Staff

Classroom Matters tutors are indeed the “Best of the Bay”! We hire experienced and proven tutors from top universities in the United States and abroad. In addition to a thorough background check, we provide intensive and ongoing training in our philosophy and approach to learning. Our tutors are dedicated professionals who are passionate about working with and supporting young people. Every Classroom Matters staff member receives ongoing training on how to support students with learning differences and cultivate executive functioning skills. Read on to learn more about them, or click here to read more about our directors.

Adam

Adam Bredenberg is a Philadelphia native transplanted to East Bay soil, a constant explorer and adventurer, and an aspiring writer and video game designer. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013 with a Bachelor of Philosophy in English Writing and Literature. His peripheral studies included art, philosophy, psychology, urban studies, film, and economics. After college, he joined the Peace Corps and served in the Republic of Namibia, in southern Africa, teaching English, Basic Information Science, and Art. While not wrangling scores of children into improved reading and writing, Adam found time to build solar ovens, explore the country, and eat several species of exotic animal (ethically). Since returning to America, he’s crossed the country by car, worked in an electroplating workshop, and, lately, started selling freelance services as a tutor, writer, and editor. Living in the East Bay, Adam stays busy cycling, learning the guitar, and working with First They Came for the Homeless to fight for the rights of unsheltered people.

Adam tutors reading, writing, English, algebra, geometry, pre-calculus, Earth and Environmental Science, biology and physics, beginning Spanish, SAT prep, and executive functioning.

Alex Roe attended UC Berkeley where he graduated with a major in French and a minor in Forestry and Natural Resources. A native of Berkeley, Alex grew up speaking French with family members and attended a French immersion school, allowing him to cultivate a native level of fluency. Recently Alex has been working as a teaching assistant for a poetry class at UC Berkeley while serving as a tutor for students at Cal and in other academic settings. Alex believes that all areas of intellectual inquiry can be stimulating and rewarding if given the right guidance and encouragement. Outside of the classroom, Alex enjoys cooking, backpacking in the Sierras, as well as writing fiction and poetry.

Alex especially enjoys working with K-8 students and currently works within a school setting in Berkeley. He tutors all levels of French, AP English and Composition, SAT Verbal and general test-taking strategies, AP US History, AP World History, Psychology, Biology, Algebra 1, Spanish 1, and executive functioning.

Alexandra Pink is a third year student pursuing an Art Practice major and a Rhetoric minor at UC Berkeley. Raised in Irvine, California, a city notorious for the academic rigor of its schools, Alexandra began college-level French courses at the age of 12 and reached fluency by 16. She has been tutoring for nearly five years, working with students K-12. As the eldest of three siblings, Alexandra has developed a teaching style that places an emphasis on mentorship and partnered learning. Outside of the classroom, Alexandra is the Editor-in-Chief of UC Berkeley’s BARE Magazine and is a member of Improv4Charity, an improvisational comedy team that supports small charities around the Bay Area.

Alexandra tutors K-5, English, history, biology, algebra, French, and executive functioning.

A south Sacramento native, Amanda Burke is a graduate of UC Berkeley, with majors in Art and American Studies and a focus on Race, Culture and Identity in Urban Schools. She currently works as an Art Instructor and Academic Mentor in Oakland. In the past, she taught art at various elementary schools in the East Bay, worked as an illustrator for the Daily Californian, and co-taught a children’s literature writing and illustration class. She is passionate about teaching and encouraging her students to push the boundaries of their identities and environments, and subsequently learning from them and their experiences. Amanda is grateful to have worked with local programs which prioritize under-served youth, social justice, and community involvement. She hopes to use her own experiences growing up in high poverty schools as a way to connect with and serve her students in the best way. In her spare time, Amanda likes to scavenge for and repurpose street finds, forage for edible wild plants, read children’s literature, cook cheap and delicious food, explore the Bay via walking and public transit, and of course, make art.

Amanda tutors K-8 reading and writing, as well as AP English, AP US History, AP World History, and executive functioning.

