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; Beau and 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.

Jon Bierce-Wilson

Jon Bierce-Wilson

Musical Mathematician - New Dad – Jolly Dude

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.

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 who live in Atlanta, and a daughter, who lives in Pensacola, Florida. All three work in diverse and fascinating careers: the oldest in IT for an investment software firm, the second oldest in industrial design, and the youngest as an ensign in the Navy training to be a Naval Flight Officer. They haven’t blessed us with any grandchildren yet, but they have several dogs and cats among them!

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 three 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!

Sandy Hartmannsgruber

Sandy Hartmannsgruber

Child Whisperer – Cat Lover – Shawl Weaver

I have worked with children in educational settings for over twenty years. My master’s degree is in literacy and elementary education, with a focus on art. I taught at Quaker schools in Brooklyn, New York and Richmond, Indiana before moving to Asheville in 2018.

My areas of expertise are reading, spelling, elementary math, and social/emotional development in 6-11 year-olds. I love to find ways to incorporate art into my work with students.

The best aspects of tutoring in a one-on-one setting for me are making connections with my students and that each student can learn at her or his own pace. I love the "Aha" moments when students light up with understanding. Teaching is a two-way street for me, as I am always learning new things from and about my students, which helps me become a better teacher.

One of my best moments at the reading clinic so far was when I met a student for the first time and discovered their mutual love of sloths!

My other loves are cats, knitting, and being outside, preferably with a mountain view.

David Shapiro

David Shapiro

History Buff – Ocean Lover – Seasoned Traveler

I am from Charleston, SC where I grew up by the ocean and indulged my love for outdoor activities such as surfing, fishing, and camping. I have also lived and attended school in Roanoke, Virginia where I developed a passion for the mountains and hiking. I graduated from the College of Charleston with a B.A. as an English Major who focused on grammar, literature, and writing. I appreciate my Liberal Arts education as it has granted me an opportunity to use my love of and experience with foreign languages, history, art, and music to tutor and support students of all ages.

My first year of student teaching was at Montessori School of Mt. Pleasant, SC. After moving to Hendersonville, NC, I began working for Dr. Sirkin in 2002 at the Arden Reading Clinic location in South Asheville. I was trained in Orton-Gillingham through Dr. Sirkin and received my Associate Level training in OG through Susie Van der Vorst at Camp Spring Creek. I served as a tutor and administrator at the South location until August of 2019, when Marcy asked me to come to the North Asheville location.

My current hobbies are kayaking, paddle boarding, playing guitar, fishing, hiking, biking, and especially traveling! I live with my wife Sallie in Hendersonville.