MEET FEW OF OUR TEAM MEMBERS

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LA DONNA WHETSTONE

Tutor

La Donna graduated with a BS in Physics, minoring in English Literature. Her interests include astronomy, geology, English language, writing, and vocabulary building. She lives with her teenage son, her husband, and two small dogs.
La Donna has tutored off and on for over 17 years since graduating from college. She spent her teenage years tutoring and counseling younger children through youth programs in Oregon. After college, she became a private tutor due to her interest in education. She has worked with children as young as three and as old as 22. Despite her science background, she is beginning a career as a writer, and enjoys tutoring English writing, spelling, and vocabulary the most. Coming from a family of ten children along with having a teenage son, she has a lifetime of experience with children. She has tutored students with ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, and other learning disabilities. She enjoys teaching study skills to improve students time management and give them less stress when facing exams. La Donna believes every child has the ability to learn and that tailoring homework, study skills, and teacher interaction can encourage children to become more active in their own education. For her, the end goal should not just be improving grades, but cultivating a love of learning.

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PETER ABAD

Tutor

Peter is a recent graduate University of California, Merced with a degree in Applied Mathematics. While studying in Merced, Peter took many advanced math courses such as Calculus 1-3, Intermediate Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, Complex Analysis, Stochastic Processes. Peter also has an affinity with reading/writing, economics, and environmental science. 


Peter's specialty is Math and he has tutored many fellow STEM students who were struggling in their math courses throughout college. Peter also has younger brothers who have needed help in math from elementary school to high school level math. Peter hopes to further his career by gaining experience with computer science projects and 


Peter has a variety of teaching styles depending on the student's learning style. He tries to understand a student, and works to strengthen their weaknesses to help them grasp the concepts better. Peter enjoys helping people learn and grow to become more successful. He also enjoys being a good influence and communicator with the students and gaining new insights from the students themselves. 

When Peter is not working, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing games, listening to music, watching basketball, cooking, and walking the dog.

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RAJA VASANTH

Tutor


Raja graduated with his PhD (2018) and Masters (2013) in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interest focused on “reactive flows” entails a strong background at a fundamental level at the intersection of mathematics, physics and chemistry. He is well equipped to handle a broad range of generalized courses (math, physics and chemistry), targeted (specific) advanced courses (AP Calculus AB/BC, AP Physics 1/2/C, AP Chemistry, etc) and standardized test preparation (SAT, ACT, GRE, etc).
During his graduate school, he has served as a full-fledged teaching fellow twice and as a teaching assistant numerous times for various courses ranging from freshmen to graduate level. He has also tutored several high school students with their general coursework and standardized test preparations. This experience in dealing with students at various levels (high school to engineering senior) gives him a unique perspective on understanding the difficulties faced by students as they transition from high school to engineering focused classes at the university level. Raja is a full time researcher in a national lab and is planning to take up a position in academia due to his passion for teaching and research.
As an aspiring faculty, Raja strongly believes that his primary goal is to support the students’ cognitive processes by fostering in them confidence, critical thinking skills and problem-solving strategies aided by foundational knowledge so as to ground their ideas in practice. He believes that effective teaching starts with promoting a nurturing learning environment, where the teaching strategies are carefully tailored to match with students' needs.
Outside of research and teaching, Raja enjoys watching football (Visca el Barça), cooking and long walks.

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ISHVIN HAYER

Tutor

Ishvin is a recent graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles. He earned a Bachelors in Biochemistry while taking a diverse course load of classes such as Physics, Organic Chemistry, Biogenomics, Biostatistics, Biochemistry, Public Health, and Epidemiology. While science is his passion and he hopes to continue his education by attending Medical School, he also has an affinity for Literature, Writing, and History.
Ishvin has tutored fellow students for many years, from middle school through college, in a vast array of subjects. He finds it very rewarding and is now tutoring part-time and hopes to be able to use his love of learning to help students reach their full potential and excel in academia. Ishvin likes to use a variety of teaching styles to figure out what works best for a particular student, as he knows everyone is different and requires a diverse curriculum.
When he is not working, Ishvin enjoys going to the gym, listening to music, reading, and watching movies and sports.

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MAXIMINO SANTANA

Tutor

Max graduated from Las Positas College with an associates degree in science. While attending Las Positas College, he took math courses required to pursue his degree in physics such as Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus 1-3, Linear Algebra, and Differential Equations.
Max has been tutoring mathematics for 5 years. He started teaching friends from college that were in lower division courses such as Pre-Algebra or Intermediate Algebra. Max has also been tutoring students in elementary school and middle school. Algebra and Trigonometry are his specialty, but he has a good base of understanding for the courses he has taken. Max’s style of teaching includes Socratic questioning, which means that he asks the student how did he/she get to the answer, what was the student’s technique to answer the question. This helps the student grasp the concept better because he/she has to now explain the thought process.
Max’s goal is to continue his studies to acquire a Bachelor’s degree in physics and to specialize in nuclear physics. Although Max’s goal is to pursue a career in physics, he loves teaching mathematics because it’s the basis of everything. His first memory teaching mathematics was in 3rd grade when he would teach his classmates that were struggling. He also loves that teacher’s have the ability to have an influence on students, and knowing that his students are learning and achieving something challenging.
When Max is not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, playing soccer, and learning history.

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TONYA COFFMAN

Tutor

Tonya graduated with a degree as a Paralegal. Her focus was Business and Real Estate law. She is aspiring to continue her education in law in the upcoming years. After working as an engineer for a number of years she chose to teach. She has taught mathematics at the high school, middle and elementary level. Her specialty is Algebra.  
Tonya been tutoring and teaching for over 8 years. She enjoys teaching and tutoring in a nontraditional way. She loves to include objects for children to use during her lessons. She feels this reaches the visual and tactile learner as well as the kinesthetic students. Through her years of teaching she realizes that not all students learn the same. She has used such things as shaving cream and Cheetos to build math and phonics skills. Her love for teaching stems from an understanding that teachers have the ability to show children they can. Nothing is more satisfying than knowing that you helped a child accomplish something they thought they couldn’t.  
When Tonya is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, or traveling.