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:
Jana Frank, Owner
Jana is a former Chicago Public School teacher with degrees in psychology, education, and mathematics. She was individually selected to work under Dr. Paul Sally, the leading professor of the mathematics department at the University of Chicago who created the Everyday Math Program. In collaboration with him, she spent her summers bringing math enrichment to underprivileged students from the south side of Chicago. She has over ten years of private tutoring experience with students of all ages and levels, ranging from special education instruction with children with autism and ADHD to gifted enrichment, as well as test preparation for the college entrance exams ACT/SAT. After teaching multiple grades and subjects for over half a decade in the public schools, Jana has developed a passion for creating math curriculum that focuses on conceptual understanding and lasting fundamental knowledge rather than drill and memorization. Mathnasium, with its focus on number sense, has provided the perfect forum through which Jana can offer best practice in mathematical instruction and learning. She is excited to bring Mathnasium to Oak Park and join the community.
Fun Fact: In her free time, Jana practices flying trapeze and acrobatics!
Anthony Paparo, Regional Director
Anthony graduated from Elmhurst College in 2013 with a degree in Mathematics and Physics. He has had a passion for math for a long time and worked as a Calculus tutor during his time spent at Elmhurst, while also working as a researcher at the BITS Physics Lab in Elmhurst. During his studies in college, he focused heavily on math courses that complement the study of physics, such as Calculus, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, and Statistics for Scientists and Engineers. After graduating, he spent time applying his skills in the field of Data Analysis for nearly 2 years. His excitement towards helping others learn and understand mathematical concepts has led him to find his calling with Mathnasium! He is excited to do everything he can to help others become more confident in their math abilities. Anthony was previously the Director of Instruction at Mathnasium of Oak Park/River Forest and the Center Director at Mathnasium of La Grange, and is excited to be the Regional Director of Mathnasium of Oak Park/River Forest, La Grange, and Mount Prospect!
Fun Fact: Anthony's favorite holiday is Halloween and he celebrates it year-round!
Jamal Riley, Director of Operations
Jamal is an undergraduate at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Majoring in Computer Engineering, he is on the road to his goal of one day becoming an engineer and an educator. A versatile learner, he is also studying business and working toward a teaching certificate. Jamal loves to teach because he believes that it goes beyond helping students with math. Although he has a high passion for STEM subjects, Jamal believes that the best part about teaching is building a mentoring relationship and connecting with the youth of today. Above all, he loves to be supportive of those around him. Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, Jamal has had many opportunities to teach STEM subjects in underdeveloped neighborhoods, teaching and assisting youth as young as preschool to as old as college undergraduates. In his free time, he dedicates his time to NSBE, an organization dedicated to community service, STEM subjects, and overall minority excellence. Jamal is thrilled to be able to spread his love and knowledge of math!
Matthew Pakulski, Director of Education
Matt is at the midpoint of a career centered on music, but his first academic love was math - so when he found himself with some time on his hands, he doubled the foci and made an ellipse of his career by joining Mathnasium as an instructor. With his record label FPE Records ("For Practically Everyone"), and during his time in the music recommendations technology industry, he has worked to make it easier for people to connect with music by de-mystifying it and fighting elitism in music appreciation. Matt supports Mathnasium's mission to "help kids learn math in a way that makes sense to them," and he enjoys breaking down barriers in a new arena!
Fun Fact: Matt can count to Mathnasium's favorite number, 10, in Amharic, the language spoken in the capital of Ethiopia!
Kaitlin Feely, Director of New Membership
Kaitlin is a recent graduate from Illinois Wesleyan University where she received her BFA in music theatre and a minor in mathematics. While music and performing have always been where her heart lies, COVID-19 has allowed her to pivot to her other passions of working with children and math! There is a definite link between music and math, and Kaitlin credits some of her success in both areas to her amazing mentors she has had along the way. She now hopes to be a mentor herself by using her energy and exuberance to create a fun and engaging learning experience for others. Prior to coming to Mathnasium, Kaitlin spent six summers at the Buffalo Grove Park District working as a camp counselor and site supervisor. She believes in the importance of providing kids with a variety of opportunities to discover their passions and to turn those passions into big dreams — and just maybe those dreams will start with math!
Fun Fact: Kaitlin was cast in a Broadway tour at the age of 10!
Mona Ochana, Administrative Assistant
Mona is an Assyrian American and is fluent in the language, and she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education with an endorsement in Mathematics. Mona also has a Professional Educator License which is valid for grades 5th - 8th. She is a single mother to a beautiful 4 year-old daughter. Going through the Education program at Loyola, Mona has been exposed to working with different students throughout the years, gaining experience tutoring and helping those with math and science and creating lesson plans and teaching it to multiple different students in ways that made sense to them. Mona also has a year of experience student teaching for CPS students at Ogden International School of Chicago.
