The CLEAR Education Team

Meet Our Passionate Tutors!

Our tutors, already having excelled under the direction of CLEAR are also continually mentored and trained by Karene Buchanan. They have each shown an exceptional drive to achieve outstanding results, immersing themselves in the friendly, but driven atmosphere CLEAR Education provides. Each mentor has excelled in English or Maths and has the ability to communicate and teach effectively.

Meet the team below!

Karene Buchanan, Founder

Karene Buchanan holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education in English and Drama which was completed at UNSW in 1998. She taught at St Spyridon College for 8 years and then had her first child in 2009. She then started a part time tutoring business which has now flourished into CLEAR. Her passion is for students to receive a good education to ensure they get the results they need to successfully fulfill their career goals.

"We focus on specialised one on one lessons to individually support and challenge each of our students. We have chosen ex students to become a part of our team as they have excelled using our CLEAR approach and they are excited to share their knowledge and skills with their students. The process of selecting the appropriate tutor for our students is also integral to our approach. If a student has a dynamic tutor who can build rapport, motivate and extend them, then their commitment will improve as will their
Confidence, Literacy, Education, Abilities and Results and that is the whole point of CLEAR."

The tutors, the role models, the champions

Zach Messina

Zach Messina is an ex-student of CLEAR starting in 2012, graduating from Cranbrook in 2013. His rank before he started with CLEAR in Year 11 was 144 / 178 and he finished his HSC trials with a rank of 15/178. He improved exponentially thanks to his time with CLEAR education. He received an overall ATAR of 92 and achieved an Advanced English mark of 89%.

Zach has now completed a Bachelor of Commerce at UNSW, with a major in Finance and Business Law. He is also passionate about Football. He currently coaches the U16 Dunbar Rovers in NPL Youth 2. 

2020 is Zach's seventh year at CLEAR.

Georgia Disalvo

Georgia is an ex-student of CLEAR, having started in 2013 and graduating in 2014 with 89% in Advanced English. With English as her weakest subject prior to starting with CLEAR Education, she was able to drastically improve her results, ultimately allowing her to achieve an ATAR of 92 (net of bonus points).

Georgia was elected 2014 College Captain of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Kensington, allowing her to receive the Archbishop's Award for Leadership. Georgia also has a passion for dancing and occasionally teaches tap classes to younger students at C5 Dance Studio at Little Bay. 

Georgia is studying at UNSW Australia and is now studying 'Criminology'.

2020 is Georgia's sixth year at CLEAR.

Darlene Tjahjadi

Our highest scoring student for 2015 works for us!

Darlene started at CLEAR Education during her HSC year at Brigidine; with English as her weakest subject. The tremendous help at CLEAR and her hard work resulted in a huge improvement, scoring a HSC mark of 93 in English Advanced. Darlene achieved an ATAR of 99.05 and received the NSW Premier's Award as an All-round Achiever.

Darlene also has a passion for music where she completed her AMEB course for Piano Performance in 2014.

Darlene has now been accepted into the University of New South Wales where she will be studying a Commerce/Media (PR & Advertising) degree.

2020 is Darlene's fifth year at CLEAR.

Alyssa Stamatellis

Alyssa Stamatellis is an ex-student of CLEAR Education, graduating from Brigidine College Randwick in 2016 with an Advanced English Mark of 92 and an Extension English Mark of 46/50. She came to CLEAR Education in Year 11 struggling with her essay structure and analysis, as well as creative writing, and with the help of Karene Buchanan achieved a big improvement by the end of the HSC. As a result, she achieved an overall ATAR of 95.4, which is a product of all her hard work throughout the HSC year. 

Alyssa has a passion for reading books of many different genres and also plays the violin. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Commerce/ Bachelor of Media at the University of New South Wales.

2020 is Alyssa's fourth year at CLEAR. 

