Director of Teaching and LearningExpand Collapse
“Simply the best” – Tina Turner
Trish Pike is our very own Educational RockStar with decades of experience in the game. Learners are literally busting down the door to learn from her due to her incredible teaching ability, experience, passion and care for her students. She blazed the trail for our best-in-class AP Maths and NBT preparation courses and, over and above this, is hard at work mentoring generation NEXT; Advantage Learn’s next generation teaching force. She is also the developer and lead teacher of our Maths Online offering – imagine this, over 180 hours of Trish teaching the entire maths syllabus via studio recorded videos!
Trish Pike is a leader in Advanced Programme Mathematics, high school Mathematics and National Benchmark Test preparation. Renowned for her dynamic, uplifting and engaging teaching style, Trish’s unique teaching philosophies encourage a classroom environment where student and teacher learn together. Trish has served as a Head of Department in Mathematics at a number of schools including Thomas More College and Kearsney College where her results speak volumes.
Early on in her career (1998) she recognised the importance of the Advanced Programme Mathematics syllabus, or what was then Additional Mathematics, and she has been studying, teaching and fine-tuning her approach to the subject ever since. In the process, she has spearheaded the curriculum development of the leading AP Maths program in the country both in-person and online.
Continuously innovating and looking for ways to help her students, she then went on to develop the first NBT preparation course and curriculum in the country which has gone on to help thousands of high school graduates to access their degrees and institutions of choice.
An inspiration to us all, Trish is forever young at heart and generous in spirit and she continues to share her knowledge and experience as our Director of Teaching and Learning at Advantagelearn.com. Trish is also a private maths tutor in extremely high demand.
Favourite Movie Star / Television Character: Roger Federer (yes, we know he is not a movie star /television character but Trish only watches tennis)
hours commited to learning
Community DirectorExpand Collapse
“Treat yo self!” Tom Haverford
Meet our very own Neil Armstrong. Actually, he’s more like our Bill Nye.
They say that one of the hardest steps for any startup is finding your first customer. Crispian bravely took these first steps. As part of the founding family made up of Trish, Crispian and James, Crispian was tasked with establishing our first AP Maths centres which gave us our reason to exist. And aren’t we grateful.
Crispian is qualified with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of KwaZulu-Natal as well as a Masters in Chemical Engineering that he completed as part of the Pollution Research Group. His masters was guided by his passion for mathematics as his thesis undertook a mathematical modelling approach to wastewater treatment. (Wastewater is a nice way to say ‘poo water’) Yes, Crispian did his masters modelling Poo water. That’s ok, though, we are very proud of him and the sterling work he did for faeces everywhere. No, seriously, we are. In his final masters year in- between Poo modelling Crispian set up the business and established our first Advanced Programme Mathematics centre in 2012 at Westville Boys High School.
Crispian’s role in the business began on the teaching and operations side, however, while he was at Sasol working as a chemical engineer for four years, he served as chairman of the board for us. On top of this, Crispian established our Gauteng AP Maths centre and developed Science content. As of 1 April 2017 Crispian joined us full time again to help continue our growth in a key strategic area (our partnership community) in his role as community director. Crispian is extremely passionate about teaching and educating and has a keen eye for spotting and acting on opportunities.
An innovator by nature with a large brain to boot.
Favourite tv character = Tom Haverford (Parks & Rec)
‘Analyze, strategize, succeed’ (A.S.S for short) – Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock
If there is a business term or idiom going, James has it covered. He favours idioms that are ship related – we think he was a pirate in a past life. A creative trapped in a analysts body, James is the visionary of the team. On too many occasions to count, James has pitched a harebrained idea to the team, we’ve rolled our eyes, begrudgingly tried it out (because he is SUPER hard to ignore) … and slowly watched it become the best idea ever.
James graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) majoring in Statistics and Actuarial Science at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He began giving private maths tuition in 2003. He facilitated and taught the Matric and Grade 11 AP Maths classes at Thomas More College from 2006-2008 while studying his undergraduate and postgraduate degree full-time. In 2008 James joined a Data Science firm before joining the Massmart group in late 2009. During his tenure at Massmart, James led the building and rollout of the first fully-fledged e-commerce venture, namely www.dionwired.co.za which kindled his passion for technology.
In early 2013 James stepped into Advantage Learn full time to take over establishing the business from his brother, Crispian, who was called to work at Sasol. James also resumed a teaching role by taking the Grade 11 AP Maths classes at two of our AP Maths centres. His areas of speciality are Statistics, Financial Mathematics and Data Analysis. While James is still passionately involved in teaching, his key role in the business lies in providing leadership for our vision, technology, strategy, team and financial management through his position as CEO. James is a passionate South African entrepreneur and educator with a deep-seated motivation to make a difference. He has taught Mathematics for over twelve years and loves the challenge of educating young minds.
