Back to Basics Learning Dynamics | Founder and Director | Visit Website
This gorgeous gal is truly inspiring. Beverly is a selfless woman that works hard to
better the lives of her students and help them thrive in their schooling.
She had a dream of reaching every student that she taught;
this led Beverly to found her own 1-on-1 tutoring service.
Tell us how it all started. Why? What’s the story?
Although 1-on-1 tutoring is a widely accepted concept today, this wasn’t true in 1985. I set out to change all that.
As a teacher with a dream of reaching every student, I started a fledlging tutoring service from the kitchen table of my one-bedroom apartment. Careful matching of each student and tutor, combined with 1-on-1 instruction, was completely unique at the time. But, it has been widely imitated since I pioneered this concept as a viable business model.
Since those early days at my kitchen table, I have learned a great deal about education and business. One thing, however, has never changed: my passion for providing a quality education for all students.
What is your biggest success so far?
At Back to Basics, we measure success one student at a time and their successes are ours… from GPA boosts, to dream college acceptances, to successful career changes. We have over 16,500 unique stories!
Throughout the life of our business, however, we have also successfully faced several major challenges, which literally threatened the continuation of the company.
For example, from the very beginning back in 1985, founding Back to Basics meant that I had to leave a stable, already successful career and life. And, although I left the security of full time employment, benefits and housing at Sanford School for the complete unknown, I knew that I had to follow my vision of educating students 1-on-1.
Today, that vision is a reality. Back to Basics offers the largest selection of educational options in the area, employs over 100 tutors, teachers, translators, and interpreters, and provides much-needed educational services to thousands of students each year, from pre-K through adult.
What is the biggest challenge in your industry? What are you doing to deal with that?
As the Recession of 2008/2009 changed the economic landscape for all businesses, the Back to Basics management team understood that to succeed in the new economy, significant changes would have to be made in the business model. The old way of doing business and the existing company culture simply did not work in the new economic reality.
So, when many companies were cutting back on expenditures drastically, we actually opened a second Education Center, which is located on the Independence School campus in Newark, Delaware.
Next, although Back to Basics already worked with individual schools and districts for daytime tutoring and after-school programs, we sought additional, larger-scale contracts. These became a major focus for the company, which continues today.
Plus, Back to Basics increased the number of foreign languages offered (now surpassing 20) and quadrupled the contracts for the translating and interpreting division.
Finally, Back to Basics K-12 Private School took on greater importance. The K-12 Private School offers a completely unique school experience and is Delaware’s only Department of Education approved 1-on-1 Private School, a fact which had long been one of Delaware’s “best kept secrets.”
Today, the culture of change and growth continues. In fact, in recent months, we have added even more new services, such as Professional Development for Educators. By bringing a sincere commitment to quality education to an ever-widening circle of students, we are ensuring a successful future.
What advice would you give to a business owner starting out in your industry that you wish you would have known going in?
Be passionate about your mission and be ready to work more than you’ve ever worked, for the most fulfilling career of your life!
What don't most people realize about you or your company?
Back to Basics K-12 Private School is Delaware’s only Department of Education-approved 1-on-1 private school. The school provides students 1-on-1 instruction and self-esteem building through personal, customized instruction. Students who are not achieving success in other environments, or who have had social difficulties, typically thrive in this setting.
The experienced instructors work as a team to customize and tailor an integrated curriculum to meet the unique needs and abilities of each child. The teaching staff is dedicated to the growth and development of each student academically, socially, mentally and emotionally.
Students remain for one to three consecutive years and then either merge into a traditional school, graduate with a high school diploma, enroll in college, or enter the workforce.
Full disclosure: Jennifer is client and she pays me money. Obviously that made me pretty reluctant to add her to my top 10 list. However, to not mention her would be an even larger faux pas because she has made enormous leaps and bounds as a woman business owner.
Stefanie. Wow. I’ve been inspired by pretty much everything she does. From her animal fostering, amazing new office design to the rockin’ women’s organization she co-founded along with Amber Shader, she motivates me to grow on both a personal and professional level.
Angela is a ray of sunshine. Always beaming, she makes it her mission to know and help the people she meets along the way. (Apparently we went to the same high school!) She is is the inspiration for changing how I approach marketing…
What impresses me most about Anne is that she moved from Canada to Delaware and totally started what no one else has here in Newark has: a very popular, resident-owned news page. With over 7,000 likes on Our Newark Delaware’s super active Facebook page, Anne has quickly become known for knowing what’s going on in our local hood…
Let me start by saying that I LOVE Vicki. We met at a referral group at the NCCCC. She started her business a year before I did and it’s been awesome to watch her grow. She’s truly a guru at what she does and I learn quite a bit from her. She is also a networking queen and probably one of the most put-together people I have ever met…
I digitally met Nancy on twitter back in 2009. Everyone on #netde knew her and looked to her as an authority in the twitter universe. If you’re an entrepreneur in Delaware, you have most likely seen Nancy’s diligent social media outreach on Google Plus, Twitter…
When I first met Robyn at a Wonder Women Tea, she intimidated me. Before me stood a goddess — tall and blonde. She was totally present and owned her space. “What a pro!” I thought. I tried to pretend that my tiger-striped tights and long dangling earrings didn’t pale in comparison to her super-put-together look…
I adored Mona the moment I met her. She has a very calming and warm presence. Yet at the same time, she is a gal who knows her stuff. As a mother of 1 bulldog and 2 cats, I’m often in awe of moms who have it all…
Here’s my biggest secret: I’ve never actually met Donna Duffy. Crazy, right?! However, I know a heck of a lot about her because she’s a bit of a local legend when it comes to marketing. (Okay, I also stalk her on social media.)
We had a run-in with Cecily back in 2010?? at a Mashable Meetup in Philly. She was totally personable and approachable and was one of the very few people there who truly wanted to network. We think she’s a breath of fresh air.