styles.
Advice to Mathnasium students: Never give up! When faced with a challenge you don’t think you can overcome, perseverance is key.
Fun fact: Hanna has lived in two countries overseas and has visited many more.
Favorite number: She loves all even numbers, because every number has a buddy!
Chirath Wasala, Instructor
Chirath studied at the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka and received a master’s degree in quantity surveying at the University of Salford in the UK. He’d like to become an industry leader in the banking world. Chirath enjoys travel, photography and working with numbers. His favorite thing about math is its challenge seeking nature and because he loves working with numbers.
Advice to Mathnasium students: Practice makes you perfect.
Fun fact: Chirath likes to sleep! Sleeping was his main hobby until he finished his undergraduate studies.
Favorite number: 0, because no one precisely has defined the number zero yet and it’s something still in debate.
Math joke: Why do teenagers travel in groups of 3 or 5? Because they can’t even.
J. Steve Santacruz, Owner
Steve graduated from DePaul University from the Honors Accounting Program with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and later received his law degree from DePaul. One of Steve's main passions in life is teaching children. He has been a little league baseball coach since college and enjoys coaching his own two boys in baseball. Steve brings that passion to Mathnasium - hoping to influence and enrich the lives of children through nurturing a passion and appreciation for math. Most students simply need more focused instruction in order to excel. "The Mathnasium method achieves this and much more, due to the richness and breadth of the Mathnasium curriculum. It is the ideal adjunct for a student?s daily classroom instruction, whether the child is struggling or advanced." Through Mathnasium, Steve is excited about being able to teach math to children in a way that makes sense to them. He also looks forward to teaching children the importance of strong study skills, which will serve them in subjects beyond math as they make their way through high school and on to college. Steve and his wife, Karen, are busy raising two sons, Austin and Dylan. They look forward to serving your family!
Karen Santacruz, Owner
Karen graduated from Western Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education with an emphasis in Athletic Training. She has a Master of Science from Northeastern Illinois University in Exercise Science and Cardiac Rehabilitation. Before starting a family Karen worked as an Athletic Trainer for Illinois Sportsmedicine and Addison Trail High School. She then taught physical education and was the Head Athletic Trainer at Stevenson High School. While raising their two boys Karen has taught PE part-time, coaches her sons' sports teams, is a substitute teacher, and volunteers her time in boy scouting and at St. Joseph school. Karen loves working with children, and is excited about opening Naperville Mathnasium!! She has always been a strong advocate for developing fitness in children, and knows how important math skills are to the overall educational development of a child. "I've always been a firm believer in teaching kids in a way they can understand. This allows for a love of learning whatever the subject!! The Mathnasium method does this so well, and allows kids to "work out" their minds!"
Betty Wang, Director of Operations
Betty graduated from New Trier High School and obtained her Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University in Biomechanical Engineering. Mathnasium's philosophy on learning and teaching resonated with Betty's belief that learning is at its best when it occurs in a nurturing environment where students can cast aside their fear and frustration. "Mathnasium offers an unique learning environment and individualized learning plans to helps students make sense of Math. It really makes math fun!"
Sam Larimer, Director of Training/Operations Associate
Sam hails from northwest Indiana, where he completed his B.S. in Mathematics and minor in Civil Engineering at Purdue University Calumet. His interests vary all over the spectrum, from the great outdoors to an engrossing role-playing game to rooting for the Cubbies, Bears & Blackhawks. Most of all, though, his adoration for math tutoring has led him to pursue interests in actuarial science and statistics. New to the North Shore, he is excited to help Naperville Mathnasium students break into the puzzle-solving world of math that he’s enjoyed his entire life.