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In 1977, the idea of opening a business that took reading and math tutoring outside of the home and away from the dining room table seemed like a long shot. But Eileen and Dr. Ray Huntington had a different, bigger idea. They saw a need for individualized tutoring to help kids who were struggling and falling behind in school, and they envisioned this tutoring environment taking place in business and retail settings outside of the students’ homes.
Working as a tenured junior high and high school teacher at the time, Eileen saw first-hand how many children entering her classrooms lacked the basic skills and study skills they needed to succeed. So she began a quest to find a solution, one that was not merely a Band-Aid to get the student through the next test, but rather, a fundamental, long-term solution that addressed the root of the problem. In the meantime, Ray was working as a senior business analyst for a Fortune 100 company and shared his wife’s vision for helping children achieve. He also believed that this was a viable opportunity to start a profitable business.
Sensing an opportunity to fulfill a need for parents who wanted their children to succeed and prioritized their kids’ education, the couple opened the first Huntington Learning Center in Oradell, NJ, leaving their jobs shortly thereafter to pursue their new enterprise full time.
“Huntington Learning Center’s founding vision is embodied in our mission statement, which is ‘to give every student the best education possible.’”- Ray Huntington, Chairman
Like any new business, the early years were not easy. To finance their start-up, they relied on personal lines of credit to scrape together enough money to rent 1,700 square feet of space in an office building where they opened their first learning center. What their business lacked in initial funding was made up for by a unique combination of Eileen’s teaching experience and natural sales aptitude coupled with Ray’s deep knowledge of business systems and management processes. Having worked as a senior business analyst for a Fortune 100 company and as a college-level instructor in math and statistics, Ray provided the business know-how that helped support Eileen in her work as she added certified teaching staff and enrolled students. In 1985, Ray and Eileen decided that it was time to expand their concept nationally, and that’s when they began franchising.
It’s taken a lot of hard work, ingenuity and a commitment to excellence in education to make Huntington Learning Center one of the country’s leading national tutoring and test prep providers. In the 40 years since they opened the business, the Huntingtons have seen their business grow from one location to over 300 centers reaching 41 states coast to coast. They’ve also made a key addition to company leadership: their daughter, Anne Huntington. Before joining her parents in the family-owned business, Anne gained valuable professional experience in sales and business development in the arts and fundraising arenas. Once on board, she began developing key partnerships with outside groups involved with education and learning disabilities. Today, Anne is vice president of business development and works with all departments to ensure that Huntington continues to evolve while staying true to its mission to give every student the best education possible. The company will continue into the future as a family-owned and-operated business, with support from the most seasoned management team in the industry.
Huntington’s success has been driven by a clearly stated mission to give every student the best possible. Each center provides students with the ability to master the skills needed in reading, writing, mathematics, phonics, vocabulary, study skills, test prep, high school entrance exam prep, and college entrance exams.
Our culture is based around the students we serve. Our diagnostic-prescriptive approach using our proprietary technology enables Huntington to design the right curriculum for each child’s needs and allows our tutors to connect with the student to build the confidence needed to succeed. We work closely with both parents and teachers to ensure that the student is meeting expectations and achieving at a higher level.
Our team, our mission and our history are backed by a code of ethics promising the highest standards of:
Professionalism – Our student’s welfare comes first. We keep all relationships on a professional level.
Confidence – Everything having to do with our students is kept in strict confidence.
Honesty – We don’t over-promise or advance false expectations.
Commitment – We are committed to meeting our obligations to our students by achieving the greatest possible improvement in their educational performance in the shortest amount of time.
Results – With 95% of Huntington Learning Center families recommending our services to others, we have a proven track record of succeeding on behalf of our students.
“We love this place! My son struggled through kindergarten, despite years of preschool and our assistance. When he began first grade and blank assignments started coming home, we looked to Huntington Learning Center to get him on track. We were also in the process of discovering that he fell slightly onto the autism spectrum. He went from goofing around to avoid doing the work and lacking confidence that he could do it, to walking out of his tutoring sessions quizzing ME on math facts, and calling himself smart. We also found that it became much easier for us to help him at home. His report card did a complete turnaround from the beginning of the school year and he went from a kid that claimed he had a headache every time he was asked to read, to standing in front of the class and reading out loud. I am very grateful to Huntington for giving my son a great environment in which to learn, the flexibility to work with our schedule, sometimes with last minute notice, and for helping my little boy to believe in himself.” – Shannon W., Pasadena, MD
“My son was a high school junior and concerned about doing well on the ACT test. When my wife suggested sending him for tutoring, I frankly thought it would be a waste of time and money. I reluctantly went along with her decision to enroll him in Huntington Learning Center in Manhasset. Well, the results left me speechless. And as a result he has been accepted into all five of his college choices, three of which I am certain would never have accepted him with his former baseline score. Additionally, his confidence level has improved beyond our wildest imagination.”- Jeff M., Manhasset, NY
“Huntington is amazing! The staff and teachers are professional and caring, and the atmosphere is so warm and positive. My daughter began at Huntington 3 years ago because she was really struggling with 5th grade math and reading, and though she was passing her classes, she had failed the STAAR test. She began going for 2-hour sessions twice a week and the improvement we witnessed was immediate. She is now in 7th grade and continues going to Huntington. She has truly excelled and gained so much confidence, her grades have improved dramatically and I know that Huntington has given her a solid foundation that will help her succeed throughout school and life. The bonus is she LOVES it! She may complain going in sometimes but EVERY time I pick her up and ask how tutoring was she has the same answer: “Amazing!” Huntington makes learning fun, keep parents informed with open communications and truly give kids an edge on life.” – Kelly K., Arlington, TX
There are thousands of stories from 40 years of making a difference in student’s and parent’s lives. Eileen even gathered some of her favorites in a book she published in 2008, Making a Difference The Huntington Way. And the stories keep on coming.
If you would like to be part of Our Story, and generate some success stories of your own along with financial independence, learn more about Huntington’s business model.
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