Favourite Movie Star / Television Character: Jack Donaghy
Lead Educator - GautengExpand Collapse
“You think you know who you are, what’s to come. You haven’t even begun.”
– Buffy the vampire slayer
This dynamo in the classroom is one of the leading ladies in Advantage Learn’s generation NEXT; the teaching force spearheaded by our Educational RockStar, Trish Pike. Strongly averse to the limelight, once Roxy finds herself in a classroom of young minds that need to learn, her light shines BRIGHTLY – illuminating tricky concepts with her trademark and disarming concept introduction of ”DON’T PANIC” – her students will know what that means. A lover of fast cars, artistically painted nails and shoes, Roxy flies the Advantage Learn flag high in the city of gold, Johannesburg.
A hugely successful teacher in her own right, Roxy is the lead educator at Advantage Learn’s Johannesburg-based AP Maths centre at Greenside High School. She was part of the team that founded the centre in partnership with Greenside and has developed it into a thriving Advanced Programme Mathematics centre; the first for Advantage Learn outside of our home base in KwaZulu-Natal.
With a BSc in Applied Mathematics, a BSc (Honours) in Statistics and a passion for teaching, Roxy has quickly amassed a stellar reputation as a private Maths and Science tutor in the Johannesburg area. She works closely with both St Stithians Girls College and Greenside High School as an Education Facilitator and the lead teacher of the Maths clinic respectively. Having tutored A-levels and fast developing strong experience in National Benchmark Test preparation, aren’t we…and by extension you…lucky to have her on board.
Favourite Movie Star / Television Character: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
hours commited to learning
CTO / Lead developerExpand Collapse
“I swear I had something for this” – Archer
Chris Muller is a self-starter who is passionate about tech, travel, learning and going off the beaten track. Chris is our dev whiz who turns our ideas into (web) reality. Work Hard, Party Hard could be his middle name but that’s only for us to know.
Born & bred in Durban, Chris has a mixed history academically including Applied Maths & Economics. Chris joined the team in February 2014 after recognising a significant synergy between his own entrepreneurial vision and the direction of Advantage Learn. Chris thrives on innovation and is normally at the forefront of this in the WordPress LMS Community. This passion redirected his focus from Economics towards Web Design/Development. Chris was appointed Director of Innovation and Technology in early 2015. His primary responsibility is the development and management of our e-commerce and learning management system – AdvantageLearn.com. In addition, he manages all of the company’s digital tools and processes.
Chris spotted an opportunity to extend his WordPress skills into a new business and founded the company Pango World with James Lees. As he puts it “to keep the sword sharp on both sides” (“Phrasing” – Archer).
When Chris is not in the matrix you will find him charging around the trails of Cape Towns mountain, racing someone on Strava and listening to his Spanish podcasts. His love for travel has seen him entering competitions just to get to the next destination – normally with a Wordcamp or Tech Conference being the main attraction. While there, you will find him sharing his knowledge with others over a cold beer or 3 – did you know he co-authored a book called “Drink This In”.
Director: External Production & Commercial ManagerExpand Collapse
“Shake & Bake!” – Will Ferrell
Video lessons are our bread and butter, we have 800+ hours of video lessons and counting. If there’s one person who enabled this it’s Sean, who joined us in April 2014 to set up our Production, Editing & Content Development (PECD) team.
Sean wasn’t always a video guru and completed a BCom in Marketing Management at UKZN. Since graduating Sean spent time working in short-term insurance and financial planning. To our great benefit, he decided to explore new avenues and was excited to learn and journey with us by joining the team at Advantage Learn.
He is passionate about finding creative ways to solve problems and quickly became indispensable to us, most particularly for the way he enabled the launch of our online courses. He has not only spent countless hours behind the camera and in front of video editing applications, but has also played a key role in managing our studio & office space.
2017 has seen Sean shift into a new role as Commercial Manager, a very necessary role in our ever-growing start-up. Sean takes on every role with enthusiasm and adds a fun, creative and cheeky edge to our team. He sometimes uses his editing skills to create the best memes and jokes, we all watch our backs when he is around with a camera! When not in the office Sean is an accomplished cricketer/batsman, which is probably why he’ll take anything we throw at him and knock it for 6!
Customer Support, Course Logitsics & Sales AssistantExpand Collapse
“No is just a thought that never crosses my mind” Nickelback.
This tenacious and ever surprising, Linkin Park lover, mom of four, has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro … twice. The thing she says the most in the world is “Take care!” … and it is a command, not a nicety, so you better listen. Fiercely loyal and protective, Charmaine is someone you definitely want on your side – lucky for us and our customers as Charmaine looks after customer support, sales and course logistics.
