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Empower Struggling Students By Revolutionizing Education with Anne Huntington
31st January 2022 • Seek Go Create • Tim Winders | Leadership | Business | Ministry
00:00:00 01:09:19

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Every child is entitled to a fair chance at education. We hope that all children will reach their full potential through learning and competent guidance. However, we are not living in a utopian society. Some children get left behind. 

In this episode, Anne Huntington discusses the current challenges in the education system and how her company is transforming the field. She also shares how they help struggling students break down their limiting self-beliefs. Finally, she discusses what it takes to run a family-owned business and its advantages and drawbacks.

If you are interested in being a part of revolutionizing education, then this episode is for you! 

3 Reasons to Listen to the Episode:

  1. Discover solutions to problems in the education system.
  2. Uncover how the Huntington Learning Center redefines education and can help a struggling student.
  3. How Anne’s business survived the Great Recession and pandemic.

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Episode Highlights

[03:21] Anne, the Problem Solver

  • Anne loved to connect and network with people at a very young age.
  • She seeks to solve issues and thinks outside the box. However, she still recognizes the box's existence.
  • Anne liked to push boundaries even while young.

[04:26] Anne’s Childhood

  • Anne grew up in northern New Jersey, surrounded by loving family and friends. 
  • Her liberal arts degree propelled her into a career in the arts industry. 
  • She later established her own art curatorial and production company. 
  • After a conversation with her parents, she made a career shift and worked at the Huntington Learning Center. 
  • From childhood to adulthood, she always wanted to bring people together. 

[06:39] About the Huntington Learning Center

  • Huntington is a family business founded in June 1977. 
  • The people working for Huntington Learning Center are beautifully aligned. Everyone from founder to franchisee aims to fulfill the center’s mission and vision.
[09:05] “When you're aligned, and you understand [the business’] vision, and there's trust, there's integrity, anything is possible." - Click Here to Tweet This
  • Although it faces unique challenges, the alignment of personnel is priceless.
  • Huntington began when Anne’s parents saw a problem in how the education system handles a struggling student.
  • Tune in for an in-depth discussion about the history and challenges of the Huntington Learning Center!

[17:49] On Defining Education

  • Education is fundamental learning, and it continues after school.
[17:49] “Education is fundamental learning. Education continues after you're out of school.” - Click Here to Tweet This 
  • It allows you to know about yourself and the world. 
  • At its core, it makes things possible and solves problems around you. 
  • You can make your dreams come true through education. 

[19:20] Challenges in the Education System

  • Students are missing fundamental skills like reading, reading comprehension, and phonics. 
  • Huntington Learning Center addresses this skill gap by creating lessons customized for the student’s level. 
  • Listen to the whole episode and learn how Huntington can bring a struggling student up more than two grade levels.

[25:51] Macro Solutions on Education

  • We should ask ourselves how we can help struggling students.
[25:51] “Education is critical to the future. The more folks can think and read, have critical thinking, and be able to make decisions for themselves, the better will be.” - Click Here to Tweet This
  • People from the education industry must discuss solutions. 
  • People from non-education sectors are also welcome to participate in the discussion because they have a different perspective. 
  • Public-private partnerships must happen to help as many students as possible. 

[31:38] Huntington Learning Center Redefining Success 

  • The Huntington Learning Center redefines success by creating customized learning plans for students. 
  • Grades do not define a student.
  • At the Center, they aim to alter a struggling student's self-limiting beliefs.

[36:15] Franchise Model 

  • A few years after establishing the company, Anne's parents realized that they had a model and system that worked.
  • They wanted to expand their family business, so they offered to franchise.
  • Their slogan is: you're in business for yourself, but not by yourself.
  • Franchisees help fulfill their family’s mission of giving students the best education and vision of world-class student results.
  • Listen to the full episode to learn how you can also be a franchisee of Huntington Learning Center.

[40:12] What They Learned During the Great Recession 

  • Most of the franchisees who closed their doors were new ones who did not believe in what they were doing and did not have roots in the community. 
  • You need to cultivate relationships in your community to get through tough times. 
  • They learned to adjust the company’s fixed costs and staffing models to make things work. 

[43:54] How they Faced the Pandemic 

  • Anne was the newly appointed President of the Center when the pandemic happened. 
  • They had to change their system from face-to-face classes to online tutoring immediately. 
  • The company had a strong franchise network, so Anne was constantly talking to the franchisees for updates. 
  • They realized online and hybrid students outperform those who attend the centers.
  • 2020 was different from the Great Recession — they had to transform their business model completely.

[53:19] Impressive Feat During the Pandemic 

  • Anne was impressed that the company is thriving, and its revenue exceeded that of 2019. 
  • The pandemic allowed them to fix a lot of things and change their organizational chart. 
  • She needed to grow and protect the company. At the same time, she needed to make tough calls. 
  • They hosted free webinars on mental health to help out struggling students.

[59:03] Biggest Challenge as a Leader 

  • Anne believes her biggest challenge is time — there are many things to do, but limited time.
[59:03] “The biggest challenge is time. How you solve that is [through] prioritization.” - Click Here to Tweet This
  • She solves this problem using prioritization.
  • To get through challenges, she also learned to delegate roles and rely on her team members.
  • She is also concerned about reaching more students and expanding the company.

[1:00:51] Anne in the Art World

  • Anne has a passion for collecting things, especially art. She believes that you can always change your role in art.
  • As technology advances, so does the art world. NFTs have created many difficult conversations but also benefits for artists.
  • Art and education are related; art can be therapeutic or assist people with learning disabilities.
[1:005:36] “Art education is critical for learning and creating that imagination for the young learner and the older learner.” - Click Here to Tweet This

[1:07:52] Seek, Go, Create

  • Anne chooses to create because it causes something to exist. It’s how you produce something.
  • Once you produce something, you can build anything.

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To growing and becoming all we are created to be,

Tim