Ariana Frazier graduated from Occidental College in 2012 with a B.A. in English and Comparative Literary Studies and a minor in Asian Studies. The Berkeley native recently moved back to the Bay from Japan, where she spent four years teaching English. Ariana’s interest in education first began in high school when she tutored in a local afterschool program. She continued working with children throughout her college years. Afterwards, her love for travel and wanting to learn more about her family heritage led her to Japan. Ariana is working towards becoming a teacher as well as studying to become a Japanese-English translator. When not working, you can find Ariana traveling, reading books and manga, watching anime, cooking, and reacquainting herself with the lovely Bay Area.

Ariana Frazier teaches in the CM Afterschool program and also tutors humanities, algebra I, geometry, Japanese, and executive functioning.

Billal Ahmed recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Public Health. Raised in both Maryland and Southern California, Billal loves to explore new places and learn about the perspectives of those from different backgrounds. Billal has tutored throughout his undergraduate experience and hopes to continue growing as a teacher and community member. Combining his passion for education with his fascination with biology, Billal hopes to become a physician and address health disparities through patient care and public health. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, writing poetry, swimming, and solving his Rubik’s Cube.

Billal tutors math, science, English, history, Spanish, ISEE/SSAT, and executive functioning.

Chara Dalland recently moved back to the East Bay from the Sacramento area and is pleased to once again call Berkeley home. Chara lived in a few different places before settling in the Bay Area, including Arkansas, North Carolina, Illinois, and Texas. She is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and can speak conversational French. Her passions include cooking/catering, live music, hanging out with her family, and especially working with children. Chara is a teacher with CM’s Afterschool Spanish classes, and also works at our Afterschool program at St. Alban’s. Chara is always excited to take on new challenges and is constantly amazed by her three incredible children.

Chara teaches Afterschool Spanish.

Derek Burle

Tutor Supervisor

Derek Burle, a Los Angeles native, grew up knowing he wanted to be involved in both science and music. Derek also felt drawn to math, despite the fact it was always a very challenging subject. He had to work hard to master concepts, and with the help of a tutor, his efforts paid off in high school. Derek went on to study Earth Science at UC Santa Cruz and began his music career there as a bass player. As a many-year, veteran CM tutor, Derek has worked with students in math, science, history, English literature and writing, executive functioning and test prep. Having struggled through math classes in high school, Derek has invaluable insight into how to teach difficult concepts to students who are having trouble grasping material. In addition to Derek’s work with CM clients, he is a gigging musician, and a music teacher specializing in guitar, bass and ukulele. When not at Classroom Matters, you can find Derek playing the bass, at a concert, rock climbing or riding his bike.

Derek tutors chemistry, physics, environmental science, math up to pre-calculus, statistics, and executive functioning.

Dinora Murota is a recent graduate from Washington University in St. Louis where she majored in Comparative Literature and minored in Biology. She grew up in Berkeley and attended Berkeley High School. She is very happy to be back in the Bay, where (when not tutoring for CM) she is doing clinical research at CHORI and applying to medical schools. Dinora loves working with kids of all ages and tutored elementary, middle, and high school kids throughout college. In her free time she enjoys traveling – a passion that was sparked when she studied abroad in Granada, Spain – reading, rock-climbing, drawing, and backpacking through beautiful California.

Dinora tutors all K-8 subjects, math through pre-calculus, AP Biology, chemistry, physiology, AP English, writing/essay editing, Spanish, SAT, and executive functioning.

Senior Tutor

Dominique McLean is an East Bay native, raised in Hayward, and a Bishop O’Dowd alum (Go Dragons!). She has recently returned home after spending over a decade back east. She has a BA in Spanish from Hampton University with a concentration in business, a certificate in Spanish Translation from American University, and her Teacher’s Assistant certificate from the City University of New York.  She started tutoring in the foreign language department during undergrad, taught adult ESL in Washington, D.C. and New York, and spent the last seven years tutoring, teaching, and mentoring. Her strengths lie in student empowerment, individualized instruction, and building a solid foundation for her students. When Dominique isn’t tutoring, you can find her reading, marathon training, spending time with loved ones, and exploring the Bay Area.

