Meet Our Leadership Team


John McAuliffe

Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer, John McAuliffe joined the Sylvan family in January 2010 as the Chief Financial Officer. As CFO, John was responsible for creating the annual budget and forecasting the financial outlook of the company. In January 2016, John was promoted to the role of Chief Executive Officer for Sylvan. As CEO, John has hit the ground running, laying out an ambitious roadmap for Sylvan’s future success. John has spearheaded efforts to streamline Sylvan’s business model over the last year, resulting in the most flexible and dynamic education franchise in the country. Under John’s leadership, Sylvan aims to deliver the best educational programs through the use of cutting-edge technology and best-in-class customer service. 

Prior to Sylvan, John was the CFO of Prometric, a technology-enabled testing and assessment services provider.  Before that he served as the COO of Capstar which develops competency assessment, learning measurement, and testing solutions for private and public organizations. John is a proven executive with over 20 years of experience in the education industry. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Loyola College in Baltimore. John also serves on several not-for-profit organization committees in the Baltimore area.

Monica Nicolau - Sylvan Learning's Chief Technology Officer

Monica Nicolau

Chief Technology Officer

Since she joined Sylvan in March 2011, Monica Nicolau served as Sr. Director and then Vice President of Software Development for SylvanSync and became the Chief Technology Officer in June of 2015. Prior to Sylvan, Ms. Nicolau worked at Micros Systems, Inc., now Oracle Hospitality, where she held a variety of roles that included Director of Software Engineering. Ms. Nicolau holds an MS in Computer Science with a specialization in Software Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.



Amy Przywara

Chief Marketing Officer

Chief Marketing Officer, Amy Przywara, has been part of the Sylvan family since 2006, where she has served in various leadership roles including VP, Marketing, Senior Director of Brand and Customer Acquisition, Director of National Advertising, and Director of Co-op Advertising.  She has been instrumental in delivering integrated marketing campaigns for Sylvan centers that include national components working in conjunction with a local focused strategy to drive business to local centers.  Prior to Sylvan, Amy held senior roles in the media department of Doner, a full-service, performance-driven advertising agency. Amy holds a BA from Penn State University.



Alan Schroeder

Chief Legal Officer

Alan Schroeder is the Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel and Secretary of Sylvan.  Prior to being named to that position in 2005, beginning in 2004 Alan was the General Counsel of Educate, Inc., Sylvan’s parent, a position he continues to hold.  Prior to joining Educate, Alan was Of Counsel with DLA Piper in Baltimore and, before that, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Prime Retail, Inc., a real estate investment trust.  Alan’s previous experience includes Assistant General Counsel of Prime Group, Inc. and an Associate with Hopkins & Sutter in Chicago.  Alan holds degrees from Bowdoin College and The University of Chicago Law School.



Sasha Shultz

Chief Product Officer

Sasha Shultz joined Sylvan in 2013 as Chief People Officer and became the Chief Product Officer in June, 2015.  Prior to Sylvan, Sasha spent nine years at ARAMARK, where she held leadership positions in Operations and Consumer Strategy, as well as serving as the head of the Strategic Program Management Office of the Sports & Entertainment division. Sasha leads Sylvan Learning’s partnership with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and currently serves on LLS’ Baltimore Executive Committee and on the Advisory Board to the Towson University College of Business and Economics. Sasha earned her BS in Finance from the University of Virginia and her MBA from the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business.



Alan Catlett

Vice President of Product Management

Alan Catlett joined Sylvan Learning in September 2009 as the Senior Director of the Project Management Office. Since joining, Alan has held a number of roles including Vice President and General Manager of SylvanSync and Contract Programs. Prior to joining Sylvan Learning, Alan was Vice President of Product Management at Wall Street Institute.



John Geiselman

Vice President of Engineering & Support

John Geiselman joined Sylvan in December of 2010 as the Executive Director of Infrastructure Operations and Engineering, and later became the Vice President of Engineering & Support in April of 2015. Prior to coming to Sylvan, he worked at Educate Online where he was the Director of Engineering. Mr. Geiselman holds many technology industry certifications and attended Penn State University.



Nelson Grillo

Vice President of Business Intelligence

Nelson Grillo joined the Sylvan family in 2004 where he has been instrumental in building the company’s business intelligence, marketing analytics and location analytics capabilities. Prior to Sylvan, Nelson was the Director of Consumer Pricing and Analytics for MCI Telecommunications. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business from Florida A&M University and an MBA with a concentration in Finance from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. Nelson, who comes from a family of educators, is an active volunteer in youth related causes and founded a non-profit organization that promotes youth athletics in his native Prince George’s County, MD.



Jacob Jones

Vice President of Finance

Jacob Jones became the VP of Finance for Sylvan Learning in April 2016. Jacob joined the Sylvan team in December 2011 as the Assistant Controller and was promoted to Controller in July 2014. Prior to Sylvan, Jacob spent five years in public accounting working from Associate to Manager for Grant Thornton and Ernst and Young. Jacob attended West Virginia University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus in Accounting.



Emily Levitt

Vice President of Education

Emily Levitt joined Sylvan in 2016 as Vice President of Education. Prior to Sylvan, Emily spent three years at Citelighter, where she served as Director and then Vice President of Curriculum, responsible for Citelighter’s products and services, including its writing software suite. Prior to Citelighter, Emily spent several years in the education technology space at both CORE ECS and Six Red Marbles, spearheading curriculum and content development for publishers including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Scholastic, and Brown University, as well as the development of digital assessment content and learning plans. Emily began her career as a middle school teacher in Maryland. Emily holds a BA in Secondary English Education from the University of Maryland and MS from Towson University.



Susan Valverde

Vice President of Franchise Operations

Prior to her current role at Sylvan, Susan Valverde was a Sylvan franchisee for 14 years. During her time as an operator, Susan participated in various key pilots including Ace it!, SylvanSync and Sylvan EDGE. She held leadership positions in various organizations from the Sylvan Franchise Owners Association to the Texas Lyceum and Latinos for Education. She has over 25 years of business experience and holds an MBA from University of Texas, Edinburg.