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:
Salma Taher, Center Director/Owner
Salma holds a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature and Psychology and has worked in the corporate world as a creative and technical writer, editor and online marketing specialist. Above all she enjoys her role as a mother, teacher and mentor to her three daughters. Salma strongly believes that the way forward for all children and adults alike lies in education. She knows from her own personal experience that the joy of learning is in the understanding, and the value of knowledge is in its application. Since she believes that imparting knowledge should involve flexibility, creativity and passion, it was only natural that she found Mathnasium the obvious choice. Her quest is to make kids overcome the "math dread" she encountered when teaching her friends/classmates, and the lack of truly engaging math resources available for kids even today. Salma is excited to share the same "aha" moments she experienced while getting trained in the Mathnasium method with her students. She feels it's just the thing kids will love because it relates to their innate curiosity, keeps them engaged, and addresses not just the rules but the reasons. Salma's pleasures include traveling, volunteering her time and family moments. With a passion for lifelong learning, she's excited about embarking on this new journey of her life in helping more kids succeed.
Brad Haber, Center Director/Owner
Brad Haber holds a Bachelor's degree in Information Technology from Roosevelt University and has been an embedded software programmer for the past 14 years. An engineer by profession, he realizes the importance of math in the real world. After years of tutoring kids at home, he discovered that teaching Math for him is a passion and seeing kids succeed is worth any number of hours and weekends. With unlimited patience, a love for numbers and a knack for teaching creatively, Brad has shown kids by example that no math problems or for that matter, life problems are too hard to overcome. An aviation enthusiast who loves to fly, Brad enjoys the exhilaration of taking to the skies. He gets the same high when he sees kids' faces light up when they "get it." His first students were, of course, his own children and their friends. After experiencing many "wow" moments during the training, Brad is really excited to bring Mathnasium to his community because he truly believes in its methodology and the way it explains concepts. Making kids enjoy math is something he truly wants to achieve, not just for his personal satisfaction, but because he knows it will open many doors for them. Brad is an avid reader, world traveler and outdoors enthusiast. He loves to spend time with his family, travel and writes programs for the iPhone as a hobby.
Danny Ostrowski, Lead Instructor
Hi, I'm Danny Ostrowski, working with Mathnasium of Palatine since 2016. I love working with kids because they are always full of new ideas and energy, and if that is focused into one subject, such as math, you can really see them grow wiser and develop new ways of thinking.
Math is interesting to me because even if we don't use all the math we have learned, math is still involved in all of our lives every day. Everything can be broken down into mathematics. At Mathnasium, we have learned, practiced, and continue discovering new and unique techniques to tackle math problems as well as teach them to our students so that they are easier to understand and relate to past topics they have learned.
There have been many times that I've heard something along the lines of "Oh! I get it now!" or "That makes way more sense!" When I get this feedback from a student, it makes me enjoy what I do even more knowing that I am making an impact on their life.
When the test scores come in and they have increased from when they started at mathnasium, it is just the icing on top.
On a free day, you would find me programming or playing video games, or spending time with friends and family.
Danail Damianov, Instructor
Danail is a graduate from Prospect High School and is currently graduating from De Paul University. He is majoring in Mathematics and Economics. He hopes to transfer to one of the top private schools in both of his respective majors. Danail, popularly known as Dani, is dedicated to helping students gain confidence and improve on their problem solving and math skills and loves seeing kids have a eureka moment when everything finally clicks. In his free time he enjoys any kind of competitive activities (sports or games), reading, watching movies, meeting new people and striving to improve himself. Dani has been helping students understand math better, teaching advanced math to students, gain confidence in math and reduce math frustration through calmly teaching to them for 6 years!
John Hynek, Instructor
John is a retired math Professor with a Masters in Math. He has taught all levels of math at Harper College and been a highly rated math progessor. John has been helping students eliminate math frustration, understand high school math better, providing geometry and algebra help with great results. When he is not teaching, he is preparing taxes for clients and corporates.
Tom Traps, Instructor
Shahraiz Khawari, Instructor
Hi I am Shahraiz Khawari working at Mathnasium of Palatine since Jan of 2017.
Zahra Soniwala, Instructor
Hi my name is Zahra! I enjoy working with kids because they always have the greatest stories to tell. I like math because it’s like solving puzzles.
I enjoy working at mathnasium because of how excited the students get when they understand a math concept. I think my favorite AHA moment was when I finally understood vectors in pre-cal.
A fun fact about me is that I’ve traveled to 10 different countries, and in my spare time I like to write!
Jason Jung, Instructor
Hi I am Jason Jung and I have been working at Mathnasium since March of 2019. I like working with kid because they have a limitless source of energy and being an instructor puts me in a position to help them grow. Math has always been one of my favorite subjects because you can find math in all facets of life. My favorite moments at Mathnasium are when I can make students laugh while teaching them. Helping them understand a concept is one thing, but knowing that they’re enjoying themselves while learning makes instructing more rewarding for me.
An interesting fact about me is that I like to cook and every so often I’ll throw dinner parties for my friends. I’m also an avid writer and reader.
On a free day you might catch me running, at the gym, working on schoolwork, or spending time with friends.
John is a retired Math Professor with many many years of experience teaching college level math and he still has a fresh passion for all things math. His hobby when he is not preparing taxes is helping students learn and understand their Geometry, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Advanced math and Pre calculus.
Mary Lee Debelina
Mary Lee Debelina or Mrs D, joins us with over 25 years experience as a high school math teacher. She has also been the Department Chair and Assisstant Principal at St Viator High School. As a math Club moderator and math team coach, she brings excellent teaching and tutoring skills to our team. Mary is proficient in all levels of math and has experience coaching ACT/SAT for students preparing to sit for the exams. Her passion for all things math and helping students led her to Mathnasium of Palatine and she's been making a difference already.