Today we’d like to introduce you to Matthew Schuck and Kevin Lawkins.
Matthew and Kevin, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
The idea to start Alexander Academy was simple. Kevin and I love teaching and saw a real need for quality test prep at a high level. During our four years at Williams, Kevin and I developed a passion for teaching working as Math and English TAs and tutoring local high school students on their SATs and ACTs. As we got more involved with test prep, we were struck by the lack of good materials available and the major impact that teachers – who know what they’re doing! – can make on a student’s score.
It has been amazing to watch our company grow since we started back in 2010 with just a single class. Today, Alexander Academy is consistently ranked among the best tutoring groups in Atlanta, working with over four hundred students a year and partnering with Pace Academy, Westminster and Lovett schools to provide workshops and courses on the SAT and ACT. Kevin and I have found it deeply rewarding to see so many of our students succeed, improving their scores and getting into great colleges and universities.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Our first semester was challenging, with Kevin and I working 60-70 hour weeks for several months in order to launch the company. The very first thing we did, and also probably the most labor-intensive, was creating the SAT and ACT curriculum for our courses and writing the workbooks to go with them. Although both Kevin and I had years of SAT/ACT tutoring experience by that point, it still took many many months of research and countless hours of writing material to complete. We also had to launch our website, create advertising materials, and connect with local high schools to let them know about our new program. It was definitely a lot, and for a while we weren’t sure if we’d even be able to fill a single class!
Thankfully we did, and once we were in the classroom, Kevin and I were able to focus on what we actually love doing: teaching! Word of mouth played a huge role for us, especially early on, with many of our students and clients referring their own friends to us later on. Luckily for us, things really took off by our second year with several teaching engagements at local schools and over 200 students singing up for classes and tutoring with us that year!
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Alexander Academy – what should we know?
Alexander Academy specializes in SAT and ACT test prep. We offer both group classes and individual tutoring for each test.
What sets us apart more than anything else is our teaching staff. Our hand-picked team of 10 teachers (Kevin and myself included) are truly passionate about teaching and we believe have real talent for it (teaching is an art!). Every Alexander Academy tutor also has a perfect or near-perfect score on the test they are teaching themselves. We feel that with the larger test prep companies, especially the ones that are in multiple states, there is a lot less quality-control on hiring teachers with a much higher turnover rate as well.
Alexander Academy is also the only company that places two teachers in classroom (makes a huge difference in terms of the attention that students get!) and that publicly posts its students’ results each semester.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Attention to detail. The SAT and ACT are graded on a bell curve, which means that improving your score is hard (students have to outperform thousands of their peers nationwide with each higher percentile). So it’s important to prepare for these tests diligently without silly “shortcuts” or cramming.
Whether it’s a class or tutoring, students need to be prepared to dedicate enough time to master the basic math and verbal concepts and also to improve their test-taking speed. The good news is that anyone can improved their test scores and these test-taking skills can be really useful across the board!
- $150/hour for Individual Tutoring.
- Website: alexanderacademy.net
- Phone: 678) 757-4385
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alexanderacademyscheduling/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Alexander-Academy-147527402438539/
Personal Photo – Lawkins is on the far left and Matthew Schuck is on the far right.