Santa Cruz  Learning Center

 and succeed in completing their Spanish courses is exciting and a wonderful reward for both the student as well as herself. Many times the students she has tutored go onto completing the Spanish SAT subject test, which increases their chances of acceptance to college. Monica is ecstatic about tutoring Spanish at Santa Cruz Learning Center and she is happy to be a part of our community.

Scott Conrad

Science and Math tutor

Undergrad at UCSC

​Scott grew up in Los Angeles before coming up to Santa Cruz for college. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry at UCSC. During his time there, he has done research on mercury in fog and is studying lipoxygenase, a protein that can cause cancer, stroke, and diabetes. When living in LA, Scott tutored middle school students in math and science and discovered his passion for educating others. Scott began tutoring at Santa Cruz Learning Center in 2017, where he enjoyed connecting with students and seeing their individual progress. He is excited to continue to be a part of the team and 

assist students in their algebra, biology, and chemistry classes. In his free time, Scott is usually making electronic music or hiking amid the redwoods. 

teaching, and joined us at the Learning Center. Rylan was able to better hone his Spanish skills while traveling and is now fluent. When not teaching, Rylan can be found in the ocean or on a run in the forest, or perhaps behind a computer maintaining his technical skills. Other hobbies include guitar, mushroom hunting and print making.

Rylan Hunt 

Physical Science, Physics and Algebra 1. Multi-Subject Tutor

Spanish Tutor

B.a. in physics and Applied Mathematics 


Rylan works mainly with our Math and Physical Science students. He is a graduate of Aptos High and UC Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in Physics and Applied Mathematics. Since graduating in 2013, Rylan has worked half time as a tutor and half time editing math research for publication. After returning from a year of travels in South America, he decided to put more energy into 

Learning Language and Math. While there, Ajita got a first hand look inside the education system and hands on experience tutoring students 1st-7th grade. Ajita loves working for the Learning Center and is excited to continue learning and teaching here. Ajita is also the Office Manager. Do not be surprised if you get emails from her! 

volunteered in the community. She is a lifelong swimmer and coach who loves seeing her students blossom in all areas of life. Kaia recently moved to Santa Cruz and is excited to live so close to the ocean and explore the city. She looks forward to sharing her love of all things words and learning with the students this year. When she’s not at school, Kaia is either teaching swim lessons, outside, or reading a book. 

English 10 and 12 at San Benito High School for 2 years, and English 10-12, AP Language and Composition and Yearbook at Pajaro Valley High School for 7 years. She have decided to leave full time teaching to spend more time with her two young children, Linnaea who is 5 and Jasper who is a toddler. She believes all students are capable of becoming lifelong learners and values the individuality and voice of every student.

Ajita Harrison

Government, Economics, History teacher; Multi Subject tutor

Office Manager

BA in Political Science with an emphasis in Woman's Studies


Ajita is our Social Studies teacher as well as a Math and English tutor. After graduating from Harbor High School she attended Whittier College. She graduated from Whittier College with a BA in Political Science. She then volunteered with City Year Baton Rouge, an AmeriCorps program that deploys corps members in high need urban cities targeting students that are falling behind in English 

2560 Soquel Avenue Suite 200Santa Cruz CA 95062  |   831-331-5611  |

and transferred from Cabrillo College to UC Santa Cruz where she received her Bachelor's and  and Master's degrees​ in Chemistry.  Her research was in marine natural products as well as bioinorganic chemistry involving the photochemistry of nitric oxide.  Prior to starting college, she trained at the Santa Cruz Women's Health Center to be a phlebotomist and a clinical laboratory assistant.  She worked at Unilab, Santa Cruz Medical Clinic and performed home visits to do medical exams for life insurance applicants. Malika has been teaching and tutoring for over 17 years and was co-raised by a local homeshooling consultant teacher (Patty Palazzo).  During her time off, Malika enjoys spending time with her family in her hometown of Santa Cruz.  She has a fantastic husband (co-owner, Nate Bell) and two exuberant daughters (Leilani, 12 and Ruby, 7).

Malika teaches Math, Science, and SAT/ACT Prep at the SC Learning Center and is an academic advocate.  She tutors in math, and science and works with students (of all ages) on organization and educational planning. Until recently, she worked concurrently at UC Santa Cruz as the Director of STEM Diversity Programs. Malika was a re-entry​ college student (six years after graduating from Santa Cruz High in 1992.)
Kaia Duke

English, Life Science, Intro to Pre-Algebra and Elementary; Multi-Subject Tutor

b.a. in English with an emphasis in Literary Studies


Kaia is our Elementary, Life Science, and Intro to Pre-Algebra educator. She grew up in central Arkansas and graduated from Hendrix College in 2015 with a B.A. in English. After completing school, Kaia served two years with City Year Baton Rouge, an education-based non-profit that places young people in high need urban schools as tutors and mentors. During her time in Baton Rouge, Kaia taught small groups in a 3rd grade English class, tutored 1st-5th graders, loved reading with her students, and 

Lindsey Lyons, MA

High school English 



Lindsey was born in San Francisco and raised in Sebastopol. She attended UCSC and received her BA in Art History, then after an internship teaching young children art at the MAH, decided to return to UCSC to get her MA in Education and single subject teaching credential in English. She taught
MONica Alvarez

Tutor in Spanish (all levels)

B.A. in Spanish and Communications


Monica Alvarez is in love with the Spanish language. She majored in Spanish and Communications at CSUS, and took a year of credential classes to teach LEP and Spanish.  After many years of work in Administration, she has found a home with Santa Cruz Learning Center where she can do what she loves, tutoring Spanish. Monica feels that the fundamentals of learning any language are sometimes challenging.  She feels that helping a student understand these challenges, overcome them

meet OUR TEAM of Talented Educators! 

Malika Bell, MS

Science and math teacher

Ms in Chemistry from UCSC