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.

_DSC9908Silvia Matzdorf
(Tutors Math, English, and Spanish)

Silvia Matzdorf graduated from University del Valle in Guatemala obtaining a High School Teaching degree with a major in Mathematics.
She has many years of experience teaching all subject areas in grades K-7, Mathematics in High School and English as a Second Language to adults at the Okanagan College in Penticton, BC. Silvia developed a passion for teaching over the years as she helped students improve their grades and achieve their goals to continue on to obtain a university degree. She has taught many workshops for teachers on different topics as well as walkthroughs to help teachers use their programs for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publishers. Silvia had her own SAT/ACT preparation agency for 9 years for students who wanted to study in the United States. The majority of her students were accepted into the university they chose to attend. She is fluent in English and Spanish. She has been tutoring with 360 Learning Academy since 2013.

_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.

FullSizeRender 2Brittni Foisy
(Tutors English, Social Studies and Elementary Math)

Brittni was born and raised in Penticton, B.C., graduating from Penticton Secondary School in 2008. From there, she went to University of Victoria, and found her passion in English, Geography and Psychology. She graduated with a double major in English and Geography in 2013. She then graduated with a Bachelor of Education from UBCO in 2014, with a Secondary Humanities Specialization. Brittni now works in School District No.53, with experience working in grade 2, and grades 8-12 English, planning, psychology, art, social studies, alternative education and Social Justice. She also has experience tutoring middle school years, and elementary Math and Science. Brittni believes in providing a safe community in each classroom, so students feel they can be their authentic selves, and comfortable asking questions without judgement from others. During her spare time, Brittni enjoys outdoor exercise, reading, editing, socializing with friends and family, and volunteering at LGBTQ youth clubs.

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.

EllaBraden 2Ella Braden
(Tutors Math and Sciences)

Ella is a long-time science educator with over ten years of diverse professional teaching experience, from pre-K to university and in all sciences as well as math (including calculus). She grew up in Washington State, where she graduated from Whitman College with a B.A. in Physics-Astronomy and a minor in Spanish. After a gap year to coach fastpitch softball, kayak and teach sustainability and horseback riding in the mountains she loves, she earned a MS in Astronomy with a graduate minor in Physics at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where she played club and intramural hockey. After doing research for several years, Ella realized her passion lies in the personal connection of teaching others about science and shifted her career focus to science education. She spent several years running the Wonders of Physics program at UW – Madison, then worked for the national science organization of Australia, bringing interactive educational programs to schools. Ella loves breaking complex concepts down into comprehensible parts and helping learners of all ages assemble an understanding of how scientific and mathematical concepts work. She tutors all age levels in math, calculus, physics, chemistry and other science topics.

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Joe Johns
(Tutors Math, Physics and Science)

 

Joe grew up in Toronto and went to graduate school at the University of Chicago where he got a Ph.D. in math. He has taught undergraduate math (calculus, linear algebra, etc.) for 15 years at different universities like the University of Chicago, NYU, Columbia, and Boston College. He loves teaching students at all levels and volunteered as a tutor at a high school this past school year. His philosophy is that if the student does not understand something it is always the responsibility of the teacher to explain things in a way that the student can get it. Many people feel they hate math or they are intrinsically not gifted at it, but what really happens is you get a not so good teacher or have a not so good semester and just miss some concept or method. And then everything afterward starts to not make sense. Math is very cumulative, like a house built brick by brick, and this can make it seem really hard if you have missed something, but it can also make it very doable if we just make sure each step and each concept are understood before moving on to the next. With each student, he likes to go as simple and elementary as necessary to make sure the concepts and methods are making sense so they can achieve their goals. In his spare time, Joe loves watching and playing hockey and hiking with his family and his dog.

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.