Contact Information

Phone: (515) 867-8000
Monday: 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday: 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday: 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday: 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
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, Johnston tutoring

De Blackford

Center Director

De is a graduate of Simpson College, where she obtained a degree in Mathematics. Previous to Sylvan Learning of Greater Des Moines, De was a teacher in the Madrid School District. In her free time, De enjoys spending time with her family and scrapbooking.

Director of Education, Johnston tutoring

Melissa Eadon

Director of Education

Melissa started working for Sylvan in 2007 and accepted the Director of Education position in 2009. Melissa is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, where she obtained a degree in Elementary Education. In her free time Melissa enjoys traveling, spending time with family, including her bulldog, Reggie.

Associate Director of Education, Johnston tutoring

Joni Kinnan

Associate Director of Education

Joni has been with Sylvan for ten years and has held a variety of positions within the company. You can find Joni nose deep in a math book, as she is our Math Guru! In her spare time she loves to play the flute and read - that is if she is not with her two daughters, son and husband enjoying family time!

Instructor, Johnston tutoring

Ashley Kokemuller

Instructor

Ashley is a graduate of UNI, where she obtained a degree in Elementary Education. She is currently a substitute teacher in the surrounding districts. Ashley has 2 years of experience working for Sylvan of Greater Des Moines, and enjoys teaching a variety of subject areas, including Math Essentials, Academic Reading, Beginning Reading, Academic Writing, and Study Skills. In her free time, Ashley enjoys reading, concerts, traveling, and cheering on the Hawkeyes.

Instructor, Johnston tutoring

Amanda Hunt

Instructor

Amanda attended Simpson and Morning Side, where she obtained a degree in Early Childhood Education. She is currently a teacher in the North Polk district. Amanda has 2 years of experience working for Sylvan of Greater Des Moines, and enjoys tutoring a variety of subject areas, including Math Essentials, Academic Reading, Beginning Reading, Academic Writing, and Study Skills. In her free time, Amanda enjoys reading. Ask her about her extensive book collection.

Instructor, Johnston tutoring

Tamara Masters

Instructor

Tamara attended the University of Nebraska, where she obtained a degree in Elementary Education. Tamara has one year of experience tutoring for Sylvan of Greater Des Moines, and enjoys tutoring a variety of subject areas, including Math Essentials, Academic Reading, and Beginning Reading. In her free time, Tamara enjoys traveling and has been to nine different countries!

Instructor, Johnston tutoring

Hillari Cooney

Instructor

Hillary is a graduate of Simpson, where she obtained a masters degree in English and Journalism. She is currently a stay home mom and part time substitute in the surrounding districts. Hillari has 2 years of experience working for Sylvan of Greater Des Moines, and enjoys tutoring a variety of subject areas, including Math Essentials, Academic Reading, Beginning Reading, Academic Writing, and ACT. In her free time, Hillari enjoys to cook and quilt. Ask about her famous relative from Iowa!

Instructor, Johnston tutoring

Kristel Bylo

Instructor

Kristel is a graduate of Truman State University, where she obtained a degree in Psychology and Elementary Education. Kristel is in her first year working for Sylvan of Greater Des Moines, and enjoys tutoring a variety of subject areas, including Math Essentials and Academic Reading. In her free time, Kristel enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

Instructor, Johnston tutoring

Kim Kelly

Instructor

Kim is a graduate of UNI, where she obtained a degree and specializes in ECSE and BD. She is currently a teacher in the Johnston district. Kim has 2 years of experience tutoring for Sylvan of Greater Des Moines, and enjoys teaching a variety of subject areas, including Math Essentials, Academic Reading, and Beginning Reading. In her free time, Kim enjoys reading, running and watching her kids play hockey.

Instructor, Johnston tutoring

Hillary Ryan

Instructor

Hillary is a graduate of Iowa State, where she obtained a degree in English as a Second Language. Hillary has 4 years of experience tutoring for Sylvan of Greater Des Moines, and enjoys teaching a variety of subject areas, including Math Essentials, Academic Reading, Academic Writing, Study Skills, and Beginning Reading. In her free time, Hillary enjoys reading, dancing and singing!

Instructor, Johnston tutoring

Katie Elsbernd

Instructor

Katie is a graduate of Iowa State, where she obtained a degree in Mathematics and French. Katie has 3 years of experience tutoring for Sylvan of Greater Des Moines, and enjoys teaching a variety of subject areas, including Math Essentials, Advanced Math, ACT prep, and Homework Support. In her free time, Katie enjoys any type of dancing!

Instructor, Johnston tutoring

Donna Egy

Instructor

Donna comes to Sylvan with many years of teaching experience! She absolutely loves to teach - and it shows through her great connection with every student. When not at Sylvan, she loves to attend Kenny Rogers' concerts!

Teaching Assistant, Johnston tutoring

Alyssa Bedford

Teaching Assistant

Alyssa works very hard at ensuring the teachers have their required materials and that the instructional hour goes smooth. She attends DMACC and is involved in many activities. In her free time she enjoys reading text books and spending time with her family.

Instructor, Johnston tutoring

Allison Osweiler

Instructor

Allison attended Mount Mercy University, where she obtained degrees in Secondary Education and History. She is currently subbing in the surrouding districts. Allison has one year experience tutoring for Sylvan of Greater Des Moines, and enjoys tutoring in a variety of subject areas, including Math Essentials, Academic Reading, and Study Skills. In her free time, Allison enjoys gardening and volunteering at the Animal Rescue League.

Teaching Assistant, Johnston tutoring

Anna Nikolaidis

Teaching Assistant

Anna works very hard at ensuring the teachers have their required materials, and the instructional hour runs smoothly. She is currently a Senior at Valley High School. In her free time, Anna likes to swim, walk her dogs, and draw. Ask Anna about growing up in Greece!

Teaching Assistant, Johnston tutoring

Courtney McKelvogue

Teaching Assistant

Courtney attended Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she obtained a degree in Special Education. She works hard to ensure the teachers have their required materials and that the instructional hour goes smoothly. In her free time, Courtney enjoys working out, doing crafts, and sewing. Ask her about playing softball in college!

Instructor, Johnston tutoring

Sarah Zielinski

Instructor

Sarah attended Drake University, where she obtained a degree in Secondary Education. She is currently teaching in the Martensdale-St. Marys school district. Sarah is a new instructor at Sylvan of Greater Des Moines, and she enjoys tutoring in the subject areas of Math Essentials and Academic Reading. In her free time, Sarah enjoys Tae Kwon Do and has a black belt!

Instructor, Johnston tutoring

Janvier Degbedji

Instructor

Janvier attended Benin National University, where he obtained a Masters degree in Mathematics. Prior to tutoring at Sylvan of Greater Des Moines, Janvier taught high school math for 10 years. He is a new instructor at Sylvan, and he enjoys tutoring in the subject areas of Math Essentials, Advanced Math, and Homework Support.