Dominique tutors all K-8 subjects, Spanish, high school English, Algebra 1, and test prep. She also helps with the college application process and executive functioning.

Though Dounia Lomri was born in the Bay Area, she actually grew up right outside of Paris, France. She attended NYU and had a blast exploring New York City during her time there. Since graduating, Dounia has lived in Guatemala, Argentina, Chicago, and Austin before moving back to the area and even though she is happy to call Oakland home, she still has the travel bug! Dounia has been teaching for years now and loves supporting students and their communities as much as she is able. In her free time, she loves to go running around Lake Merritt, reading books, and cooking delicious and hearty meals.

Dounia tutors English, U.S. and world history, psychology, environmental science, Spanish, French, and executive functioning.

Gabi
Gabriela Bennett moved to the Bay Area three years ago after doing her freshman year at New York University. She has since continued her studies here in Berkeley, where she is working toward a degree in either psychology or education. Gabriela has loved working with kids for years. She comes from a large family and has been babysitting since she was practically a kid herself. While at NYU, Gabriela worked as an AmeriCorps member, working with a program called Jumpstart whose mission was to foster language, literacy, and social-emotional skills in youth from New York’s Lower East Side. It was there that Gabriela realized how much she loved working with kids in an educational capacity. After moving to the Bay Area a few years ago, Gabriela did another AmeriCorps program, this time working as a youth development worker at an elementary school in East Oakland.

Gabriela began working with Classroom Matters as a Spanish and Afterschool Program teacher, and was soon named Director of the Afterschool Program. When she’s not working, Gabriela can be found spending time with her family, reading, enjoying the beautiful Bay Area views or trying out new ways to tame and love her curly curly hair.

Born in Los Angeles, CA, Isabel Avila spent her entire life in Southern California. It was not until she was accepted to UC Berkeley that she stepped outside the familiar and had the opportunity to explore beyond those boundaries. She is currently in her third year as an Intended Psychology major and Global Poverty and Practice minor, and is still deciding what exactly to do after college but is focusing her major in the Developmental field. This summer she had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Mexico, spending half the time getting to know the rich history of Mexico City and the other in the gorgeous city of Oaxaca.

Isabel teaches Afterschool Spanish and tutors K-8, Spanish, and executive functioning.

John Ku
John Ku recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Cognitive Science. Having grown up with a little sister, John got an early start in tutoring. He likens the task of teaching to a puzzle, whose solution comes as a result of a clear, thorough explanation. Solving the puzzle is rewarding in itself, but seeing students rejoice in learning something new is what John finds doubly-rewarding. Especially knowing he had a hand in the learning. John aspires to be a teacher – to mentor and inspire young minds as his teachers did for him. Whether he manages his own classroom in Fremont, CA, where he grew up, or elsewhere, is to be determined. In addition to teaching, John enjoys strength training, playing the saxophone, solving Rubik’s cubes, and playing competitive Smash Bros.

John tutors all levels of math, Mandarin Chinese, the Python and Java computer languages, writing, and executive functioning.

Kyle Lee

Senior Tutor

Kyle Lee was born in Berkeley and grew up in the Bay Area. He graduated from Boston College with BAs in Psychology and Philosophy. He is currently teaching hip-hop dance at the East Bay Dance Center and worked for the Summerfuel program as a dance instructor. Kyle has also combined his passions of travel and education, teaching English, art, and music in a Chinese village. Whilst there, he learned the valuable lessons of managing students and the art of eating noodles. As a veteran tutor, he not only enjoys helping students understand material, but also pushes them to become self-motivated learners and loves working with students in all capacities.

Kyle tutors algebra 1 & 2, geometry, English, reading, writing, and executive functioning.

