Tutor Bios

_DSC9923Martina (Zamecnik) Agur
(Owner of 360 Learning Academy and Tutors Math and Science)

Martina graduated from Penticton Secondary School in 2001. She followed her dream of attending University on a full ride swimming scholarship. Her four and a half years at the University of Nebraska at Omaha were filled with many highlights some of which included competing at NCAA Nationals all four years, receiving NCAA Athletic and Academic titles, and graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry. Her tutoring career had its roots in University, where she helped many student-athletes achieve their academic goals. Since returning home to Penticton in 2005, Martina coached a group of swimmers in the Kisu Swim club for a year, after which she took up tutoring once again. It was through the help of many Pen Hi counselors, especially Dave Nackoney, that Martina found her passion for teaching. She has over ten years of experience working with all levels of high school math and science. Her goal is to empower students to live a wholesome life and help them achieve their academic endeavours so that all of their doors remain open in their future.

fullsizeoutput_61b2Jean Gemmell
(Tutors Elementary and Middle School)

Jean graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor of General Studies Degree and a BC teaching certificate. She worked for several years in School District 85 Vancouver Island North and then worked for many years as a teacher on call in Penticton and Summerland aftermoving to the Okanagan. Jean has taught in all schools in the Okanagan Skaha School District, primarily working with students from Kindergarten to Grade 8. She has worked with adults with Developmental Disabilities in a residential setting, and has been a volunteer tutor at Okanagan College in the Adult Literacy Program.  In her spare time, she enjoys running, walking, hiking, riding her mountain bike as well as yoga and fitness classes. Recent travels have been to Mexico and Portugal.

_DSC9928Breanna Halliday
(Tutors English)

Breanna graduated from the University of Calgary in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts Majoring in English.  She has since been living in Penticton tutoring exclusively for the Okanagan Hockey Academy and Penticton Secondary School.  Her passion for Shakespeare in University has allowed her to help students understand the playwright and excel in the Shakespearian portions of their curriculum. Her main goal is to help students discover their own personal style of writing so that they are able to excel in any written assignments that they are given during and after their post secondary education.  She wants to teach students that writing can open up so many windows of opportunity and it’s important to take pride in the way we write as it’s an essential part of how we communicate who we are to the world. Breanna tutors all high school English courses, but she also offers specialized tutoring sessions designed to help students prepare for the Grade 12 English Provincial Exam and the English portion of the SAT Exam. In her spare time, she enjoys dragon boating, spinning, and walking her dogs.

fullsizeoutput_6073Isabel Davies
(Tutors French and Humanities)

Isabel, born and raised in West Vancouver, graduated from Sentinel Secondary School in 2014 having received her bilingual certificate for completing all of her schooling in French immersion. She went on to study Liberal Arts, minoring in English and Italian at Bishop’s University in Quebec. After graduating with her B.A this year, Isabel attended an Explore program at Western University’s École D’immersion Française De Trois-Pistoles in Quebec. There, she completed a French course at the C1-C2 level (CEFRL). Throughout high school, Isabel participated in peer tutoring for younger French immersion students in all subjects. She also participated in the peer tutoring program in Trois-Pistoles. Volunteering with kids has also been part of her extracurriculars; at Bishop’s she helped run an afterschool program for kids at the local elementary school. She is passionate about education and is excited to help others have fun learning. Having studied the Humanities in University, Isabel also has knowledge of History, Classics, and Literature. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, sewing, the arts, and playing with her dog.

fullsizeoutput_5b60Taylor Schyrbiak
(Tutors Math and Science)

