Contact Information

Phone: (510) 856-9000
Fax: (510) 856-9005
Monday: 9:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Tuesday: 9:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Wednesday: 9:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Thursday: 9:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Friday: By Appointment
Saturday: 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Sunday: Closed

Meet the Tutors

Our Sylvan trained and certified tutors are dedicated to your child’s success. Working together with you, we will:

  • Pinpoint your child’s learning needs using the Sylvan Skills Assessment®
  • Develop a personalized learning plan based on your child’s goals
  • Offer unique insights about what will work for your child
  • Teach each lesson the way your child learns best
  • Build a relationship with your child to provide learning that’s fun, engaging and rewarding
Put years of educational experience to work for your family. Contact our center to find out how we can help today!

Center Director, Castro Valley tutoring

Faris Wallace

Center Director

Faris joins our team with 15 years of professional experience in a variety of areas. She has extensive work experience in the field of behavioral health, youth and adult literacy development, academic coaching and advising, program planning and management data and strategic planning.

Faris holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Francisco State and has spent the past 3 years facilitating reading and math classes at our school site locations.

Working at Sylvan is a great opportunity for Faris to continue to promote educational programs she believes in!

Director of Education, Castro Valley tutoring

Michaela Kloniger-Frandy

Director of Education

Michaela is the director of education for the Castro Valley center. She has her Master’s in Educational Psychology: Counseling. Before coming to Sylvan, she worked with youth in a counseling agency and ran her own private tutoring company. Michaela feels that this position allows her to use both her counseling and academic skills and experience to approach each student holistically. Michaela loves working with students, from little ones to teenagers, and interacting with parents. Michaela was born and raised in the area. In her free time, Michaela loves to spend time with her friends and family and driving her classic Volvo station wagon.

Instructor, Castro Valley tutoring

Luann Lindsey


Luann has been with Sylvan Castro Valley since 2006. She has a CA Lifetime Standard Elementary Teaching Credential. She taught 1st Grade in Livermore from 1976-1981. At Sylvan she tutors Elemetary Reading, Writing and Math.
She likes seeing the growth in her Sylvan students - whether improving in study skills gradually or witnessing those 'light-bulb learning moments'.
Hobbies: Knitting, sewing, quilting, gardening, walking, yoga and camping.

Teacher, Castro Valley tutoring

Arnold Burghardt


Arnold has been a tutor at Sylvan in Castro Valley since February 2009. Arnold has instructed Sylvan students in a range of subjects, from Beginning Reading to Algebra I. His 15 years of classroom teaching focused on middle school math and social studies, although Arnold's Master's Degree from The University of Chicago was oriented to elementary level pedagogy.
The Sylvan mastery teaching method is particularly appealing to Arnold: "I enjoy seeing direct and immediate improvement in both skills and confidence." Outside of work, Arnold follows basketball at all levels when not listening to music from both the pop and world scenes.

Center Instructor, Castro Valley tutoring

Steve Harmon

Center Instructor

Steve is new to tutoring here at Sylvan of Castro Valley, but not new to education. He was a high school math teacher in the Bay Area for the past 25 years. He has also been a consultant, curriculum writer and teacher-trainer for several years. Steve can teach all math through Pre-Calculus. Steve enjoys a student’s energy and enthusiasm, especially their “ah-ha” moments. He enjoys helping to build a student’s self-confidence in math. Steve believes that a student’s fresh outlook keeps us all young. In his spare time, Steve enjoys fly-fishing, canoeing, Japanese woodworking, geology, and playing the piano. Our students adore Steve and many have begged him to come teach at their schools.

Center Instructor, Castro Valley tutoring

Terrance Johnson

Center Instructor

Terrance has his degree in English from Syracuse University in New York. He has worked for several schools, from Elementary to continuation High Schools. He has tutored at Sylvan of Castro Valley for the past year. Though his degree is in English, Terrance loves teaching the upper level math and sciences. His favorite part about working with students is the impact he’s able to make, helping them learn and grow through education. In his spare time, Terrance likes to play basketball and produce music.

Center Instructor, Castro Valley tutoring

Chelsea Hall

Center Instructor

Chelsea has her Master’s in Educational Psychology: Counseling. She has tutored at Sylvan of Castro Valley for 1 year. She has a wide range of experience working with children from volunteering to teaching piano. Chelsea loves working with our little ones (ages 4-7) as well as our older readers in our Academic Reading program. Chelsea loves to make a difference in how young people view themselves and the world. She says that she knows what it’s like to have an academic need and feel uncomfortable seeking help. She feels tutoring should be an enjoyable experience for students. In her free time, Chelsea enjoys music, travel, art, and writing poetry.

Center Instructor, Castro Valley tutoring

Meredith Gibson

Center Instructor

Meredith is currently a pre-med student. She has tutored at Sylvan of Castro Valley for the past 6 months. Her youthful and fun energy is very much appreciated by our students. She loves to teach the younger students math and reading but she also enjoys teaching the older students Biology. Meredith feels that it is a joy to know that she made a difference in a person’s life by helping them to gain understanding in something that was once difficult for them. She likes to see the light in their eyes when they realize they have accomplished a goal. In her spare time, Meredith likes to read, play softball, volleyball, and basketball. Her favorite teams are the Lakers, Raiders and Dodgers.

Center Instructor, Castro Valley tutoring

Mae Ramirez

Center Instructor

Mae has her Master’s in Fine Arts in Creative Writing/Poetry from CSU, Long Beach. She has tutored at Sylvan of Castro Valley for the past 6 months. She is credentialed in English teaching. Mae loves to teach writing. She helps students find their inner voice. She finds a student’s strengths and helps them feel confident to write masterfully.

Center Instructor, Castro Valley tutoring

Erica Bryant

Center Instructor

Erica received her degree and teaching credential from Mills College in Oakland. She has tutored at Sylvan of Castro Valley since 2011. She has an incredible background in teaching and advocating for students. She has completed two terms of service for AmeriCorp and has taught in middle and high schools. At Sylvan, she enjoys teaching our little ones (ages 4-7) as well as our Study Skills and Academic Writing programs. Erica loves to laugh and make learning fun for the little ones. She has a wonderful intuition about what a student needs.

Center Instructor, Castro Valley tutoring

Rose Rios

Center Instructor

Rose has her Master’s in Education and she is credentialed in math. She has tutored at Sylvan of Castro Valley since 2013. Rose loves math and our students love Rose. Her favorite part about teaching is watching student’s smiles as they start to understand something she taught them. Currently, Rose works full time as a teacher and comes to Sylvan after school. Rose can teach math through Algebra 1 and Geometry. In her free time, Rose plays softball.

Anna Fikaris


Anna has a certifications in Multiple Subject w/ English Language Learning + Education Specialist (Mild/Moderate). At Sylvan she focuses on Beginning Reading, Elementary Reading/Writing and Math.
Her favorite part about working with Sylvan students is witnessing those 'Aha moments' when their eyes light up once they realize they've grasped a concept that they've previously struggled with.
Hobbies: Reading, Greek folk dancing, hiking, cooking, baking, drawing and spending time with family and dog.
She believes every child can learn.