Kyle Moses
Kyle Moses loves math and science and wants to share his enthusiasm for these subjects with everyone he meets. He believes they can provide a perspective of the world that is both illuminating and empowering. He recently graduated from UC Berkeley with bachelor’s degrees in physics and astrophysics, where he was fortunate enough to study both the very large, e.g. supernovae and galaxy formation, and the very small, fascinating world of quantum mechanics. He has been a private tutor for 10 years and really enjoys delving into and exploring topics with his students. In his spare time he does a fair amount of math and physics, but also loves to read, write, play video games, watch movies, skateboard, play the piano and ukulele, rock climb, and go backpacking through nature.

Kyle tutors reading, writing, and English for K–5, all levels of math, AP Chemistry, AP Physics, astronomy, computer science, SAT, ACT, and executive functioning.

Larisa
Larisa Shaterian is a third year MA student at UC Berkeley studying Folklore. Her research focuses on humanitarian aid workers and how they relate to their work and companion animals such as cats and dogs. She holds a BA from NYU in Media Studies and Arabic. Larisa’s lifelong interests include writing, gardening, and ritual in theater spaces and church spaces. She trained in Shakespeare for two summers at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and has a tendency to integrate as many theater games as possible into her teaching. More recently, she has developed an interest in sewing.

Larisa tutors reading and writing at all levels, AP English, AP US and World History, AP Psychology, French 1-4, K-5, and executive functioning.

Laura Jetter
Laura Jetter is an Oakland native who is currently working towards her bachelor’s degree in Rhetoric and a minor in Public Policy from UC Berkeley. After graduating she hopes to pursue a law degree in anti-trust law. Laura has a strong passion for debate and argumentation. Laura has played many sports throughout her life, though kickboxing has quickly become her favorite. Her other passions include cooking, reading, politics and volunteering. Laura is also a proud senior member of the national women’s fraternity, Zeta Tau Alpha.

Laura tutors English, US history, psychology, anatomy/physiology, algebra I & II, geometry, ACT (verbal & math), French 1-3, K-5, and executive functioning.

Maria De Jesus Ramos Mendez is currently a student at UC Berkeley studying English with a minor in education. Due to her parents’ shifting work situations, she moved several times as a child, requiring her get used to new schools, new classmates, and new teachers often – a particularly difficult feat considering her naturally shy nature. Her genuine love of learning allowed her to endure and excel in school, and she now seeks to help students tap into their inner learners to achieve their goals and grow as individuals. Some of her other interests include reading, writing, drawing, watching movies, and anime.

Maria teaches Afterschool Spanish, K-5, and executive functioning.

Megan
Megan Susman is a native of Los Angeles, and hopes you won’t hold it against her. Since moving to the Bay, she has tried to integrate, including two summers of working at Camp Kee Tov, as well as investing in a North Face jacket. She recently graduated from Mills, earning her MFA in Prose, and previously received her BA in English from UC Santa Cruz. Between her two degrees, Megan spent a year abroad in Israel, where she worked in a petting zoo on a kibbutz and in a kitchen in Tel Aviv. Her approach to tutoring involves a lot of patience, positive feedback, and most of all – fun! She hopes to instill her love of words, literature, learning, and intellectual risk-taking into others.

Megan tutors writing, English, ISEE test prep, and executive functioning. She can also help with college applications.

Meiming
Meiming Wang is originally from Gansu, China. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language from Sichuan International Studies University. Meiming spent three years teaching mathematics to elementary students, and Chinese to foreigners with Teach For China. Outside of the classroom, Meiming co-founded IntoTheClouds, which is an American/Chinese organization that brings Chinese and American students to rural Chinese communities to perform social impact projects. Her interests include solving jigsaw puzzles, traveling, and cooking.

Meiming tutors Mandarin and executive functioning.

Miriam
Miriam Kopf is a Southern California native whose heart yearned for the Bay Area. She recently relocated to Berkeley after having graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Consequently, Miriam has a great knack for listening to others, and working through problems by breaking them down and figuring them out step by step. She also has a passion for literature and grammar, both in English and in Spanish as she was raised with both languages at home. Miriam hopes to expand her experience working with children and adolescents before eventually pursuing a career as a school psychologist; though she is only adding to a long history as a tutor and camp counselor. In her free time, she can be found drawing, getting her fingers tangled in all sorts of arts and crafts, or enjoying a gluten-free snack.

