Meet our Ancaster Tutoring Staff


Great Teachers Inspire

Our tutors and staff in Hamilton consist of passionate educators who love inspiring children to succeed. Warm, caring and great at relating to kids, our tutors in Ancaster know how to engage and motivate each child in a personal way—building confidence and smiles, as well as skills and better scores. We selectively choose tutors who know local curriculum and can link Sylvan lessons to what’s being taught in school. Get to know our tutors and staff in Hamilton!




    Mubarak Ali Thiwan an engineer by profession, whose educational journey had instilled in him a need of providing accessible and productive learning environment for all students. He has extensive business management and leadership expertise in previous ventures from around the world that allows him to manage/lead this center in a well-organized manner. Mubarak is also responsible for ensuring Sylvan high operating standards are met and that parents and students enjoy the maximum benefits from their Sylvan experience. 
  • Pooja Girotra, Center Director

    Pooja Girotra

    Center Director

    As Centre Director, Pooja leads the day-to-day operations and management for Sylvan Learning of Hamilton. A former Center Supervisor at a Preschool and an Oxford Learning Tutor, Pooja chose a career in the tutoring business because of her passion for working with children and helping them reach their highest academic potential. She studied in India and holds a Master's degree in Maths and a Bachelor of Education and has been in the education profession for the last 20 years. When Pooja isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her doing yoga and meditation, spending most of the weekends at their family cottage in Tobermory, or helping run the family camp retreat in Haliburton, Ontario.
  • Sheldon Coombs, High School Tutor (lead tutor)

    Sheldon Coombs

    High School Tutor (lead tutor)

    Sheldon is a High School Math, and English tutor at Sylvan, He holds a diploma in Accounting and is currently pursuing Bachelors in the same field from Brock University. Sheldon is quite professional and takes up a study skills program at Sylvan which helps build confidence in teenagers, and prepares them well for University, He finds the greatest joy in Math tutoring. 
  • Claudia Yong, Instructor

    Claudia Yong


     Claudia is an Elementary English and Highschool Science tutor at the Sylvan Learning Center of Hamilton. Her passion for working with kids stemmed from her experience teaching ballet to kids aged 9 and above. Guiding kids through challenges, and watching them come out the other end with confidence is what drives her. Claudia completed her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology at McMaster University and is pursuing a research master's. She loves cooking/baking, choreographing dances, and volunteering within the Hamilton community.
  • Vanessa Derogene, French / English Tutor

    Vanessa Derogene

    French / English Tutor

    Vanessa is a tutor of English and French at Sylvan Learning of Hamilton. She wears many hats mainly with a gift for working with kids. She is quite patient, and polite and has experience working with children with special needs. While Vanessa has many tutoring talents, She finds the greatest joy in French tutoring. She studied Bachelor's in Kinesiology and French Studies at York University and is also a Chartered Insurance Professional. When Vanessa isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her volunteering as a Nurse and Administrative Assistant in a hospital.
  • Willa Nie, Instructor

    Willa Nie


    Willa completed her Bachelor of Science in biology at McMaster University, with a minor in psychology. She loves to learn, and her favorite subjects are biology and English. She also loves animals, and she has previously worked in veterinary clinics and volunteered with animal rescue organizations. In her free time, she enjoys writing, drawing, and acting.
  • Alicja Giftopolulos, Elementary Tutor

    Alicja Giftopolulos

    Elementary Tutor

    Welcome to Sylvan of Hamilton! My name is Alicja Giftopoulos, and I am a tutor at Sylvan in Ancaster. I chose Sylvan due to the importance of small group sizes and increasing students’ independence and confidence in mathematics. I enjoy working with kids, as it is so exciting watching them learn a new skill. Observing the gratification of achieving something important to them is very rewarding. I am a graduate of McMaster University, Niagara University of Ontario, and currently enrolled in my Master of Education. During my free time, I love spending time outdoors with my dog, running, and playing soccer.