TEACHERS

Greg Lee

– HSC Physics, Chemistry, Maths 2 Unit, Maths Extension 1 & 2, Engineering

Greg completed a BSc., majoring in mathematics at UNE (Armidale) 2001. He previously studied Science at Griffith University (Brisbane) 1990-91 and ANU (Canberra) 1992. Also studied Electrical Engineering at Wollongong University 1975-77. Greg has 13 years’ experience in tutoring maths, physics, chemistry and engineering studies at The Education Centre. Maths includes extension 1 and extension 2 in Y12.
His other interests include sailing and railway history

Col Graham

Maths Year 7 to HSC General—Maths Teacher, Year 7 to Year 12 General Maths

Col has been with The Education Centre for more than 10 years, having now retired from teaching at Coffs Harbour High School (Jetty High). He has 35 years’ experience as a teacher of children in the subject areas of Mathematics and Science. He is, and has always been, heavily involved in the Welfare of Students. His other passions are his family and sport, where he has coached in the National Touch League and is qualified as a National Selector. He currently is involved in local football, being an active referee and President of the local Referee’s Association.
Prior to coming to Coffs Harbour, he taught at James Cook Boys High, Kogarah, Ashford Central School, and Katoomba High School.

Rose-Marie Sercombe

Senior English Y11-12—English Teacher Year 12 English

Rose-Marie Sercombe is an experienced HSC English teacher who has been teaching for more than 30 years in high schools on the North Coast.
Graduating with a BA, Dip Ed from UNE, she has a love of literature, especially Shakespeare.
Rose-Marie can help students with transferring their ideas into essays and other text types. High-level reading and writing skills are essential for HSC success.

Alan Merritt

– All aspects of Literacy to HSC, History Modern to Y12, Legal Studies to Y12 –

Over a 30-year period teaching in many subject areas and in public schools, Alan Merritt has been a teacher, Head Teacher and Deputy Principal.  He has been a lecturer, for a number of years, in Education and History at both the University of New South Wales and New England University. As a Senior Education Officer, Alan was commissioned by the Board of Studies to write the History 7-10 syllabus, the Modern History syllabus, as well as providing units of work for NSW teachers in these subjects, along with Ancient History, Legal Studies and Aboriginal Studies.  He was one of the Co-ordinators of the HSC marking process and has also been a Marker and Senior Marker of HSC Modern History. Alan has authored a number of books on Australian society, World War 1 and world history, as well as specific books for HSC students and teachers.
After he graduated with Honours initially, Alan has since completed a Masters Degree as well as further post-graduate work.

Wendy Woodland

– Primary and Early Secondary—Maths, English and Science

Wendy is a passionate teacher, excelling in this field for more than 31 years. Tutoring is what she finds to be the most rewarding type of teaching, working for direct goals and seeing these goals being achieved. Wendy notes that tutoring is more effective when children are acknowledged, cared for and shown respect. Feeling safe, they can be challenged and inspired to learn.  In her tutoring, she supports their needs for attention and approval, and values the children as individuals. Wendy’s tutoring helps children acquire a strong foundation in the knowledge and skills needed for success at school and for life in general. Originally from Sydney, Wendy was based at one main school for 25 years. She knows well the need for staff support, cooperation and rapport. Now, at The Education Centre, in line with our policies and practices, she generously shares helpful ideas with other staff members.

Kirby Drew

– Primary and Early Secondary Maths, English and Reading

Anita Cassidy-Bowman

– HSC, Year 11 & 12 English, Extension English, ESL English

Anita is a casual teacher who has been tutoring secondary English and ESL students for more than 4 years at The Education Centre. Focusing largely on Years 11 and 12, she also has experience preparing adult learners to take the IELTS proficiency test (International English Language Testing System). Anita has a Graduate Diploma in English and ESL, a degree in languages, a passion for music and drama, and more than 17 years’ experience in guiding adults in traditional Indian sound therapy. “I have always loved stories,” says Anita, “whether spoken, written, visual or musical. So the current educational engagement with multi-modal texts for exploring and communicating diverse human experiences is particularly rewarding for me!”

Vivien Rink

– Art to Y12

Vivien hails from Germany, where she did her Masters Degree in Product Design.  Moving to Australia in 2006, she completed her Certificate IV in Small Business as well as Certificate IV TAE in Teaching.  In 2010, Vivien started her own business in toy design and manufacturing i called Toys of Wood. “The love for wood started in my grandfather’s workshop,” she says, “watching him create beautiful furniture. And I loved the smell of wood shavings. He gave me some of his tools, which I still use today.” In 2012, she taught Furniture Design at Coffs Harbour TAFE. Since then, she has staged workshops in art and design for people of all ages.  “Drawing down an idea,” Viven says, “is the easiest way to understand what you are about to produce. Drawing, painting and collaging have always been a big part of my life. And I enjoy passing on my knowledge to others. I believe that everyone has a creative side. You just have to practice and nurture it.”
Now at The Education Centre, tutoring drawing the way she once learned it, Vivien is very excited to be working with both children and adults.

