Invest in Your Child’s Future
Passionate, fearless and never one to shy away from a challenge, Ann Habisreitinger Barré, M. Ed., Director of Huntington: Your Tutoring Solution has enjoyed many adventures in her life simply because she seized the moment.
She started college on a softball scholarship. At the end of her sophomore year, a few cheerleaders noticed her tumbling skills while she was helping a friend learn a beam routine for her gymnastics class. Virtually right then and there, her college cheering career began. Similarly, she accompanied a friend to the New Orleans Saints cheerleader tryouts, who had a co-ed squad at the time, and someone talked her into trying out. As the last candidate, Ann took the leap, made the squad, and went on to cheer for the Saints for the next six years.
In the professional working world, Ann was an educator and counselor in a formal school system, when she began to tutor part-time. As she became more engrained in tutoring, she was eventually asked to become the director of Huntington in Metairie. She opened the Northshore location three years later in 2009. Though it meant leaving the security of her familiar teaching career, once again she decided to take the challenge. “What we can do here at Huntington that cannot be done in a classroom setting, is take a child one-on-one, find their problem or specific need, and address it.” Watching the transformation brings her professional satisfaction. “What I love the most is when I see the light bulb go off in a child’s mind,” she notes. “When a child is struggling academically, the entire family dynamic is affected. Once the struggles end, it is an immediate improvement for the entire family.”
Pinpointing whether or not a child needs outside tutoring help can be a challenge. “I have never tested a lazy child,” Ann notes. “Many children simply lack study skills, or a foundational skill which can impact many areas. We perform a thorough evaluation of their child to determine what they need, and in what exact area they need it.” She also suggests that parents pay close attention to cumulative grades such as those on standardized tests and final exams. “Cs on larger tests could indicate that the child may be getting only half of critical reading, math or science skills that will build from year to year.”
From comprehension to study skills, to math, phonics, English and writing, the staff of certified teachers at Huntington work with students from pre-K through twelfth grade, individually, where they specifically need help. Some students sail along academically at first and then encounter problems as they advance through the grades and meet different teachers. Ann indicates that there may be certain foundational skill sets they might be lacking. “A child with skills in place should have the ability to adapt to any teacher, no matter their teaching style.” For Dr. Ashley Geoghegan, the transformation in her daughter Aidan led to academic success. “Within three months, Aidan had a completely different attitude about school! They empowered her with the knowledge and skills to be very successful in second grade. I am truly grateful,” she notes. Aidan gained a newfound love of learning. “I like Huntington because I feel smarter and my work is easier. When my friends ask me a question about school work, I can explain it to them. And now I really love reading,” she says.
In addition, high school students attend Huntington for individual ACT and SAT test preparation. “One of the biggest benefits of this individual prep is that students tend to ask questions they may not otherwise ask in front of a large group,” Ann says. “We have students who have increased their ACT scores by as much as 10 points after tutoring.” Students, like Hunter Ward, realize the benefits as well. “Huntington helped me immensely with my ACT. I improved from a 26 to 31 and scored a perfect 36 on my reading section. I am extremely grateful for everything Huntington did for me, and I would recommend their ACT prep to any student.”
Ann stresses to parents that academics can count toward college admission as early as junior high. “Many honor courses in junior high, such as algebra, can be counted on high school transcripts,” she says. She encourages parents to start early when looking into scholarship money, and for students, she stresses the importance of uncovering the multitude of scholarship sources available. Students should do everything they can to develop a high grade point average.
Ann will tell you that her passions are her family and education. “My husband and I have known each other since kindergarten,” she says. However, they did not actually start dating until after their ten-year high school reunion. “Then we fell in love and got married,” she notes. She says that her three children, all different, are the focus of her life, and keep her and Emile very busy as they participate in many sports and clubs. She tries to instill in them to always do their best, put God first, and listen to their inner voices. “Luckily what I do professionally has been beneficial to my family as well. Education today is critical and so competitive. My goal for my children, as well as all of my students is to help them obtain the best education possible. It is an investment in your child’s future.”
Huntington: Your Tutoring Solution is located at 1748A North Causeway Boulevard in Mandeville. Call 985-727-0000 to learn more, or find them on line at www.covington.huntingtonhelps.com.