Meet our team

Mary Kerba

Director


The Hills Learning Centre was established by Mrs Mary Kerba, a highly motivated, experienced and gifted educator and communicator, with a wealth of knowledge and 32 years of combined Special Needs teaching and school leadership experience. Mary has a Diploma in Teaching from the Catholic Teachers College in North Sydney (currently ACU- Australian Catholic University), a Graduate Certificate in Learning Difficulties from University of NSW, certificate in Counselling and Advanced Communication Skills from the University of Western Sydney and has trained in many Specific Learning Difficulties (SLD) and other educational methods, some of which are Lindamood-Auditory Conceptualisation; Visualising /Verbalising for Comprehension and Learning; WRAP/Spalding; Junior Great Books; and Visible Thinking.

Her journey in Special Needs began in the early 1980’s teaching children with a wide range of disabilities and sensory impairments. By the early 1990’s Mary moved into adult education where she taught and supported young people with disabilities. In the mid 1990’s, Mary established, and was owner/director of TLC (Telopea Learning Centre) in Sydney.

During this time she also hosted and facilitated Professional Development for teachers in the area of early literacy and learning difficulties and also presented at one of SPELD’s Learning Conference at Westmead. Mary returned to mainstream teaching in 2000 until mid-2014. She has taught at infants and primary level, developed and implemented a school learning-support program, and has been Head of Infants and the Head of Junior School of an independent girls’ school in Sydney’s north-west.

Mary’s passion for teaching, and especially in the area of Special Needs and Learning Difficulties, has brought her back to this field by establishing The Hills Learning Centre in late July 2014. Mary is a current professional member of Specific Learning Difficulties NSW-SPELD NSW, Learning Difficulties Coalition-LDC, Learning Difficulties Australia- LDA, Associate Member of the Independent Primary School Heads Association NSW- IPSHA NSW and Organisational Associate of National Disability Services-NDS.
... a wealth of knowledge and 32 years of combined Special Needs teaching.

Natalie Goodwin

Learning Intervention Specialist


Mrs Natalie Goodwin is an enthusiastic, passionate and skilled teacher who has worked with students from a range of age groups in both classroom and 1:1 environments for the past 14 years. Natalie has a Bachelor of Education (Primary) and a Masters degree in Theology from ACU in Sydney and has undertaken a great deal of professional development in special education, literacy and numeracy.

Natalie comes to The Hills Learning Centre with a wealth of knowledge and a passion to assist students to achieve their personal best. She has a strong mathematics background and has been able to combine these skills and knowledge with effective teaching to reach and teach her students. She has undertaken training in the EMU (Extending Mathematical Understanding) initiative that has given her the ability to target specific gaps in a student’s mathematical understanding. She has extensive experience tutoring in mathematics to students from Kindergarten to Year 12.

Natalie has taught children with a range of special needs and specific learning difficulties including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Irlen’s Syndrome and with Language Background other than English (LBOTE).
a passion to assist students to achieve their personal best

Lisa Patchett

Learning Intervention Specialist


A keen and passionate teacher who has worked with students ranging from kindergarten through to year 6, in both classroom and 1:1 learning environments.

Lisa graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) from UTS and has taken a number of professional development courses focusing on literacy. Lisa specializes in early literacy with an emphasis on phonics.
Passionate about helping all children reach their potential.

Christine Cole

Learning Intervention Specialist


Christine is a highly experienced teacher in Special Education with a passion for helping students to reach their potential, regardless of their difficulties. Chris has worked in Special Education with both small groups and in individual learning support programmes for over 30 years and brings a wealth of expertise, compassion and enthusiasm to our centre.
A passion for helping students to reach their potential, regardless of their difficulties.

Lesley Heath

Learning Intervention Specialist


Lesley is a passionate teacher with over forty years experience in the Public Education System. Having completed her Diploma in Teaching in 1976 Lesley has throughout her career furthered her studies by completing a Bachelor of Education (Spec Ed) and a Masters Degree in Special Education. She has taught mainstream classes K-6 and individual students. She has also been a Support Teacher Learning Difficulties (STLD), taught Reading Recovery and worked as a tutor. Lesley now works as a casual teacher, supporting students with learning difficulties and special needs.
A passionate teacher with over forty years experience.