Miriam tutors English, history, biology, Spanish, psychology, and executive functioning.

Olay
Olayinka Oredola, who also goes by Olay, is a fourth-year Mechanical Engineering student at UC Merced. He is originally from Los Angeles, and is currently living in Oakland. Olay has been tutoring since his sophomore year of college and is passionate about mentoring students and helping them achieve their short- and long-term goals. Outside of the classroom, Olay plays an active role in his religious community and loves to play basketball, watch movies, go on hikes, hang out with family and friends, work out, and read Marvel comics.

Olay tutors reading, writing, English, chemistry, physics, math through Calculus BC, and executive functioning.

Richard
Richard Jimenez is from the Central Valley of California, raised in a town where there were more cows than people. Following high school, he left his agriculturally-based community for the fast-paced Bay Area to pursue an education at UC Berkeley. He is currently a sophomore double majoring in Integrative Biology and Psychology. Richard is an aspiring sports medicine surgeon with a strong passion for the sciences and sports. He loves learning anything that will give him a deeper understanding and appreciation for how the world works and loves being able to help students in their own pursuits. All throughout high school, he made it a priority to help others in their academic endeavors and has tutored students since. In addition to tutoring, Richard also serves as a mentor for college-bound students. During his free time, he loves to play soccer, go running, and discover new things around the Bay with friends.

Richard tutors math up to calculus, biology, chemistry and executive functioning.

Rosalind
Rosalind Diaz is a Ph.D. candidate in English at UC Berkeley. She grew up in Colorado, both her parents are mathematicians, and she has a fondness for math problems, especially geometry. Previously, Rosalind studied English at Yale University, where she concentrated on Shakespeare and early modern drama, and worked as a costume designer for stage plays. Currently she is working on a dissertation on narratives of alien invasion in contemporary science fiction. Rosalind also enjoys hiking and camping in the beautiful Bay Area. She loves teaching more than anything! When she’s not tutoring with CM or teaching composition at UC Berkeley, she is often teaching gender-neutral partner dance classes. Her tutoring style is mindful, responsive, and student-centered.

Rosalind tutors math through pre-calculus, reading, writing, literature, French 1, and executive functioning.

ruth

Ruth Korsten earned a Bachelor of General Sciences degree from the University of Kansas, where she majored in art history and minored in history. She felt called to the profession of education after serving for two years at The Edible Schoolyard, through AmeriCorps, in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was there she realized the power of education as a tool for furthering social justice. She moved to Oakland to earn a Master of Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education from Mills College, and is a K-8 credentialed teacher. Ruth taught first grade for one and a half years, and is driven by the philosophy that children learn best with the help of a caring educator. She strives to excite and connect her students to the material through inquiry-based strategies.

Ruth tutors K-5 core subjects such as reading, writing, math, and phonics, and also provides support in executive functioning.

Sameeha Rau is a Bay Area native, brought up in Palo Alto, CA. She will be a senior at UC Berkeley, working towards degrees in molecular and cell biology and public health. After college, she hopes to attend medical school and pursue her passion for healthcare and science. Sameeha first began tutoring in high school and is excited to now act as a mentor to students in the Berkeley community. In her free time, Sameeha loves performing with her dance team, trying new restaurants, and hiking.

Sameeha tutors high-level science, math, and executive functioning.

samir

Samir Hossainy is a third year Bioengineering and Materials Science and Engineering student at UC Berkeley. His inspiration for tutoring comes from his love of math and science. Samir strongly believes that no student should ever feel afraid of, or shy away from, these subjects because of their apparent difficulty. He encourages kids to take on each new challenge as an interesting puzzle just waiting to be solved. During his free time, Samir enjoys running, swimming, working out, and exploring the various restaurants around downtown Berkeley. In the future, he hopes to pursue a doctorate degree that will allow him to fuse concepts from both engineering and medicine in order to push forward the fields of healthcare and biotechnology.