Fun Fact: Mona loves to play Fortnite in her free time!
Jacob Friesen, Lead Instructor
Jacob is an Oak Park and River Forest High School graduate and currently a student at Dominican University in River Forest, working on a double major in Economics and Mathematics. Jacob thinks math is fun and can be exciting, and he often gives himself opportunities to figure out little problems here and there in creative ways. Jacob has done tutoring before through college classes, and he absolutely loves working with children in figuring out the math. Outside of math, Jacob likes to play video games and write down jokes for comedy skits or bits he's working on. The only things Jacob loves more than math are dogs. Jacob is happy to be a part of the Mathnasium team and is excited to work with all of the students!
Fun Fact: Jacob was born in Chad, Africa!
Aden Weiss, Instructor
Aden is a junior at Oak Park and River Forest High School. He has previously taken Geometry and Pre-Calculus and is excited to take Calculus BC this year. Over the summer he also took an online class learning to program using Python. Aden loves math because he enjoys the feeling when he finally understands a difficult concept. His favorite part about tutoring is that he loves seeing kids confidence in math increase. Outside of math, Aden is passionate about distance running. At OPRF, he is part of the cross country and track teams. During his free time, Aden enjoys playing video games and soccer with his friends.
Fun Fact: Aden loves to eat spaghetti & meatballs!
Alex Yuan, Instructor
Alex is a senior at Oak Park and River Forest High School. Currently, he takes Statistics, but he's already finished most of the algebra, geometry, and calculus classes. He's always been passionate about math ever since his sister introduced it to him. To help others appreciate math or learn to hate it a little less, he's always helped others whenever they have felt confused or frustrated. He's never liked it when people have said they just aren't "math people," so he always goes out of his way to show people that everyone has the capability to do math. Besides math, Alex also likes to play soccer, learn more, and sleep.
Fun Fact: Alex has yet to learn how to whistle!
Allison Cavallo, Instructor
Allison is a freshman at Brown University and a graduate of Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago. She excelled in AP Calculus AB and struggled through an Introductory Number Theory class, where she learned that math is more than just formulas and equations; it’s a way of thinking that reveals hidden patterns in our universe. Allison loves connecting with young students and watching their confidence grow over time. She firmly believes that every person is a math person, and aims to make math concepts accessible and unintimidating to students with different learning styles.
Fun Fact: Allie is an amateur opera singer!
Annaliese Baker, Instructor
Annaliese is a senior at Oak Park and River Forest High School. She is currently taking AP Calculus AB. Annaliese loves math and hopes to study economics and English in college. She loves working with kids, as nothing is better than the smile on their faces when they understand the problem. Outside of math, Annaliese enjoys reading classic literature, writing short stories, and running cross country!
Fun Fact: Annaliese is a junior editor for a magazine!
Bianca Meyer, Instructor
Bianca is currently a junior at Saint Ignatius College Prep. She’s on the honors track and has taken Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and is currently taking Pre-Calculus. Bianca has a love for learning and sharing her knowledge with others. She’s always loved working with kids because of the new outlooks on problems they offer. She’s excited to work with all the amazing Mathnasium students! Her other interests include music, rowing, and history!
Fun Fact: Bianca has 3 pet bunnies — Daisy, Dusty and Luna!
Brian White, Instructor
Brian is an Oak Park River Forest High School graduate and is currently working on courses in Computer Science at Triton College. His winding road so far has included time at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and work in the real estate title insurance industry. Brian has completed Calculus 1, 2, and 3 at the college level. More recently he has also finished Differential Equations. He looks forward to helping students learn math while having fun. When not working, he can be found playing a variety of board games with several groups in the city.
Fun Fact: Brian's favorite board game is Civilization, which usually take 12 hours to play!
Cassie Smith, Instructor
Cassie is an Oak Park River Forest High School graduate and is currently a junior at Carleton College, where she is pursuing a degree in Geology. Cassie has taken Calculus 3 at the college level and plans to take Linear Algebra and Statistics. during the coming year. In her free time, Cassie likes to play card games and explore state parks in the area.
Fun Fact: Cassie is a pro at the card game Egyptian Rat Slap (ERS) and she once went 6 years without losing a game!
Claire Teresa Galavotti, Instructor
Claire Teresa is currently a senior at Saint Ignatius College Prep. She has taken Geometry, Trigonometry, and Pre-Calculus on the honors track, and is currently taking AP Calculus BC. Claire loves the feeling of understanding a math concept, seeing the patterns in math, and having fun once it is easy to apply. She loves bringing this feeling to others even more and has always had a passion for helping students out. Other than math, her interests include fencing, psychology, and art!
