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 and 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 and 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 U15 Dunbar Rovers in NPL Youth 2. 

2019 is Zach's sixth year at CLEAR.

Results for Zach's Year 12 students in 2017:

  • Year 12 Cranbook School - Advanced English: 95%
  • Year 12 SCEGGS Darlinghurst - Advanced English: 93%
  • Year 12 Marcellin - Advanced English: 91%
  • Year 12 Marcellin - Extension 1 English: 88%
  • Year 12 Champagnat - Advanced English: 88%
  • Year 12 Cranbrook School - Advanced English: 85%
  • Year 12 SCEGGS Darlinghurst - Advanced English: 84%

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'.

2019 is Georgia's fifth year at CLEAR.

Results for Georgia's students in 2017:

  • Year 12 Randwick Girls - Standard English: STATE RANK of 2nd, 96%;
  • Year 12 OLSH (3 Students) - Advanced English: 90%, 86%, 82%;
  • Year 12 OLSH - Standard English: 83%
  • Year 12 Danebank - Advanced English: 87%
  • Year 12 St Vincent's College - Advanced English: 85%

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.

2019 is Darlene's fourth year at CLEAR.

Results for Darlene's Year 12 students in 2017:

  • Year 12 Meriden - Advanced English: 93%
  • Year 12 Brigidine (2 Students) - Advanced English: 91%, 85%
  • Year 12 Brigidine (2 Students) - Standard English: 90%, 76%
  • Year 12 St. Catherines - Advanced English: 86%
  • Year 12 SCEGGS Darlinghurst - Advanced English: 85%
  • Year 12 St Vincents - Advanced English: 80%

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.

2019 is Alyssa's third year at CLEAR. 

Results for Alyssa's Year 12 students:

  • Year 12 OLSH - Advanced English: 87%
  • Year 12 St Catherines - Advanced English: 88%
  • Year 12 Ascham School - Advanced English: 86%
  • Year 12 St. Spyridon - Advanced English: 83%

Joseph (Joey) Nicolas

Joseph is an ex-student of Marist College Kogarah who graduated in 2016. 

He was tutored by Karene Buchanan (founder of Clear Education) at MCK who provided him with the significant literature skills to eventually reach his optimum performance. He was able to achieve an overall HSC mark of 93 in English Standard and received the top exam mark in his school and an ATAR of 94.8 (net of bonus points). 

Joseph enjoys literature/essay writing. In particular, he enjoys teaching and motivating people to strive for success and unlock their personal best. He firmly believes dedication and commitment to study are self-tools for a student to work on their weaknesses and improve confidence levels.

Joseph is a competitive and passionate Rugby League player who captained the "B" Grade Team at Marist College Kogarah and follows a strict daily physical fitness regime. Joseph is currently studying at UNSW Australia to study Psychological Science, majoring in psychology.

Results for Joey's Year 12 students in 2017:

  • Year 12 Waverley College - Standard English: 81%
  • Year 12 Brigidine - Standard English: 78%
  • Year 12 Champagnat College - Standard English: 76%

Ivana Punyawan

Ivana Punyawan is an ex-student of CLEAR Education, graduating from Brigidine College Randwick in 2016 with an Advanced English mark of 96 and an overall ATAR of 99.2. She came to CLEAR Education not feeling confident with English and with her abilities, which CLEAR helped her to overcome. 

Ivana loves mathematics and in 2017 began to study at the University of New South Wales where she is undertaking a double degree - a Bachelor of Engineering and a Bachelor of Commerce. However, she has also grown to appreciate English and the fact it has the potential to provide so much insight into life itself, to provoke people to think about their surroundings, as well as allowing one to be creative and express their ideas. She loves to assist others to achieve their goals and to help people of all ages feel confident with who they are and their potential.

We are thrilled to have Ivana here 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 the 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.

Results for Jeremy's Year 12 students in 2017:

  • Year 12 Marcellin College (2 Students) - Advanced English: 81%, 80%

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. 

Maree Nikitopoulos

Maree Nikitopoulos graduated from St Catherine’s School in 2018 and is now studying a Bachelor of Applied Science (Exercise Physiology) at Sydney University. Maree is an ex-student of Clear and with the help of Karene during year 12, she was able to gain a new enthusiasm towards English, refining her essay writing skills and building her confidence.

Maree hopes she can pass on this expertise to her students, and assist them in achieving their goals and feeling confident within their studies. 

2019 is Maree’s first year at clear. 


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