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Family Owned and Operated Hagerstown and Frederick Sylvan Centers Celebrate 25+ Years of Making Futures Brighter

by Sylvan Learning | Mar 26, 2018

Education is a shared passion in the Gehrke family. In 1974, Bob Gehrke, owner and operator of Hagerstown and Frederick Sylvan centers, moved his family to Frederick and became an invaluable teacher, mentor and coach in the local community. Upon retirement, Bob investigated ways he could continue contributing to education in his community, and decided to open his own Sylvan center in Frederick.

Terri Winn and Kim Gehrke-Thompson, Bob's daughters, are the centers' co-executive directors, and both have vast classroom teaching experience with students K-12. Vicki Ronan, Bob's daughter, is a physical therapist and also on the Sylvan board. Bob's wife, Pat, manages billing and payroll, and is responsible for the creation of the centers' nurturing elements. Many of the centers' team members have been working with the Gehrke family for 25+ years.

"We share a great camaraderie in our purpose of helping kids and adults succeed," said the Frederick center's Director of Education, Laura Forman, who has been working with the Gehrke family for nearly 10 years. "It's very satisfying to see our students' growth and progress, and to witness firsthand their increased confidence."

The Frederick center reached its 30-year milestone in 2016, and the Hagerstown center is in its 25th year helping pre-kindergarten through adult-aged clients reach multi-dimensional learning goals.

"We work with many students attending different county school systems," said Terri. "Our instructors and directors adapt each student's unique learning plan to follow their school curriculum and learning goals."

The centers go beyond offering traditional kindergarten through 12th grade Sylvan tutoring programs in math, reading, writing, study skills, advancement courses, ACT and SAT prep and STEM. They also have worked with adult clients to improve reading and writing skills for career advancement, as well as helping prepare for written tests required in specific professional tests, such as teaching and firefighter exams.

Read the full article, "Making Futures Brighter," in the September/October 2017 issue of the Hagerstown Magazine.