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Our Team

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:

Andrew Van Cleve, Center Director

Mathnasium Certified

Andrew received a BS in Manufacturing Engineering from Cal Poly San Louis Obispo. He loves to watch and play sports. Football, basketball and baseball are his favorites and he’s a big Chicago sports fan: Bulls, Cubs, Bears! His favorite thing about math is the problem solving. There’s always a right answer, you just have to find it.

Advice for Mathnasium students: with the right amount of time and effort, anyone can be good at math.

Fun fact: Andrew played competitive Ultimate Frisbee in college

Favorite number: 25 is his lucky number!

Math joke: Why didn’t Romans find Algebra challenging? Because X was always 10!

Andrea Coury, Instructor

Andrea has a bachelor’s degree in Education from ASU and a Master’s in Reading from NAU. She loves coaching and has coached many sports. She has been teaching for more than 20 years, all ages from kindergarten to high school seniors. Her favorite thing about math is that you can always find an answer.

Advice to Mathnasium students: Show your work! If you don’t get the correct answer you can find your mistake.

Fun fact: Andrea is one of 10 children and all 10 have degrees from ASU.

Favorite number: 4 because it’s even.

Joke: Why is 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 8 9.

Diana Galvin, Instructor

Diana is currently studying Spanish and Chemistry at San Diego State University. She hopes to work in a lab and teach someday. She enjoys exercise, nutrition and math. The thing she likes most about math is that there is one answer.

Advice to Mathnasium students: Learn to multiply and move away from finger counting.

Fun fact: Diana’s “Bucket List” is to visit all the states of Mexico. So far, she has been to 9.

Favorite number: Pi because it tastes good.

Math joke: I put my root beer in a square glass and now it’s just a beer!

Gabrina Owen, Instructor

Gabrina earned a B.S. in Electronic Engineering at DeVry Institute of Technology. She enjoys biking, swimming, running, working with students, traveling, cooking, reading and learning new things. She’d like to continue tutoring to a broad spectrum of students. Gabrina’s favorite thing about math is that it is not subjective.

Advice to Mathnasium students: if you aren't understanding a process one way, let’s approach it from a different angle.

Fun fact: At one time the house she lived in had 47 pets.

Favorite number: 2. Because that is the number of children she has.

Math joke: Why is the obtuse triangle always upset? Because it's never right.

Ben Schiff, Instructor

Ben currently attends Saddleback College with a focus on computer science and physics. He enjoys film editing, video games, photography and electronics. He’d like to design electrical and computer systems one day. Ben’s favorite thing about math is there is only one correct answer. Predictability is what opens relativity.

Advice to Mathnasium students: Be more confident and ask more questions. It’s better to say you don’t know something than to guess randomly.

Fun fact: Ben had many weird pets growing up – land tortoises, water turtles, chameleons, iguanas, chickens and a hedgehog.

Favorite number: 5 because it’s right in the middle.

Favorite joke: The NASA Mars Climate orbiter.

Jacqueline Summerfield, Instructor

Jacqueline studied music, mathematics and computer science at Rutgers University and Stanford University. She enjoys painting, music, math and quantum physics. She wants to always keep learning and improving herself. Her favorite thing about math is that it is the foundation of everything in our world.

Advice to Mathnasium students: Follow your dreams, work hard at what you love, and always be good at math.

Fun fact: Jacqueline spent 2 years travelling around the world. Her amazing experiences included trekking to base camp at Mt. Everest and riding the Trans-Siberian railroad.

Favorite number: 0 because it is the point where all numbers are balanced and, from zero, all things are possible.

Favorite math joke: If you want to be rich, what’s better? One dollar or a million dollars? One dollar, because nothing is better than a million dollars and one dollar is better than nothing!

OwnerJ. Steve Santacruz, Owner

Steve likes to call himself a 'recovering attorney.'After practicing law for nearly 20 years, Steve found Mathnasium and reinvented himself as a franchisee. One of Steve's main passions in life is teaching children. He has been a little league baseball coach since college and enjoyed coaching his own two boys. Steve brings that passion to Mathnasium - hoping to influence and enrich the lives of children through nurturing a passion and appreciation for math. 

 Steve and his wife, Karen, are humbled to be recognized as one of the top 5 performing franchisees in the Mathnasium system. Steve and his wife, Karen, are busy raising two sons, Austin and Dylan. They look forward to serving your family!


OwnerKaren 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 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!"


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 has led him to pursue interests in actuarial science and statistics. New to the North Shore, he is excited to help Mathnasium students break into the puzzle-solving world of math that he’s enjoyed his entire life.