Jeremy Rabago

Jeremy graduated from Marist College Kogarah in 2016. Dedicated to reading, he developed a greater understanding of English and the texts studied in his HSC year. With a determination to analyse these texts and their concepts, he achieved a HSC mark of 91 in Advanced English and an overall ATAR of 93.50, achieving a band 6 in three of his subjects.

As product of CLEAR Education's supportive and friendly ethos, Jeremy aspires to uphold these values to assists his students to attain an effective work ethic for success. With the willingness to embrace the new and provide wisdom to others, he enjoys motivating his peers to fulfill their ambitions.

Jeremy is currently studying a Bachelor of Advanced Science (Hons)/Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) dual degree at UNSW.

Dylan Gardiner

Dylan Gardiner is an ex-student of Clear Education. He completed the HSC in 2017. His tutor, Zach, helped him to consolidate existing skills in English, and as a result Dylan finished with an internal rank of 3/148 students and an overall Advanced English mark of 95. 

This was CLEAR’s best Advanced result in the 2017 HSC, it also demonstrates significant personal improvement for Dylan, who ranked 30th in English in year 11.

Dylan achieved an ATAR of 98.25, placed 20th in NSW for modern history and received a mark of 95 in Legal Studies.

This year, Dylan will begin a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Law dual degree at UNSW.


Lucas Fagundes-Lydon

English isn’t an easy subject, especially if it doesn’t come naturally to you, but I promise you, it doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems. Karene, our director at CLEAR Education, taught me personally at my high school of Marist College Kogarah. She proved to me, and everyone time and time again, that with a guiding hand to show you direction, and a personal desire to self-actualise, you can achieve whatever mark or band you desire in this subject.

I was fortunate and privileged enough to have gifted and dedicated teachers at my high school like Karene. It was only through their help and the supportive environment that they created, that I was able to achieve my goals of a band 6 and E4 in both Advanced and Extension English respectively. Karene made it clear to me, if you give this subject what it deserves and commit yourself to making the at first inconceivable a reality, it will happen.

Karene, my colleagues and I ensure that when you walk through the doors of CLEAR Education, you walk into a community that only wants the best for you and will make sure that you have every tool necessary to become the best you can be at English. So, come to CLEAR Education, and let us show you the abilities you didn’t even know you had.

Kshaunish Chaplot

Kshaunish graduated from Marist College Kogarah in 2017 as College Dux, with an ATAR of 99.75. Now, he studies Dalyell Science and Advanced Studies at the University of Sydney with the hope to one day practice medicine. 

Through recursive hard-work, perseverance and a little bit of strategy that he likes to call “playing the HSC game”, Kshaunish was able to achieve HSC marks of 99/100 in both Extension 1 & 2 Mathematics, 94/100 in Chemistry, 93/100 in Physics and 91/100 in Advanced English, achieving the HSC All-Rounder award for Band 6 in all his subjects.

Yet, preceding Kshaunish’s knighting as the princely ‘Guru’ of Mathematics, he remained a mere mortal, achieving a mid to low ranking throughout Stage 5 without any clear passion for the subject. It was with the help of his teachers and tutors including Karene that he soon came to realise his true potential and strove to achieve greatness.

Kshaunish hopes to drive not only the values of resilience, dedication and hard-work into his students, but also mentor and support their mental focus and passion for this truly magnificent, mathematical world we live in (his words not ours!). This is what he and CLEAR education believe, is the recipe to HSC success.

Charlotte Plashik

Charlotte Plashik is an ex-student of CLEAR Education, graduating from Ascham School in 2017. Charlotte started CLEAR in Year 11, with the determination to improve her writing style and overall confidence in English. At the beginning of the HSC, she had the goal of achieving a Band 5 in English and with the help of her tutor, Karene, she was able to achieve an overall mark of 86, which exceeded her original expectations. She also received assistance for her Drama Essays as she was struggling with constructing a clear essay that answered the question. Before she received tutoring, Charlotte’s average mark was 12/20 and through hard work and persistence, she ended up achieving 17/20 in the external HSC exam

Inspired by Karene, Charlotte has chosen to study a Bachelor of Education (Seconday - Humanities and Social Sciences) and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English and Drama at the University of Sydney.