Fun Fact: Claire and her three siblings all have a birthday that ends in 8!
Derek Loux, Instructor
Derek is a graduate student at American Public University, seeking a degree in Psychology with a concentration in Development and Personality. He is on track to obtain a doctorate in the same field and become a professor of the subject. Teaching in all of its forms is a passion of his, and one of his many joys comes from seeing someone understand and enjoy learning. It is his goal to help every student he comes into contact with develop a love of academia and find ways to apply their learning to life. Born in Liberty, Missouri, he spent the majority of his life in Texas before finding a home in Chicago. Much of his high school and early college career was spent tutoring in a competitive environment, and has taught him tools that translate to the Mathnasium model. In his free time, he spends his hours reading and pursuing fitness.
Fun Fact: Derek has read his favorite trilogy, Mistborn, 26 times over the years!
Elizabeth Cahill, Instructor
Elizabeth is currently a sophomore at Oak Park River Forest High School. She is currently taking Pre-Calculus and is looking forward to taking AP Statistics. Elizabeth has always enjoyed math because answers have multiple explanations and is excited to work with kids and watch them grow in their understanding of math. When kids are paired with the right tutor and the right teaching methods, they have so much room to grow their knowledge. At school, Elizabeth plays on the tennis team, lacrosse team, and is a part of the business club.
Fun Fact: Elizabeth spent last summer traveling around Costa Rica studying environmental science for 10 days.
Garrett Credi, Instructor
Garrett is currently a senior at Oak Park and River Forest High School. He is currently taking Linear Algebra/Multivariable Calculus and Abstract Algebra, as well as the Student Leadership class. He has always been an avid lover of STEM, and has a special affinity for math and computer science. He loves running, and is a part of OPRF's cross country and track team. Along with running year-round, he also competes year-round with OPRF's math team. He plans to study math in college and use that knowledge to solve some of math’s biggest problem. He is very excited to teach his favorite subject!
Fun Fact: Garrett studies Chinese!
Griffin Kelley, Instructor
Griffin is a sophomore at Oak Park and River Forest High School. He has taken Pre-Calculus, Geometry, and Algebra. Griffin is an avid math learner who competes with the Oak Park and River Forest High School Math Team. He desires to see others enjoy math to the same extent he does. Outside of math, Griffin plays for his soccer and lacrosse teams at his high school. During his free time, Griffin enjoys watching YouTube and playing Fifa!
Fun Fact: Griffin plays Ultimate Frisbee and collects discs, owning 18 discs in total!
John Hurtado, Instructor
John is a freshman at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and has taken courses in Geometry, Pre-Calculus, AP Computer Science, AP Calculus BC, Linear Algebra and Calculus III. He has always been interested in math since he was a kid. He would always find himself playing with math related toys and games and that has turned into a long journey of furthering his education in math. Before John started working at Mathnasium he would spend summers volunteering at the Oak Park Public Library, he would either be working on quality of life tasks for the library or setting up activities for kids to do at the library. John enjoys seeing students’ faces light up when they finally finish a problem that they have been stuck on and seeing them achieve the “Huzzah Moment”. This is what he wants to help the students at Mathnasium achieve.
Fun Fact: John plays the trumpet and nothing else!
Kendra Fourte, Instructor
Kendra Fourte is a Homewood-Flossmoor High School and International Baccalaureate graduate. She is currently an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, College Park majoring in Math with a focus on Statistics. Kendra has completed Calculus 1, 2, and 3 at the college level and has recently finished Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, and Introduction to Proofs. A versatile learner, she is also studying private investigation and working toward an actuarial certificate. She hopes to go on to work for NASA as a data scientist. Kendra has had a passion for math since she was small thanks to great teachers and hopes to one day inspire other kids to shoot for the stars with STEM. In addition to math, Kendra loves board games and is the Director of Live Music at her school’s radio station.
Fun Fact: Kendra has 2 cats — Diamond and Cody!
Lauren Kocheny, Instructor
Lauren is a junior at Oak Park and River Forest High School. She is currently taking Calculus BC and has previously taken Advanced Algebra and Pre-Calculus. She has been passionate about math since she was little and enjoys working with kids. She loves the satisfaction of solving a challenging problem and wants to help others experience the same joy. Outside of Mathnasium, she likes to bake and is a part of the OPRF Marching Band.
Fun Fact: Lauren can do a cartwheel!
Marina Atkin, Instructor
Fun Fact: Marina is in her school's Robotics Club!