Jo Wittick

Learning Intervention Specialist


As a special education teacher Jo has been working with children with additional needs for over 20 years. Jo’s experience has primarily focused around those with autism, challenging behaviour and developmental delay. Jo also has significant experience working within the home environment and supporting families to develop effective strategies to make their daily lives easier.

Jo has worked in a range of settings including special schools, support units and mainstream classrooms. As a trained program manager for Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) she has developed, implemented and supervised numerous programs within both the home and preschool/school environments. Jo has also established an ASD specific playgroup and assisted to establish an ASD specific preschool program.

Jo enjoys the work she does immensely; not only working with the child and seeing their progress but also working with their families to implement ways to support this development.
Jo also has significant experience working within the home environment and supporting families to develop effective strategies to make their daily lives easier.

Crystal Hwang

Learning Intervention Specialist


Crystal passionately desires to enable all her students to become engaged and proactive citizens. Her philosophy is centred upon growing students in their linguistic and mathematical communication skills as well as their problem-solving and critical thinking skills so that they can lead healthy and active lives beyond their school years. Upon completing her double degree, a Bachelor of Education (Primary) with a Bachelor of Arts (Italian) from Macquarie University, she has taught in a diverse range of classroom environments from years K – 6, from mainstream to support unit classes.
...passionately desires to enable all her students to become engaged and proactive citizens.

Analicia Annandale

Learning Intervention Specialist


Analicia is a highly qualified and experienced teacher with qualifications in the disciplines of psychology and teaching. She has received a degree in psychology, a post grad certificate in teaching and a certificate in Optima school readiness. She has undertaken professional development in counselling, learning difficulties, physical education and nuitrition. Analicia was a youth counsellor for 12 years with students with challenging behaviours.

Analicia has 12 years of experience teaching and supporting students with learning difficulties and disabilities. Her teaching is guided by her belief that every child is unique in their abilities and how they learn. She believes that teachers need to engage students on all levels; sensory, cognitive and emotional in order to assist them reach their full potential.
Every child is unique in their abilities and how they learn

Aimelyn Aquilino

Learning Intervention Specialist


Aimelyn is a deeply motivated, passionate and experienced educator. Since graduating with a Bachelor of Education (Primary) degree from The University of Sydney, Aimelyn has taught professionally for five years in inclusive and culturally and linguistically diverse primary school communities both in the public and private sectors of the NSW schooling system. In addition, Aimelyn has worked as a tutor both with individual clients and in a tutoring centre for seven years.

Aimelyn has undertaken a myriad of teaching roles including classroom teacher positions and as a Learning and Support Teacher. More specifically, she has supported students with additional needs including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), behavioural needs, students from a language background other than English and students from an asylum seeker or refugee background. Aimelyn thoroughly believes in an inclusive, learner-centred, holistic and collaborative approach to education. Accordingly, Aimelyn highly values and actively promotes student wellbeing in her teaching practice and pedagogy.
highly values and actively promotes student wellbeing in her teaching practice and pedagogy.

Virginia Tanna

Learning Intervention Specialist


Virginia has owned and managed an independent English coaching service for both Primary and Secondary students for a number of years, prior to working with The Hills Learning Centre. She has taught home-schoolers, non-English speakers and children with special needs.

She has a Bachelor in Arts with a double major in English and History and has worked as Primary Literacy Aide in a local, independent boys school in the Hills, running the Multi-Lit and reading support Programs.

Virginia believes that academic success is a life-long process and that successful learning is a product of the trust between a child, the educators and the parents. When children discover their ‘can do’ and uncover their confidence, the sky is the limit.
When children discover their ‘can do’ and uncover their confidence, the sky is the limit!

Shivaun Erciyas

Administration Assistant


Shivaun joined The Hills Learning Centre in 2018 as an administration assistant. Previously she had worked in customer service since 2013 with the ATO which assisted her in developing her passion in finance and administration. She utilises this passion as an asset to our business benefiting students, parents and teachers. She is extremely enthusiastic in supporting our teachers and the centre in our endeavour to develop and support our students.
...extremely enthusiastic in supporting our teachers and the centre in our endeavour to develop and support our students.