Charmaine studied a Bachelor of Education at Edgewood College with her first job being an English, Afrikaans and Maths teacher. She then spent some time as a computer teacher for a few years, much to her own hilarity now as she gets rather grumpy with technology and it “not doing what she wants it to!”. In amongst having her four children, she also studied and practised aromatherapy, reflexology and became a Reiki master. She eventually found herself working in the Kearsney Maths Department where she met Trish Pike.
While working with Trish at Kearsney, Charmaine was inspired to follow her into her new venture. She decided to herself one day “I want to work with Trish!” And so she did. Charmaine is hectic that way, once she decides something… it’s done!
Charmaine is the lady who most of you would have spoken to over email, live chat and on the phone to help you with any Advantage Learn related questions. She is currently heavily involved with course logistics, ensuring our (what feels like hundreds of) courses we run per year run smoothly and are great experiences for our parents and students.
Favourite actor: Johnny Depp
hours commited to learning
Maths Educator & AssistantExpand Collapse
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” – Vivian Greene
Heather is another one of the leading ladies in Advantage Learn’s generation NEXT; the teaching force spearheaded by our Educational RockStar, Trish Pike. Heather heads up our AP Maths Grade 11 classes at Maris Stella… but also does a whole bunch more for Advantage Learn! A diverse, driven and committed member of our team, we’re fortunate to have Heather on board.
Heather has a Business Science degree from UCT majoring in Finance. She worked in London for two years as an analyst then moved over to work as a location planner for Milady’s.
Heather has been part of the AL family since January 2015. Having grown up in Durban Heather was taught at high school by Trish Pike. Heather now teaches and coaches others through Advantage Learn and privately.
Heather is possibly the most organised person on the team. She is hardworking and committed to completing tasks on time and to perfection. She is passionate about mathematics and is unashamedly the Advantage Learn maths geek, trying to start lunch-time office maths clubs!
Heather is a true team player, working with everyone and helping in any way she can. If you’re lucky enough you may have contacted our support desk and had her respond to you! From taking calls to teaching AP maths at our centres, from editing worksheets to filming maths on camera… Heather does it all!
Outside of Advantage Learn Heather is an outgoing member of a local squash club, an academic performance coach, runs her own jewellery business and partakes in line dancing competitions!
hours commited to learning
Technical Support & e-commerce managerExpand Collapse
“I’m always amazed that people take what I say seriously. I don’t even take what I am seriously.” David Bowie
Michael Moosa “Mike” Wartnaby our Master of E-commerce and your go-to man for technical assistance. An invaluable member of our team, and a pleasure to know. If you ever find yourself needing support, Mike’s got your back.
With a varied background in a number of different industries, Mike joined our team in October 2015 to help out on the support desk, more specifically to assist with all technical queries. At the same time as maintaining a strong involvement on the support desk, Mike has since taken on multiple other responsibilities including order management, LMS support and web admin.
Wielding a Guitar or Ukulele, he is the musical talent of our team. It said that he is a masterful Chef and even a part time strategist (mostly due to his gaming ‘part-time’ job). He is wise man well versed in his knowledge of Craft Beer and MOBA’s. Mike is a fan of ‘Back to the Future’s good old protagonist Marty McFly and a hoverboard may be at the top of his wishlist.
Given the humble and caring person he is, he draws his motivation from assisting our customers and fellow team mates with a cheerful smile. His keen attitude to involve himself in his job often makes him the busiest of the bunch. Mike holds his team in the highest regard claiming ‘I’d be hard pressed to find another bunch of people as cool and as passionate about the work we do.’
For one and a half years Mike has been striving to help build the best and most user-friendly online learning platform around.
Special projects managerExpand Collapse
“It’s actually kind of cool to be a nerd” – Sheldon Cooper
The Englishman. Every team needs one. As Special Projects Manager Adam uses his vast skill set in all areas of our company. His most important projects thus far have been his daily lunch trips to keep the office fed and making our office move from Long Life milk to Fresh milk. He made us all realise that good coffee with bad milk is actually bad coffee. This is where his knowledge of Maths comes in, a positive and a negative make a negative!
Adam is packing some serious mathematics education with a Maths Bsc Hons degree under his belt. To see his eyes light up when posed with a challenging maths question is a real treat!
Adam joined Advantage Learn in 2016 and has made a massive impact in many areas. He brings with him a natural flair for efficiency and productivity, completely revolutionising our production team and their performance. Everything just seems to happen effortlessly if Adam is involved. He is organised and quick to get things sorted yesterday! However, he can’t help a little social distraction and a chat if one is around the office.
When Adam is taking some time out from being master problem solver at Advantage Learn he puts his attention to the computer gaming world. He also loves living in Durban as he gets to go surfing, paddling and, although not one of his favourites, running. Sunday couch time can see Adam settling in for a good geeky scifi/action movies.