Matt Pilditch, Instructor
Matt resides in Oak Park with his wife and three children. Formally trained in medicine, he currently works part-time in Family Practice in Lisle. This has freed up his schedule to pursue one of his other passions, education. The son of a teacher and grade-school/high-school principal, Matt is building on experience he has gained teaching patients, medical students, and fellow church members. Matt is looking forward to "Math Instructor" being another successful teaching experience!
Fun Fact: Matt is an avid gardener and loves the outdoors, especially camping with his family!
Nate Singer, Instructor
Nate is a senior at Oak Park and River Forest High School. He has taken Geometry, Algebra, Pre-Calculus, Statistics, and just finished Calculus BC. He has always been fascinated by math and frequently did puzzles as a kid with his great-grandmother. He plans to study economics and eventually become a consultant. Beyond math, Nate is the manager of the OPRF Science Olympiad team and did carpentry at the theater department for two years. He also enjoys playing video games and listening to music.
Fun Fact: Nate is an ardent guitar player and has been learning music theory for eight years!
Nic Ubogy, Instructor
Nic is a senior at Oak Park and River Forest High School. He has taken Geometry, Pre-Calculus, and is currently taking AP Calculus BC. Math has always been his favorite subject in school, and always finds it very satisfying when he is able to solve a complicated or difficult problem. Nic also enjoys assisting his classmates and siblings when they need help with their math homework by helping them to understand tricky concepts. He is also a fan of outdoor activities such as rock-climbing, camping, soccer, and frisbee. Nic also fosters a healthy love of music, table-top games, movies, and books.
Fun Fact: Nic studied abroad in Argentina for his junior year of high school!
Priya Rawal, Instructor
Priya is a senior at Oak Park and River Forest High School. At her time there, she has taken Geometry, Pre-Calculus and AP Calculus BC, and is currently taking AP Computer Science. She has loved math ever since she was learning her times tables at age 4, and also enjoys helping other grasp the concepts of math. She has always been one to help friends who are stuck on hard math problems. Priya has a passion for working with kids and knows how much an instructor or teacher can affect whether a student has a positive or negative experience in the math world. She hopes to help more kids have positive experiences with math while working at Mathnasium because she believes every kid can come to love math and excel in it with the right environment and instruction. Her other hobbies include playing tennis, dancing, and playing the piano, the latter two being things she has done since she was 4 or 5 years old.
Fun Fact: Priya is in the wheel throwing club at OPRF!
Sam Sikora, Instructor
Sam is currently a senior at Fenwick High School. He is currently taking Differential Equations Honors. He has completed Honors Pre-Calculus, AP Calculus BC, and Multivariable Calculus Honors in his time at Fenwick. Math has always been Sam’s favorite subject in school. Sam enjoys teaching math concepts to his peers and sister and being able to see them grasp the concepts at hand. At Mathnasium, Sam hopes to help others by making math make sense. Sam is a member of the Fenwick math team, and in addition plays varsity tennis.
Fun Fact: In his free time, Sam competitively lifts weights!
Sammy Smith, Instructor
Sammy is a sophomore at Oak Park River Forest High School. Sammy has always had a passion for math and looks forward to her future of calculus next year. Sammy is a strong advocate for women in STEM and hopes to see herself take on a future in medicine or math. Sammy believes that math can be fun and exciting and loves to help others feel the same.
Fun Fact: Sammy learned how to read Japanese before English!
Tari Dziire, Instructor
Tari is a sophomore at Oak Park and River Forest High School. She enjoys traveling to different countries and singing! Currently, she is in Advanced Algebra II and has taken Algebra I and Geometry. Tari loves math because not only does she love the feeling after she finally solves a challenging math problem, but also because it's a subject used in everyday life. Whether you're eating out and trying to figure out how much you should tip, or just counting up to ten, you're always using math. Since math is such an important subject, Tari believes that everyone should be able to understand it, and that is why she enjoys tutoring kids. She wants to be able to help them understand math in a way that makes sense to them. Since Tari is close in age with the students at Mathnasium, she vividly remembers what it was like learning math at a young age and what teaching methods really helped her!
Fun Fact: Tari's favorite show is Game of Thrones!
Zach Shack, Instructor
Zach is a junior at Oak Park and River Forest High School. He has taken Algebra, Pre-Calculus, and is currently taking BC Calculus. He enjoys teaching and learning math and is on the math team for Oak Park and River Forest High School. When he isn’t doing math, he is playing soccer as a goalie with his club team, Chicago Edge, or playing on varsity soccer for at his high school. When he has free time, he likes to play video games or practice piano.
Fun Fact: Zach has had 16 teeth pulled!