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About Catalyst

Our Team:

Jonathan Vince has taught and tutored students in multiple subjects, but his specialty is with English. He first honed his writing skills as a reporter for a small paper in Sierra Madre. A sludgy economy then led him into the education field for the next decade. Since then, he has taught Language Arts to every grade level from 5th to 11th (including a two-year detour delving into World History with 7th graders). In 2013 he wrapped up four wonderful years at a private school in Walnut Creek, moved back to South Pasadena, and got married. As owner and president of Catalyst Educational Support, Jonathan now rarely wears the tutor hat himself, preferring instead to connect families with his highly qualified team of tutors. This also frees him up to spend more time with the newest addition to his family, his baby daughter.

Marissa Ortiz has been a Catalyst tutor since 2014.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Music from Denison University, and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Theology at Fuller Seminary.  In 2012, she received a Fulbright grant to teach in the Czech Republic, where she created interactive conversation and culture lessons in English and Spanish.  As a Catalyst tutor, Marissa enjoys equipping students of all ages with skills for success in Math, English, Spanish, Chemistry, Writing, Music, and ISEE test preparation.  But her favorite thing about teaching is helping students develop the confidence, creativity, and curiosity to enjoy learning for themselves.

Elias Quiñonez has an educator’s DNA, having grown up surrounded by parents, grandparents, and siblings, who are themselves teachers and coaches. His favorite subjects include Math, Science, Language, History, Geography, and Computer Science, and he holds a BS in the latter. He has been teaching Mathematical Logic, Pre-Calculus, Algebra, Physics, and Statistics since 2010. Elias’ greatest passion is science, and he especially loves helping students grasp difficult concepts in Physics and Chemistry. Fluent in Spanish, he enjoys tutoring students in that subject as well. When he is not working, he loves to spend time with his wife and three kids.

Abigail Florentino speaks several languages, including the language of atoms, molecules, genes, and cells. As a professor at the Technology Institute of Santiago (Dominican Republic), she taught Organic Chemistry, General Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology. Although her native tongue is Spanish, she can teach these science concepts equally as well in English or Italian. This is owing to the many years she spent in Italy earning her bachelor’s degree, followed by her master’s degree in Molecular and Applied Biology, a program which included nine months in the microbiology and immunology department at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Abigail now lives with family in the LA area, where she loves helping students grasp the intimidating concepts found in Biology and Chemistry. When she isn’t teaching, she can be found formulating and selling her own line of organic, all-natural beauty products.

Clay Heyer grew up in the Bay Area and called Northern California ‘home’ until he completed his undergraduate degree. He received a B.A. in Philosophy from CSU Sacramento, and then attended Biola University where he received an M.A. in Philosophy and is currently finishing an M.A. in Preaching. Clay has enjoyed all aspects of education since high school and truly desires to be a life long learner, whether in school or out of school. The intrinsic value of every subject–whether math, science, writing, or anything else–makes tutoring a joy, and he strives to inspire others to reach their full potential in academia. Clay was blessed to marry his lovely wife in May 2015.

Jon Nemati grew up in Southern California. He received a B.S. in Biology from LeTourneau University in May 2016. He has worked with the Texas A&M University Agrilife extension service as a research assistant and has worked for LeTourneau University as a research assistant and as a grader.
Jon has a highly interdisciplinary background, and has particularly strong scientific and mathematical skills, especially in biology, physics, chemistry, engineering, statistics, and calculus. He enjoys studying new subjects and building new skills, and enjoys passing what he has learned on to others.

Our Mission:
At Catalyst Educational Support, we inspire students to become life-long learners by cultivating the right attitude to succeed now and in all future endeavors, through personal example, professional mentorship, and creating a positive tutoring experience for both parents and students.

Our Approach:
At Catalyst Educational Support, we know how important it is for students to be well-rounded individuals. We wish to support students and families in all the activities they pursue, and still help them achieve the best education possible. This is why we are dedicated to working with families to create flexible schedules that fit every child’s needs. We do our best to pair each student with a tutor who has a firm academic grasp of the subject needed, as well as the flexible schedule desired.

It is important at Catalyst Educational Support that we lead the way in providing a positive tutoring experience for your entire family. Don’t hesitate to Contact Us!