Our Team

The members come from diverse backgrounds but they share a common purpose: to transform learning and help millions of kids succeed.

JAMES CENTENERA - CEO & CO-FOUNDER

JAMES CENTENERA - CEO & CO-FOUNDER

After volunteering as a teacher in Nepal and working with McKinsey, James joined the world’s leading education company, Pearson. He helped spread innovative education ventures throughout the developing world. One of his projects was to establish and lead operations at APEC Schools, a chain of affordable private high schools supported by Ayala and Pearson.

FENTON WHELAN - CHAIRMAN & CO-FOUNDER

FENTON WHELAN - CHAIRMAN & CO-FOUNDER

Fenton has spent the last ten years working with governments around the world to help improve education outcomes. He has published a number of books on excellence in Education, including Lessons Learned: How good policies produce better schools. In addition to TULA, he also supports government reforms in Pakistan and Peru through his own firm, Acasus.

MIGGY ZABALLERO - LEARNING EXPERIENCE DEVELOPER

MIGGY ZABALLERO - LEARNING EXPERIENCE DEVELOPER

Miggy focuses on developing missions and lessons on Mathematics. Prior to TULA, he taught in a public school for two years as part of Teach for the Philippines. Miggy previously managed his own training enterprise – Frontline. Miggy holds bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Ateneo de Manila University and is currently pursuing his Masters Degree in Educational Administration from the University of the Philippines.

AYEN DELA TORRE - LEARNING STRATEGIST

AYEN DELA TORRE - LEARNING STRATEGIST

Ayen focuses on recruitment and marketing. Her passion for education grew when she received the Global Citizen Scholarship from the International People’s College in Denmark where she engaged in experiential learning with students from 31 different countries. Before getting into education, Ayen worked in Nestle Philippines as a corporate management trainee. Ayen graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Psychology from the University of the Philippines.

ELISE MONTINOLA - SYSTEMS ARCHITECT

ELISE MONTINOLA - SYSTEMS ARCHITECT

Elise oversees the design of all operational systems at each center. Since college, Elise has been pursuing her passions in the fields of development, education, and writing. She worked as a recruitment and development associate with Teach for the Philippines. She also manages A-HA! Learning Center, a free after-school tutorial program for public school students in Makati. Elise graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Comparative Literature from the University of the Philippines

MARA EALA - LEARNING EXPERIENCE DEVELOPER

MARA EALA - LEARNING EXPERIENCE DEVELOPER

Mara focuses on coach development and English. Prior to joining, Mara pursued her interest in education and development by serving as a volunteer with rural communities in Tanzania and Kenya. There she witnessed the truly transformative power of education and sought to devote herself to educating young minds, by working as an English and Christian Life Education elementary school teacher. She graduated cum laude with a degree in Psychology and a Minor in Education from the Ateneo de Manila University.

LEARNING COACHES

We don’t have teachers, we have learning coaches. Learning Coaches guide and mentor children through interesting experiences as they build their mindset, practice skills and character traits, and acquire knowledge. They act as motivators, guides, role models, and mentors.

Our coaches are exclusively from the top universities in the Philippines such as University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila, De La Salle University, and the University of Santo Tomas.