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:
As part of our hiring process, our instructors pass a rigorous math exam, to ensure that they have current fluency with all levels of math they will be teaching. We also require excellent communication and listening skills. Finally, we look for instructors who enjoy math and have an enthusiasm for teaching students of all ages.
After hiring we have detailed training on our curriculum and our learning center processes. The training never ends as we have ongoing training in curriculum and teaching techniques.
Our instructors bring math to life and strive to provide a positive, encouraging experience to our students.
Carla Strong, Center Director
Carla has loved math since she was a young child. After earning a BA in Business Administration/Finance from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, she went on to complete a Certificate of Training Design & Development at the University of Maryland. This background prepared her for a career where understanding different learning styles, individual needs, and pacing was key. She has spent the last 27+ years designing and developing training curricula for various public and private institutions as well as coaching work teams to maximize process improvement and teambuilding. Carla enjoys interaction with young people and is always looking for ways to get involved, whether it be teaching Sunday school or working at youth clubs and camps. With a background in training, a love of math, and dedication to youth development, Carla was inspired to open a Mathnasium Learning Center. She views this as the perfect opportunity to make a positive impact in her community and looks forward to sharing the Mathnasium Method with her students.
Abby Davidson, Curriculum Lead
Abby grew up in the good ol' red clay of Georgia. She was home schooled and was a competitive gymnast for 5 years and coached for another 7 years. As a gymnast she learned to reach to new heights and to work through fears and frustrations. As a coach, she loved teaching others to do the same. To see the joy on their faces when they realized they could do it made it all worth it. Abby moved to Virginia in 2014 and continued teaching and working with people - from theater, to sports, to infant care, to face painting and even becoming a birth doula. Abby loves to read, cook (though if you have the secret to cookies, please let her know) and loves to make all kinds of knickknacks and be creative. She loves God and helps with Sunday school at her church and other ministries around the area. "The two constants in life - God is good, and 2+2=4."
Ryan Costa, Instructor
Ryan is an aspiring teacher in the field of mathematics. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from Virginia Tech, and is applying to grad school for a Masters in Education. He loves helping students succeed and find ways to use mathematical concepts in real-life applications. In his spare time, Ryan enjoys reading, working out, and exploring the great outdoors.
Caroline Cottrell, Instructor
Caroline is a graduate of Kettle Run High School who works with us when she is home from college. At college Caroline continues studying math, volunteering, and working with children. She has a love for working with students and hopes to pursure a career as a teacher.
Shannon Cummins, Instructor
Shannon is the oldest of four children and has spent most of her life in Warrenton. After attending C.M. Bradley Elementary, Warrenton Middle, and Fauquier High School, she moved to Blacksburg as a student at Virginia Tech. There, Shannon completed her B.S. in Computational Modeling and Data Analytics and minored in Business, Mathematics, and Statistics. When Shannon is not at Mathnasium, substitute teaching, or pursuing a career in analytics, she loves to read, craft, and spend time with her friends and family.
Melanie Grandelli, Instructor
Melanie graduated from college with a Bachelor's of Science degree in math education. Since then she has taught not only math, but most other subjects as well, in private school, boarding school, public school, and her family's homeschool. She enjoys finding different ways to explain math concepts to people, whether they be kids encountering the problems for the first time or adults who never really understood the ideas when they were in school. Outside of teaching, Melanie likes to read, garden, bird watch, ski, shoot squirrels, dirt bike, and listen to classical music.
Sandy Kelly, Instructor
Sandy Kelly has a Master of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Geneva College. She has taught chemistry at the college level and has taught home school high school students chemistry for over fifteen years, both in co-ops and in private homes. She and her husband homeschooled their now 30-year-old son, who has two degrees from George Mason University and is working for a large information technology services company.
Sherry Moyers, Instructor
Sherry graduated from Georgetown University with a B.S. in Russian language and a minor in Linguistics. She then attended George Mason University and studied chemistry, organic chemistry, and microbiology. She worked at a genetics lab before settling down and raising four children, whom she homeschooled from kindergarten through 12th grade. In addition to loving languages and sciences, Sherry is also a musician. She has recorded two bluegrass gospel albums and collects musical instruments. Some of her other hobbies include beekeeping and bread baking. Sherry values education, and believes that we should challenge ourselves to keep learning all our lives - a solid foundation in mathematics is an essential part of that education. Sherry likes working one on one with young people and is glad to be a part of the Mathnasium team.
