Huntington Learning Centers in Carmel turns 10

From left, Lindsay Brabb and Kurt Spitler guide Carmel’s Huntington Learning Center (Photo by Mark Ambrogi)

From left, Lindsay Brabb and Kurt Spitler guide Carmel’s Huntington Learning Center (Photo by Mark Ambrogi)

By Mark Ambrogi

November marks the 10th anniversary of Huntington Learning Centers in Carmel. It has been a marriage that has served the center and area students well.

Lindsay Brabb, the center’s director, said a recent success story was a Pendleton Heights High School student, who attends Huntington, recently register a perfect score of 36 on her ACT.

Kurt Spitler, owner and executive director, said 95 percent of their business comes from Carmel, Zionsville, Fishers, Noblesville and Westfield.

“But we have students from all over,” Spitler said. “We had a college professor bring his son up from Bloomington twice a week last year. He probably passed 15 different learning centers to get here but he preferred our program.”

Brabb said the center provides ACT, SAT prep and prep for private high schools entrance exams such as ones Park Tudor or University.

“Half our prep is getting kids ready for ACT or SAT and the other half is what we call our learning center is to increase students’ skill sets,” Spitler said. “One of the big misnomers is if your kid comes to Huntington he is struggling. Actually 25 percent of our kids might be one grade level and their parents want them to be two grade levels ahead. It’s truly enrichment for a lot of our students. Or a lot of time we will have students who are straight As in everything except math. So they come here for math only program.”

Spitler purchased the Huntington Learning Center franchise from the original owner three years ago. Brabb has been with center for nine years. The center is located at 2440 E. 146th St., in Carmel. It previously has been located in Greyhound Pass shopping center before moving two years ago.

“One of the reasons for our success is 65 percent is from referrals,” Spitler said. “They are referred by their neighbor, their counselor, their teacher, their coach, their high school principal.”

Brabb said the center enrolls students at pre-K level and goes all the way through the 12th grade.

“We’ve had college students come in for writing programs, reading comprehension or math programs,” Brabb said. “We’ve actually had a woman in a 50s come in to better her skills and help her in her professional career.”

All the tutoring is on site where the center has a great deal of resource available. The majority of the instructors are teachers at area schools, Spitler said.

“We have one teacher (Dale Ressler) who has been here since Day One, which is pretty amazing for a part-time job,” Spitler said.

Huntington Learning Centers were started in 1977 by educators Raymond and Eileen Huntington in Oradell, N.J. There are about 300 franchises, but Carmel is the only one in Indiana.