Samir tutors biology, chemistry, physics, high–level math, and executive functioning.

Though Shana Rocklin grew up in sunny southern California and studied psychology at UCSD, she traded beach weather and flip flops for the chance to follow her high school sweetheart (now husband) to the quirky Bay Area. She is a Certified Horticulturist as well as a Nutrition Educator/Counselor, but most especially treasures the past four years of adventures-in-homeschooling shared with her now-teenaged son through his middle school years. It was during this experience that she developed a deep respect for all those who support learning whether they call themselves teachers, coaches, tutors, mentors, or otherwise reach out to share their passions with others. Shana loves to garden, snuggle with her dog, cats, and chickens (!), read books, rollerblade, and hike in the hills.

Shana is our Operations Manager. 

Shashank Patil  just completed his undergraduate work at UC Berkeley with degrees in Molecular & Cell Biology, Integrative Biology, and Psychology. He’s currently applying to medical schools so that he can one day become a physician (fingers crossed). He’s a product of the bay as he spent the majority of his childhood getting into shenanigans in the suburbs of Fremont, California. In his free time, Shashank loves to dance, sing, play the Indian drums (Tabla), play basketball, and go to music festivals. Shashank has been tutoring consistently for the past four years and has enjoyed every moment of it. He loves to learn & hopes that he can convince the students he tutors to love it as well.

Shashank teaches high level science & math, SAT and ACT, English, Spanish 1-3, and executive functioning.  

Sophie
Sophie Loeb is a fourth-year UC Berkeley student, with too many interests to count. When she isn’t immersed in learning something new (both in and out of the classroom), Sophie enjoys cooking farm fresh meals, camping along the coast, traveling internationally, and finding her center with yoga and meditation. Sophie loves working with youth, and has experiences tutoring and mentoring in a high school setting. Sophie has plans to work in Detroit, Michigan with the Teach for America Corps. upon graduation.

Sophie tutors English, history, biology, math, Spanish, and executive functioning.

Tatty
Tatty Klass graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a B.A. in biology. Before teaching, she worked in science research, first studying phosphate levels in Lake Tahoe and later studying western honey bees in Rehovot, Israel. Tatty went on to receive her teaching credential for science grades 4-8 in Austin, Texas. Since then she has tutored grades K – 12, science to middle students since 2013, and math and reading at the high school level. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, cooking, and crafts.

Tatty tutors all types of elementary and middle school science and executive functioning. 

Tesia
Tesia Chuderewicz moved to the Bay Area this past summer. She graduated with a B.S. in Mathematics from the Pennsylvania State University as well as earning a minor in Economics. She participated in mathematical research during her undergrad and also traveled to Ecuador and Jamaica to do mission work there. Tesia loves math and enjoys helping others understand and get excited about it. She grew up in Pennsylvania and loves the outdoors. In her free time she enjoys hiking, swimming, traveling and biking. Although a new member to the Berkeley community, she hopes to get involved with the education system and eventually become a teacher.

Tesia tutors all levels of math, HSPT/ISEE/SSAT, SAT/ACT, and executive functioning.

Yania

Senior Tutor

Yania Escobar started working at Classroom Matters in 2009 while completing her bachelor’s degree. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in interdisciplinary studies: a self-designed major in which she combined neuro-biology, anthropology, and psychology. Yania has worked as a tutor since high school and continued to fuel her passion in college where she earned a minor in education. Her thesis focused on whole-body learning and cultural education. She is a native of Uruguay and has been in the U.S. for thirteen years. Mindfulness and restorative justice have always been an integral part of Yania’s approach. After college, she participated in a yoga teacher training and a yoga for youth module. In addition, she has taught Capoeira to children of various ages and afterschool Spanish classes. She enjoys working with youth of all ages in small groups and individual settings. Outside of work, Yania likes to read, ride her bicycle, draw, and explore nature.

Yania tutors English, history, science, math, Spanish, and executive functioning.