Emma Liu

Emma Liu graduated Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Sydney in 2017 with an ATAR of 99.55. She initially struggled with Mathematics, but attended external tutoring all through high school to finish with a 99 in Advanced Maths and 49 in Extension 1 Maths. She also attended Chemistry and Physics tutoring in Year 12, achieving a 96 external in Chemistry and 93 external in Physics.

Emma has a passion for music, especially jazz and playing the saxophone. She received an Encore nomination in 2017 for her Music 2 Performance.

In 2019, Emma studies a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies/Bachelor of Science, having found a lasting appreciation for Maths and Science. She is excited to assist students at CLEAR in their studies, so that they can find both enjoyment and confidence across their subjects.

Billy Matsos

Billy Matsos graduated from Sydney Boy’s High School in 2018 with an ATAR of 97.95. Now, he is studying Advanced Science and Advanced Studies at the University of Sydney to work toward a career in astrophysics.

Previously tutored by Karene, he has adopted many of the techniques in writing clear and structured essays, skills in analysing texts and ultimately understanding the HSC English formula. Initially finding difficulty in English, he finished with a 91/100 in English Advanced.

Billy also achieved external marks of 92/100 in Extension 1 Mathematics, 89/100 in Extension 2 Mathematics, 90/100 in Chemistry and 92/100 in Physics.

Billy hopes to instil a sense of enthusiasm in his students that reflects his passion for Maths and Science. In doing so, imparting a genuine understanding of mathematical and scientific concepts that aren’t only memorised but truly understood.

2019 is Billy's first year at CLEAR. 

Alexander Mangos

Alexander Mangos graduated from Sydney Grammar School in 2018, and is an ex-student of CLEAR Education. After being particularly fond of the study of Mathematics and Science in high school, he is now applying these passions in his study of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sydney. A Prefect and avid sportsman of the school, Alex understands the importance of collaboration needed to tackle any situation or problem, especially the HSC!

“Coming into CLEAR as a student I felt nervous and embarrassed about the shocking state of my English skills. Not long after starting, I began to see noticeable improvements in my writing, and consequently my marks began to improve. From originally scoring Cs to eventually scoring consistent high Bs, my confidence in my English skills grew. This was a product of the efforts of my tutor and his engagement with other tutors to ensure the best possible outcome for my HSC.”

Alex wishes in to instill the fundamental notions of the importance of consistency, resilience and collaboration to guide students throughout their high school career, as well as impart his knowledge of Mathematics, Science and English to ensure his students reach their potential.

Madelaine Casswell

Maddy is an ex-student of CLEAR, starting in 2017 with Georgia as her English Tutor. Maddy graduated from Our Lady from the Sacred Heart College Kensington in 2018. 

Maddy was awarded as DUX of the College in 2018 with an atar 97.95. She was also awarded the NSW Premiers All Rounder's Award for achieving a Band 6 in all of her subjects. She achieved marks of 91 in Advanced English and 95 in General Mathematics. 

Maddy is currently completing a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Technology Sydney. Maddy is a national level competitive swimmer and continued to swim throughout her HSC years. 

Nicole Stramotas

Nicole attended CLEAR Education during her HSC year at SCEGGS Darlinghurst. Nicole graduated in 2018 with an Advanced English Mark of 90/100, an Advanced Mathematics mark of 94/100, an Extension Mathematics Mark of 44/50 and an overall ATAR of 95.40.

Before CLEAR, Nicole struggled to get all her ideas down during exams. Her time at CLEAR Education significantly improved her ability to write clearly and concisely while still being in-depth. This gave her the confidence and skills to ace her English exams.

Nicole is passionate about Mathematics and English. She always strives to provide a safe and encouraging environment for her students to learn, challenge themselves and thrive. And most importantly, she aims to inspire the same passion for Mathematics and English in her students. 

