Teachers at Arden Reading Clinic are expert tutors, all with years of experience in the field. Please be assured that while our tutors are professionals, more importantly they are nurturing teachers, qualified to raise your child’s grades and self-esteem. Each teacher participates in intensive training before becoming a tutor for ARC and continues to undergo ongoing training in specific evidence-based teaching methods as new curricula are developed.
Dr. Andrew Saldino
My path to education started at 8, when I told my mom that I was “going to be a teacher, because that’s how I can help the most people.” After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, the joy of teaching came to life for me as an Americorps high school teacher and coach on the Navajo Reservation. I then earned a doctorate in Philosophy of Religion and served as Lecturer at Clemson University and Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Lees-McRae College. While I loved teaching college, I left and decided to explore the foundations of high quality education by working in Montessori preschool and then earning a Montessori Adolescent certification. I opened and led a Montessori Middle School program, served as Director of Odyssey High School, and then opened a high school program for homeschool families called Aspire High.
What I love most about teaching at Arden Reading Clinic is the uninterrupted, individualized teaching and learning experience that tutoring allows. Whether utilizing my Orton Gillingham training to help an emerging reader, helping a student cultivate their mathematical prowess, teaching or tutoring high school coursework, or preparing students for the ACT/SAT, I simply love to teach, and I suspect that my enjoyment of helping young people grow as students and humans shines through most clearly in my tutoring sessions. I am most proud of my work as a teacher of my own amazing sons, Dante (16) and Marcel (13).
I am a passionate, personable, and patient Asheville native and new father. I have been tutoring in mathematics for four years, two of them at Warren Wilson College from which I graduated with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Data Science. I take a lighthearted approach and like to keep my students laughing to quell their anxieties and build confidence. Mathematics is a skill like any other and can be learned with organization and patience.
Having grown up with an aunt who was non-neurotypical, worked for about a year at the Autism Society of North Carolina, and surmounted my own ADD diagnosis, I know that obstacles can be overcome. (My wife is also a skilled mathematician who has dyslexia.) At Warren Wilson, I aided many rusty, frustrated, and anxious Stats students dash their fears and come out ahead. I have a passion for and curiosity about math and a deep interest in how people think and how they approach mathematical notions.
As a musician gigging as a bass player since I was 16, I have often heard of the connection between math and music; owing primarily to the use of numbers in music theory. The analytical aspect is lesser, in my experience, than the flow of changing repetitions involved in the study and communication of mathematics. There is more art in math than most people believe, and I have found that even the most weary students can hone their skills through the patient practice of this artistry.
My teaching journey began when my oldest daughter, Elyce, was in 1st grade and began to show signs of reading difficulties. I decided to take a more active role in her education by homeschooling her and her siblings. While this task is not for the faint of heart, the 7 years that we homeschooled produced some of our fondest memories together and proved to be a beautiful learning experience for us all.
I am proud to say that despite experiencing serious challenges with reading, comprehension, and writing, Elyce (with the help of many inspired educators) graduated from high school last year on the honor roll and is looking forward to pursuing her education toward EL (Expeditionary Learning) style teaching.
The past 3 years I worked for the schools in Morenci, AZ, teaching Remedial Reading and Robotics & Coding. I am so grateful for my time spent with my reading students because it showed me an area of instruction where I truly find joy. It is my experience with these students that inspired me to pursue my Level 1 Orton-Gillingham certification and begin my work at The Arden Reading Clinic.
It is so fulfilling to see a student’s face light up when they progress, or to feel the shift in their demeanor when they begin finding success in reading and realize their goals are reachable.
My strengths lie in helping students feel at ease and cared for, just as they are, while inspiring confidence to try hard things that are outside of their comfort zone. I supply the tools to help them get where they want to be. I love the work that I do at the Arden Reading Clinic and enjoy the opportunity to get to know each of my students for the beautiful growing people that they are.
When I am not teaching, I am spending time with my husband & 4 children. We enjoy hiking, a variety of sports (I’m more of a spectator), live music, and good food. If I’m lucky, I might even get to sneak away to read a good book.
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!
My first job was as an instructor at Zaniac Learning Center, where I taught STEM Courses and summer camps and tutored students in math, and I’ve been working in education ever since. While in college, I worked at a preschool that took a very child-led approach, and this experience still shapes my teaching philosophy today. I find I’m strongest working with students one-on-one or in small groups, as it allows me to get to know each student individually and work with them on their personal goals. When teaching, I try to incorporate a student’s interests into the instruction, and I also love a good mnemonic device!
I am a language lover, and my experience taking Latin in high school led me to pursue a degree in Linguistics at UNC Chapel Hill. After graduating, I moved back to Asheville, where I was born and raised. Working at the Arden Reading Clinic gives me the opportunity to use my interest in language and my background in education. I enjoy the cozy environment of the physical space and the small community that we have here.
When I’m not tutoring, I’m usually spending time at home with my partner and our cats. I enjoy cooking (but not so much cleaning up after it), word puzzles (the New York Times has some great ones), and thrift shopping (I’m always up for a yard sale)! I’m always striving to learn something new and expand my worldview.
Dr. Marcy Sirkin
I have been helping students achieve success in learning since 1982.
I purchased Arden Reading Clinic in 1996. Due to a growing demand, a second location was opened in North Asheville in 2004. Then I sold the south branch in 2008 and had a business named Arden Reading Clinic that was no longer in Arden and did far more than teach children how to read! Alas, I ran Arden Reading Clinic for 26 amazingly enjoyable (and busy!) years, and now I am really content to transition to a supporting role at ARC as an Academic Resource Consultant and adviser.
I hold a B.A. in Education, a M.A. in Education, a M.S. in Family Therapy, and a Ph.D. in Family Psychology. In addition, I have advanced training in Orton Gillingham.