Teacher’s Bios

Susan Lancaster Bowlin

Susan Lancaster Bowlin

Guardian of Children, Pets, and Plants – Kid Magnet – Cool Chick

I have worked at ARC since 2000 and continue to tutor because I want to make a difference for children who feel they can’t learn. The love and joy that I experience every time I see my students gain confidence are what motivate me. I spend most of my waking hours preparing lessons and working with my students. When a student reaches that pivotal moment when they begin to love learning, I find purpose in my life.

My primary areas of expertise are Orton-Gillingham language instruction and teaching basic math through Algebra I. Building my students’ confidence and their self-esteem, while guiding them to generalize in life what they are learning, are as important to me as seeing them succeed in reading and math. I have witnessed so many student success stories that I can’t really pick one. Every time one of my students goes from “I can’t” to “I can,” I know they are on their way to success not only in school, but also in life.

If I weren’t working for ARC, I would be a beach bum! I love to spend hours scouring the beach for shark teeth and have an impressive collection. I would also spend a lot of time with my nephew and niece; three-year-old Beau and one-year-old Katy Grace.

My husband is an assistant principal at Reynolds High School, and we share our home with Josie, our miniature poodle, and Jack, our mutt. When I’m not tutoring, I enjoy anything outdoors, from gardening and camping to hiking, biking, and rock-climbing.

Charlotte Wright

Charlotte Wright

Grandmaster of Mathematics - Teen Tamer – Funny Girl

I recently adopted a mini poodle mix named Lennie, who is the love of my life! My favorite activity is taking Lennie on beautiful hikes here in the mountains of Western North Carolina. I also love watching and playing all types of sports, especially soccer and horseback-riding.

I’m from nearby Winston-Salem where my parents still live, so I see them frequently. However, my sister lives far away in Portland, Oregon.

When I first started at the Arden Reading Clinic in 2012, I was nervous about working with elementary students, because my teaching experience was with high school students. Now, the younger students are my favorites!!! (Don’t tell my high school students; I still love them, too.) My little ones say what they mean and always try so hard!

My areas of expertise are mathematics and SAT/ACT prep. I continue to tutor so that I can reach out to kids on an individual basis, which was often tough to do in the classroom. Fortunately, I have a knack for demystifying complex math concepts. It’s important to me to show a student the basis for a concept so it will make sense to them, rather than seeming arbitrary. I love making my students laugh at themselves once they understand how easy math can be. If I weren’t a tutor, I would definitely do something math-related and work toward protecting our environment.

Diane Wilkey

Diane Wilkey

Grammar Warden – Task Blaster – Kid Junkie

My husband and I moved to North Asheville from Lilburn, Georgia in 2009. We have three grown children, two sons (one daughter-in-law) and a daughter, who all live in Atlanta, and a fluffy, grumpy, cat named Smudge.

Marcy hired me to work at the North clinic in February, 2009, and I continue to tutor because it is the most rewarding work I’ve done other than raise my children. When I help a frustrated, tentative learner grow into a happy, confident one, my heart “grows two sizes!” Reading is my passion, my joy, and my portal to distant lands and alternate viewpoints. Helping another gain access to those worlds is wonderfully satisfying.

Outside the clinic, I love to read, watch old black and white movies on TCM, hike, play tennis, snow-ski, and spend time with my family and friends.

One of my favorite ARC experiences was when one of my dyslexic writing students won his classroom poetry slam and second place in a local writing contest both in the same year!!

My strengths are SAT/ACT preparation, reading, writing, and elementary and middle school math. In addition to tutoring, I work as the Office Manager/Accounting Guru (Marcy’s words!). If I weren’t a tutor, I’d probably be a camp counselor or a teacher (again) because I love to work with children.

Patrece Wilson

Patrece Wilson

Schoolmarm - Game Girl- Laugh Lifter

My husband and I live in East Asheville. We have a grown son, who lives and works in Tennessee, and two Australian terriers (they look like large Yorkies) named Mickey and Katie.

I began working with Marcy at the South clinic in the fall of 1998 and transferred to the North clinic in 2016. I love tutoring and get a thrill from watching a child progress from a nonreader or reluctant reader to a confident one who enjoys reading. My primary areas of expertise are reading, comprehension, spelling, and cursive. Over the years, I have developed many fun teaching techniques. For example, I make learning cursive writing easier by turning the letters into pictures and teach tricks that make remembering spelling rules more automatic.

One of my favorite tutoring memories was when a student I had tutored for about five years invited me to his high school graduation ceremony. He surprised me by giving a speech in which he thanked me for teaching him to read! I was very proud of him and deeply touched by his gratitude.

When I am not tutoring, I work as a home health aide, taking care of the elderly so they can live safely at home. I also enjoy scrapbooking and waterfall hunting. In the past, my husband and I crewed for a hot air balloonist!

Geri Garfinkel

Geri Garfinkel

Recycling Guru – Chantress – Literature Maven

I have worked at the Arden Reading Clinic since 2001, except for one school year of teaching in California. While in California, I was introduced to Vision Therapy and studied Educational Therapy. This type of therapy engages the student in activities which will help with academic success as well as teach processing, focusing, and memory skills.

When people ask me why I work as a tutor, I tell them that it is deeply satisfying to see the excitement in my students’ eyes as they conquer tasks that are so very difficult. It gives me great joy to see my students go on to succeed in high school and college; some have earned degrees in English and nursing. I know what a huge difference tutoring can make in someone’s life.

I love to teach writing, composition and editing, and literature. I also like to teach reading using the Orton – Gillingham methodology, which teaches through a multi-sensory approach. In this approach, I draw on what I learned in California to augment my ARC training.

My husband, daughter and son love to teach as well. My husband is a math professor at UNC Asheville. We live in West Asheville with a fluffy kitty cat who has lime green eyes.

All my students know that I love to sing. When I’m not at the clinic, I’m either rehearsing with my choir or cooking exotic dishes from a variety of cultures.

Becky Barbee

Becky Barbee

Queen of Mnemonics – Homeschool Trailblazer – Grandma Wonder

My favorite tutoring story involves one of my long-time students who struggled with significant hearing issues and was just in kindergarten when he began O-G tutoring. He was quite reluctant to come to tutoring, but as he became successful in reading, he began to run up the steps for his sessions. One day when I was looking for him, I finally found him engrossed in a book in the lobby prior to his math tutoring session. He had become a reader!

I have been with ARC since 2007 and continue to tutor because of the positive changes I see in my students’ lives when they become successful readers and learners. I love kids and love watching my students’ academic growth. I had one math student whose math EOG scores improved three grade levels in one year of tutoring!

Millie, our hyperactive yellow lab puppy, keeps me and my husband busy at home. I also have four children aged 23 to 32 and eight (!) grandchildren from 4 months to 6 years old. Needless to say, my favorite hobby is being a grandmother, but I also enjoy reading, playing the piano, and visiting with friends.

My strongest tutoring areas are math, social studies, and science, and of course, I love teaching O-G. If I weren’t a tutor, I’d teach in a classroom or teach homeschool group classes and possibly open a homeschool advising and transcript service.