Taylor grew up in Penticton and graduated from Penticton Secondary School in 2013. Her interest in sciences and a GPA-Based Scholarship took her to the University of Victoria, where she completed a B.Sc in Biology and Minor in Business by 2017. After applying her new skills at the Summerland Research and Development Centre as a Viticulture Research Assistant, she spent the next year travelling to 13 countries. Since returning home, Taylor can be found teaching theory at Penticton Pony Club, volunteering with the After-School Program at the local YMCA, or helping out in the Math and Science classrooms at Penticton Secondary School. Taylor believes that patience and determination are key when learning, and she hopes to give all her students the tools necessary to reach their individual academic goals. She is currently planning on attending Thompson Rivers University for their B. Ed in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (Secondary) program later this year.  In her spare time, Taylor enjoys riding horses, yoga, overnight hiking trips, and getting together with friends and family.

fullsizeoutput_5da4Paige Munro
(Tutors Science)

Paige graduated from Salmon Arm Secondary in 2011. In high school she most enjoyed chemistry and biology, which led her to pursue a degree in microbiology at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan. Here, she began volunteering in different biology research labs on campus, which ultimately led to her doing an honors research project in food microbiology. Now that her interest in research was sparked, Paige decided to pursue a master’s degree in soil microbiology at UBCO. Upon completion of her masters in 2018, Paige began working for Agriculture and Agri-food Canada in Summerland as a research technician. In this position she studies the effects of orchard and vineyard management practices on soil-borne pathogens. Throughout school Paige enjoyed being a TA for first-and-second-year biology labs, and judging youth science fairs. She loves to see young people get excited about science, and she wants to share her enthusiasm on the subject with others. In her free time, she enjoys to bike, run, cross-country ski, snowboard, and read.

fullsizeoutput_6b2eMark Simons
(Tutors Math and Physics)

Mark is a high school tutor specializing in Math and Physics, as well as sciences and essay writing. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from UBC Okanagan, and a Masters of Management from the Sauder School of Business UBC. He worked as a tutor while in University, and now has returned to tutoring after a brief and successful career in sales and management working for Telus. His outlook is “There is no such thing as bad students, only unsuccessful teachers… especially with math.” Mark is a passionate learner and loves sharing that passion, especially with those who can find certain subjects to be boring or frustrating, and is excited to help this year’s students reach their academic goals!

Me4R (3)Betty Mariaca
(Tutors Spanish)

Her name is Beatriz but everybody calls her Betty.  She was born in the Spanish speaking country of Peru.  She lived for a while in the USA where she taught Spanish, grades 5-10 at St. Paul Christian Academy.  When she arrived to Canada she taught Spanish at Conversa Language Institute in Ottawa. After moving to Penticton, BC she’s been teaching at Okanagan College in the Continuing Studies Department from 2018. Her passion is to see people learning from the basics. She loves to see her students starting to say their first words and sentences as well as instilling confidence in them so they’ll know that learning another language is not at all difficult.  She says if you know English or French you already know over 1000 words in Spanish, making it easier for beginners to learn in a fast manner. Betty graduated from Business Administration for Hotels and Restaurants back in Peru.  She carries several Accreditations on teaching Spanish as a second language from Idiomas Peru Institute, where she also worked for over two years.  In her spare time she likes to walk, cook, take pictures of nature and write about life.  If you ask her husband what she likes the most, he’ll say in Spanish “chocolate secreto” which means “secret chocolate”, because as a beagle doggie hides its bone, she hides her dark chocolate too.

DSC_0363Scott Rawkins
(Tutors Math and Physics)

Scott graduated from the University of Northern British Columbia with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing.  After a long career in the financial industry providing financial advice regarding mortgages and other financial products he discovered 360 Learning Academy and fell in love with tutoring immediately.  After switching careers to the software industry, Scott found a home at a local business management software company Windward Software where he trained business owners on the use of the software.  More recently, he has joined a promising software company  based in Prince George, Sparkgeo Consulting, which specializes in using maps and satellite imagery.  Scott finds tutoring to be the most rewarding work in his life, and loves to see his students succeed.  He took a break from tutoring for several years and is glad to be back.  He looks forward to helping students in Math and Physics.  Settled in Okanagan Falls, Scott loves camping, mountain biking, crossfit, skiing and other outdoor activities with his wife Alex and his friendly dog Ruby.