Mathnasium 189 The Donway West, Toronto ON M3C 0K6 (416) 281-6284

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Our Team

Our specially trained math instructors will teach your child how to understand math in an individual setting; our unique approach enables us to explain concepts really well and lend a helping hand to every student. Our tutors foster a caring, encouraging environment that helps kids thrive and learn! Read below to learn more about our talented team:

Owner and Centre DirectorSteve Sharland, Owner 

Steve grew up in England, and always enjoyed Math at school. It wasn't surprising that he chose a career in Finance. Having qualified as a Chartered Accountant in London, he moved to Canada for a two-year adventure, but ended up calling Toronto home for good. 20 years on, after a successful career in business, he has now embarked on another adventure, this time with Mathnasium, inspired by his goal of leveraging his experiences in a rewarding way, to benefit both children and his community. With three children of his own, he has seen how students can struggle with Math. He has seen how the Mathnasium Method makes sense to kids, and is a firm believer in its effectiveness. He is committed to helping kids realize their Math potential, and creating Math enthusiasts, one student at a time!

Jeff Gaffen, Centre Director

Jeff graduated from the University of Toronto, earning an Honours Bachelor of Science with a double major in Astrophysics and Psychology and a minor in Mathematics. He is an Ontario Certified Teacher who graduated from the University of Ottawa Teacher Education Program, earning a Bachelor of Education with intermediate/senior qualifications in math and physics. He has worked as a math and physics teacher, as well as the Head of Guidance in private secondary schools with a specialized focus on international students, assisting with course selection and throughout the post-secondary application process. Jeff has a deep appreciation for mathematics, and believes that an immersion into the world of mathematical understanding begins at a young age. Using the Mathnasium method, Jeff’s goal is to share his love of mathematics with others, and ultimately teach students the skills, number sense, and problem solving strategies that they can use for the rest of their lives.

Mariam Essa, Assistant Centre Director and Lead Instructor

Mariam has a Bachelors degree in Mathematics and Economics from Royal Holloway, University of London (UK). She has a passion for Mathematics and aims to share her love of the subject with others. In Pakistan, she worked for a newspaper before proceeding to take an administrative position at a school. She discovered her passion for teaching by chance, when asked to be a substitute teacher in a Statistics class for a few weeks. Her hobbies include travelling, solving Sudoku puzzles, and drinking coffee.


Danielle Eagleson, Assistant Centre Director

Danielle is a graduate of York University, majoring in Mathematics and French Studies. She has been tutoring mathematics for the past five years, in both French and English, at the upper-elementary and high school levels. She started her degree in engineering, gaining valuable knowledge in physics and chemistry. Through volunteer organizations she discovered her passion for teaching math and has been specializing in mathematics ever since. As a mathematician, she knows how math can open many doors and wishes to help students on their path to success. Aside from teaching, Danielle enjoys biking, creative writing and learning new languages!

Sharis Lakfard, High School Lead Instructor

Sharis has been working with Mathnasium since 2014 and has watched many Mathletes as they grow up and move up through their various school grades. She believes that is one of the many enjoyable reasons to be a teacher. She holds a M.Sc. and B.Ed. from University of Toronto. Sharis is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers, teaching intermediate and senior mathematics and biology. In her free time she likes to read mystery books and work on her garden.


George Verveniotis, Instructor


George is a graduate of the University of Waterloo with a Masters in Mathematics. After a successful career of over 25 years in business finance, George has always maintained his passion for math and understands the importance of building a solid foundation. He likes to share his enthusiasm and is always trying to achieve those 'ah ha!' moments when a student says "I get it!" He is committed to leveraging his career experiences to help students gain confidence in math and reach their true potential. 

Cristina Paciagiu, Instructor

Cristina has been a teacher for more than 20 years, both in Canada and overseas. She is an Ontario certified teacher with a Masters degree in Mathematics from Romania, a Bachelor of Education from University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, and additional qualifications in Special Education. Her early passion for teaching and the years of experience teaching different grade levels and students of different backgrounds, has equipped her with the tools needed to support students and empower them with knowledge. Cristina is a caring person who loves to make each student feel comfortable, capable, and qualified to meet their goals, all in her desire of making a difference into the lives of any children. To balance a lifestyle of mathematics, Cristina’s favourite hobby is to read.

O'Shane Rose, Instructor

O’Shane is a Bachelor of Science graduate from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica and a student currently enrolled in the Energy Systems Engineering Technology program at Centennial College. A recipient of 2 academic scholarships (top GPA) at Centennial College O’Shane discovered his love for mathematics and aptitude for sharing his knowledge with his peers at school. He has since been a tutor of Mathematics and Physics for 2 years working with various companies within Ontario. He plans to complete a degree in Energy Systems Engineering where he will pursue his career as an Engineer in the renewable sector as well as an instructor of Mathematics and Physics. He developed a liking for the Mathnasium method of teaching students and felt he should be a part of this mission of empowering students to take control of their learning.