Manny Saviolakis

Manny Saviolakis graduated from Marist College Kogarah in 2018. Tutored by Karene at MCK, his passion for English flourished. Over the course of the HSC, he developed his analytical and literacy skills. He received an overall mark of 92 in Advanced English and an ATAR of 96.40. His passion for analysis inspired him to study a duel degree- a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of New South Wales.

Manny was elected 2018 College Captain of MCK, and received the prestigious Finis Coronat Opus award for excellence in conduct, study and participation in college life. He also has a passion for music and is completing his AMEB Classical Piano Performance course.

Manny hopes he can pass on his knowledge to his students and assist them in
developing their abilities and achieving their goals.

2019 is Manny’s first year at CLEAR.

Valantia Stamatopoulos

Valantia Stamatopoulos graduated Bethany College, Hurstville in 2018 with an ATAR of 91. She enjoyed Legal Studies, Geography and Drama subjects, consequently resulting in HSC grades over 90. Her 2nd rank out of 70 students in Geography however was her greatest passion, enjoying all aspects of the subject and is excited to share this enthusiasm to the students of CLEAR education.

Valantia has a passion for drama and theatre, attending local plays and productions with friends. Her love of the subject during secondary education has formed a part of her personal pastime as well as developed her love for performance and public speaking.

In 2019, Valantia studies a Bachelor of Laws/Commerce at Macquarie University, using her secondary education appreciation for the legal system to make a lasting career. She is very excited to assist students at CLEAR in order to provide enthusiasm and enjoyment for HSIE subjects like Geography, SOR and Legal Studies as well as English and provide them the best result for a student's high school journey.  

Milena Marjanovic

Milena is an ex-student of CLEAR Education, graduating from St Catherine’s School in 2018 with an ATAR of 98.0. With the help of Karene, she was able to enhance her essay writing skills and learn how to more effectively analyse texts.

Milena was able to greatly improve in English with the support of CLEAR, achieving a score of 94/100 in English Advanced and 47/50 in English Extension. In 2019, Milena began studying a Bachelor of Arts and Laws at Sydney University. She aims to support and motivate her students in achieving their goals, as well as building up their confidence and enthusiasm in English. 

Selena Kranitis

Selena graduated from De La Salle Cronulla in 2018, and with the help of CLEAR Education, was able to greatly develop her essay writing skills before completing the HSC. With a better understanding of essay writing after working with Karene, she was able to apply this knowledge to essay writing in other subjects such as Design and Technology receiving a mark of 91. 

Selena has an interest in textiles and completed her design and technology major project around this passion. She was nominated for the SHAPE 2019 showcase at the Powerhouse Museum for her major works in this subject. 

Encouraged to provide children with the assistance they need throughout their schooling years, she is studying a Bachelor of Arts Bachelor of Education at UTS. 

Anthea Condous

Anthea Condous is an ex-student of CLEAR education, where she was tutored by Karene for English Advanced, who helped her improve her English skills and marks dramatically by the end of year 12.

She graduated from St Spyridon College in 2019 with an ATAR of 98.95. Anthea achieved a band 6 in Advanced Mathematics, Economics, Physics, Business Studies and an E4 in Extension 1 Mathematics. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Advanced Studies as a Dalyell Scholar at the University of Sydney.

Anthea has a strong passion for mathematics, where she attained an exceptional HSC mark of 100 in Advanced Mathematics, ranking 13th in the state, as well as achieving a mark of 49/50 in Extension 1 Mathematics. Anthea aims to use her knowledge, skills and appreciation for mathematics to assist other students to achieve their potential and enhance their problem-solving skills. She also aims to share her enthusiasm for this subject and boost the confidence of other students at CLEAR education in discovering their mathematical ability.

Additionally, not only is Anthea passionate about mathematics, she also excelled in all subjects she studied through her determination and hard work. She aims to instil this resilience in other students of CLEAR Education to help them achieve their goals, as well as pass on her enjoyment and fondness of these subjects.

 

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