David Mitchell

– HSC and Secondary Maths General, 2 Unit, Extension 1 & 2, Biology, Chemistry

Sue Siwinski

– Biology Y11-12, Science Y7-10, Chemistry Y11-12, Preparation for High School

Sue has been at The Education Centre for 4 years, having taught science courses for more than 30 years.
Her experience includes teaching in a variety of state, catholic and independent secondary schools. Since moving to Coffs Harbour, Sue has completed 20 years as Head of Science at Bishop Druitt College, specialising in teaching senior Biology.  From 2016, Sue retired from her position at BDC to pursue other interests, including tutoring, travelling, working as an author and reviewer for a major textbook publisher and running science programs for young children. She has also written textbook material for the Biology syllabus, introduced in 2018. Most of Sue’s former students have continued their studies in science-related courses and now hold qualifications in a list that includes physiotherapy, medicine, nursing, marine biology, environmental science, teaching, medical and genetics research. Sue has a first-class honours degree in Science (Zoology/Biochemistry) and a post-graduate Diploma of Education, both from the University of Adelaide. More recently, she completed a Diploma of Management.
Speaking about her role now as a tutor, Sue says, “I have found it very effective and satisfying to work with individual students. Within a short time, it becomes possible to understand the student’s needs and tailor my tuition to support them. After 15 years of teaching the current NSW Biology syllabus and 4 years of HSC marking, plus contributing as an author to Biology textbooks, I have mastered the content and am able to predict the areas where Biology students are most likely to need help. I am also effective in helping younger students discover and improve in the general science area.”

Jeff Tillitzki

– Ancient History to Y12, Modern History to Y12, Legal Studies to Y12, Religious Studies to Y12, English to Year 10

Jeff Tillitzki tells, “I have had an extremely varied professional life – sportsman, police detective, university lecturer and government investigator. It has been a wonderful, and, at times, ‘wild’ ride!  “My academic interests are equally broad, yet my subject knowledge expertise lies in ancient Greek, Roman, Persian, Church history, and ancient literature and numismatics. “Literature is my passion. History is my life’s calling.  “My teaching experience stems from successive stints at University of Newcastle, Macquarie University, the New South Wales Police Academy and the University of Shiraz (Iran).  “My qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts Honours (Class 1) and a University Medal. I continue to research and contribute to my long-term PhD thesis aim, dealing with the Roman emperor, Trajan Decius (reigning 249-251 AD). Purely without coincidence, there is a striking resemblance between us…!? 🙂”

Kiyomi Takayama

– Japanese Language & Culture

Kiyomi has a BA from Osaka University of Foreign Studies and a Diploma for ESL from the same university. Before moving to Australia, Kiyomi worked in Financial Derivatives markets in London. Since 2010, she has also been working as a translator/interpreter. Kiyomi says, “I feel that teaching my native language is giving a piece of me and sharing cultures with each other. Every lesson is tailormade for the individual or group and I strive to make it a memorable experience.” At The Education Centre, children and adults can study with Kiyomi, learning for fun, HSC, JLTP (Japanese – Language Proficiency Test), language exchange programs, holidays, business, and culture.

Sharna Missen

I have been tutoring students at The Education Centre in Woolgoolga since 2018. I am currently completing my Bachelor of Arts/Education in Primary and Secondary English at SCU in Coffs Harbour. 

My key teaching philosophy is to engage my students by creating content that is core to their interests, whilst developing their life-long learning literacy and numeracy skills. I do this with respect for my student’s individuality and believe in their capability to learn!

Garth Tuckett

I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in English, Speech and Drama as well as a Higher Education Diploma. In 1992 I obtained my Master’s Degree in Education.

After graduation, I joined The Performing Arts Council of the Transvaal in South Africa where I worked as a professional actor for 10 years in their Theatre in Education Company. After having immigrated to Australia I have taught English and Drama to year 7 to 12. The Drama courses I taught were from year 7 to year 12 for the pretertiary year 11 course as well as the  Theatre Performance Course in year 12 and a Technical Lighting and Set Design Course.   I was also the Coordinator of the Arts, Music, and Drama Faculties as well as being an Examiner and Moderator of the Arthur Barrington Region in Tasmania. I have also taught English to all levels including Standard and Advanced English to years 11 and 12. One of my students in my English Extension Course had her work published by the NSW Education Department.

To conclude my Teaching career spanned over 25 years and I still love to Tutor and help and guide students in their chosen fields.

Leanne Stewart

– Maths Y5-12 General

Leanne had completed a Bachelor of Science (Physiology) with First Class Honours (Animal Behaviour). She has been tutoring Mathematics, Biology and  for 8 years.

Leanne previously worked at the University of New England for 15 years as a Research Assistant and managed the primate colony for the Centre for Neuroscience and Animal Behaviour.

Clare Constantine

I tutor in maths and science and have worked in science research at several Universities: Murdoch University in Perth, University of Melbourne, University of California Irvine. I try to show the connections between skills, also thinking big picture. Build from basics and see the common threads.

Susan Budd

– Primary, Pre-School

David Dunn

– Mandarin and Spanish, History Y7-10, Society & Culture Y11/12, ESL

Wayne Taylor

– Chemistry, Biology Up to HSC, Physics, Maths Y7-10

Talent Team

Matthew Kimber
– Maths K to Y12 up to Extension 2, Economics Y11-12, Chemistry Y11-12 –

Gary Glover

– IT Beginner to Cert IV

Nicola Fox

– Primary, Secondary Maths Y7-Y10

Jeff James

– German Y 7-12

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