It has been 21 years since Colin Casella opened his first education centre in Busselton, and he has tutored generations of students.
While he was a teacher at the high school, Mr Casella began tutoring students as a part time job.
He had worked in pubs around town to earn extra income when he decided that he would tutor after hours instead.
“Working in hospitality is not the nicest thing late on a Friday or Saturday night,” he said.
“The idea of tutoring seemed to make more sense because that was my skill so I thought I would do it part time.”
He only expected the job to be a few nights a week when his side business “exploded.”
“It did not stay part time, I then opened a place in Bunbury and then in Margaret River,” he said.
Mr Casella said what he liked best about tutoring compared to teaching was the lack of bureaucracy, meetings and committees to resolve an issue.
“You can make a decision based on that parent and that child,” he said.
“All you are doing is teaching, you are not dealing with trouble making and any issues that interfere with the teaching process in school.
“You can get personable with the parents and students.”
Mr Casella said over the years he was impressed with the student’s outcomes, especially those who faced challenges during their schooling years.
“You just teach the student’s weaknesses, whatever they need that is what you teach,” he said.
“A girl who used to come here for years with her brother, both of them struggled and she needed to do comprehension when she was in Year 10.
“Now she has a degree and has published her first book, she came here for reading.”
Mr Casella recalls another student who came to the centre and had asked whether she was smart enough to go to university.
After repeating Year 12, the woman got the ATAR score she needed and took herself to the other side of Australia to attend university.
“She was petrified people would think she was there by default and was not smart enough,” he said.
“She passed and 18 months later realised she was coping and relaxed.
“She works in town now with a doctor in front of her name, it is a fantastic story of someone who got there through perseverance.”
Mr Casella said the biggest change over the years had been techonology, which has meant teachers need to be more skilled in IT.
He still has one of the first computers used at the centre, which was an Apple made around 1985. Nowadays, the children login to complete their activities online.