Kanoa Ratliff, Instructor
Kanoa has a B.S. in architecture with a minor in Spanish from the University of Virginia. After graduating from college, she worked as a substitute teacher where she frequently taught math and Spanish classes. She also honed her practical math skills while working in a picture framing store and in the construction and drafting department of a national deck builder. Additionally, Kanoa has spent 17 years homeschooling her two sons from Kindergarten through high school. One son is currently finishing a degree in mechanical engineering at VCU and the other is nearly finished with high school. For the past three years she has tutored homeschool students in math at a small co-op, where she has enjoyed helping students discover the ways that they best learn math. Kanoa also volunteers with many local community organizations. She lives with her husband and sons on 11 acres in southern Fauquier in a home that she and her husband designed and built. She loves to travel with her family and visit amazing feats of architecture such as the Sears Tower in Chicago, the Space Needle in Seattle, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, the CN Tower in Toronto, the Confederation Bridge on Prince Edward Island, the Alhambra in Spain, and many others too numerous to mention. Other hobbies include reading, photography, weightlifting; and hiking, kayaking, and biking with her family.
Although Ryan has always been good at math, the adjective "exciting" would not have been part of his description in his high school years. With that in mind, he is eager to help young students find enjoyment in math. More than anything, he wants them to be confident in their math skills, and to be able to say, "math makes sense!" Ryan currently spends his spare moments composing, playing various instruments, and singing. Ryan's favorite thing about math is that there are only right and wrong answers, generally no exceptions, it's not based on opinion, and that math is absolute.
Mia Adamec, Instructor
Mia is a senior at Chelsea Academy. She has always enjoyed her math classes, but has become particularly interested in physics - using mathematics to understand how the world works. For years, Mia has played volleyball for her school and club teams, and hopes to continues playing volleyball in college on a club team. Her favorite season is summer, during which she likes to take trips to the beach and hang out with friends and family. After graduating high school, she plans to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering.
Anna Cottrell, Instructor
Anna is a Junior at Kettle Run High School. She has always enjoyed the subject of math and appreciates how there is always a correct answer, it just depends on how you get there. Apart from math, she loves music and plays violin in the chamber orchestra at Kettle Run. She also loves sports, especially swimming, and loves being part of both the summer league, and the school team. Additionally, she has recently been accepted to be part of the National Honors Society, and loves attending the St. John's youth group. Anna hopes her role as an instructor inspires students to be passionate about math and have confidence in their skills to solve any type of problem.
Ffiona Coulson, Instructor
Ffiona is a junior at Kettle Run High School. While she loves the intricacies and reliability of math, her favorite subject in school is Spanish. Ffiona has her seal of biliteracy and is an officer of the Spanish Honor Society at Kettle Run. She is on the varsity field hockey team, and participates in many other clubs and volunteer work during her free time. Ffiona loves being a part of the Mathnasium team and being able to help students make connections, achieve a greater understanding of math and grow overall as individuals.
Max Dubnowski, Instructor
Max is a student who attends both Mountain Vista Governor's School and Liberty High School and tires himself out trying to explain people that yes, he attends two schools during the year. For some odd reason, he wants to study the fundamental parts of matter as his career in some big, fancy lab somewhere really cool. If he is not exploring different fields of science in his free time, then Max is solving Rubik's cubes, listening to good music, or using his telescope to perform different experiments in astronomy. But the oddest thing about him is that he will play chess with anyone who wants to play with him at any time!
Catherine Henkel, Instructor
Catherine is a senior at Kettle Run High School. She has always liked math and working out challenging problems. Her favorite subject in math is Calculus, with Algebra in a close second. Other than math, she enjoys French and Psychology. After graduating from high school, Catherine plans to go to college to study Industrial/Organizational Psychology. In her spare time, Catherine likes to read and watch movies, as well as spend time with her family and friends.
Morgan Miller, Instructor
Even though Morgan experienced multiple moves since she was little, one thing has remained unchanged: her love for math. In fact, it has only grown since then, with her ambitions and goals matching in size. Morgan graduated from Fauquier High School, taking both Statistics AP and multivariable calculus, while working at Mathnasium part-time, and is now pursuing a bachelor in applied mathematics. She believes that her time at Mathnasium helps inspire others and will jump-start her career in mathematics.
Cassie Nelson, Instructor
Cassie is a senior at Fauquier High School. Her appreciation for math stems from her love of subjects and projects that allows her to exercise her creative side, which helps her employ a variety of strategies to solve mathematical problems. Though she finds great enjoyment in math, her true passions lie in more artistic avenues, and she can usually be found engrossed in a good book or swept up in a musical number. In her free time, Cassie loves to read and write, perform with her vocal choir, bake up new experiments in the kitchen, and sketch everything from fashion designs to fantastical worlds.