Students from kindergarten to college don’t have to struggle with math, or physics; they can get help from trained tutors in English and Russian.
Marina Jarova knew what she wanted to do when she moved to Palm Coast nine years ago --- she wanted to teach and she wanted to have her own business.
The road to her opening the Integral Math Academy this past August, wasn’t a linear journey, there were lots of twists and turns. In the end she realized her dream when her company had its ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening on Wednesday, Oct. 21.
When she moved to Palm Coast with her husband, Roman Berenblit ,and three children, she thought she would be teaching for Flagler Schools, but there were no positions available. Instead she began a part-time job as a math teacher at Daytona State College.
“We looked at A+ tutoring in Ormond Beach but it was too expensive to buy,” she said. “So we bought a restaurant in St. Augustine.”
The restaurant was her introduction to running a business, and for three years Jarova said, “We got tons of experience and learned about running a business with that restaurant."
She never gave up her dreams to teach younger children, or to run her own tutoring business. She was hired as the math coach for Bunnell Elementary, helping the teachers learn the best ways to teach math, and as the curriculum specialist for kindergarten through eighth grade for Flagler Schools. But she missed interacting with the children.
“I started tutoring after work, beginning with a friend’s child. Then she gave my name to someone and it grew,” she said. “Before I knew it I had 10 kids I was tutoring in the library after work.”
A full time job, a family of her own, and a part-time job that was taking up her free time started to become too much, something had to give.
“I had a great job, I was very satisfied,” she said. “I worked with excellent people who were very smart. It was hard to leave but I decided to take the risk.”
During this time she met Galina Stingelk who would join her new venture. Stingelk speaks Russian which allows the academy to offer tutoring in English and Russian.
“She was part of the Russian school that closed and came into the school district office where I was,” Jarova said. “I asked her to join me.”
The two had an open house on Saturday, Aug. 1 to introduce new parents and show the former tutoring students, what the math academy was all about.
“We had signups for the students to get a head start before school started,” Jarova said. “Most students come two times a week for an hour. We are not like your typical tutoring school we have classes of four to six children.”
Students are taught to organize their studies through note taking, and even the kindergarteners are introduced to the concept.
“By the time they are in fifth- and sixth-grade we want them to be able to organize their thoughts,” she said.
Only three months old, the school recently added a new instructor to teach physics, an indication that the concept is a welcome addition to the county. Parents interested in learning about the programs can call Jarova at 264-7784 or go online, integralmathacademy.com. The school is located at 2 Pine Lakes Parkway, Suite 7.