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Solon joins Mayfield Heights as a Best in Class Education Center home

“I am very happy,” Peiris, owner of the Best in Class franchise that opened in August for kindergarteners through 12th-graders, said via email. “There are a lot of parents that stop by, now that we have a storefront, and ask about our programs. It is downtown, in the heart of Solon.

“Solon is a community that emphasizes education a lot, and because of that, we think that this will help with all of the programs we offer. We have an enrichment program and tutoring that goes beyond other tutoring programs. We go up and beyond to make sure students are doing well and are happy with where they are at,” he said.

Best in Class Education Centers, based in Seattle, Wash., offer programs to supplement what children learn at their local schools. The company operates more than 60 of the educational franchises around the country.

The new Solon center — located in the Solon Village Shopping Center — is the second in the area. Best in Class opened a center in Mayfield Heights in 2016.

Hao Lam, CEO and chairman of Best in Class Education Centers, opened the first center in Seattle in 1995. Lam fled on a fishing boat with other refugees from his native land of communist Vietnam as a teenager in 1988. He made his way to Canada, where he learned English and earned high school and college degrees.

Lam developed a passion for teaching while helping classmates in their math studies. He is the author of a recent book, “From Bad to Worse to Best in Class: A Refugee’s Story.”

The Solon and Mayfield Heights venues, which are owned by Surender Nagula along with Peiris, each currently have 45 to 50 students and 15 instructors.

Centers operate year-round, and typically offer tutoring and various education programs in the afternoons and on evenings and weekends.

The Best in Class curriculum includes a math and English enrichment program that focuses on individual students’ strengths. Students can also benefit from college preparation courses, private tutoring, and gifted test, ACT and SAT preparation courses.

“Many of the students who attend Best in Class are among the best in their (local school) classes,” Best in Class Vice President of Franchise Recruitment and Development Sharon Peterson said via email.

“Given the realities of college admissions and the stresses that kids face these days, Best in Class has perfected an after-school tutoring and test preparation program that provides a wonderful supplemental boost to the education the kids are receiving at their schools. Many students who attend Best in Class have lofty educational goals and want to attend specific universities,” Peterson said.

Peiris is pleased with the results of the first two years at the Mayfield Heights Best in Class.

“It has been successful, as well,” he wrote. “It is a similar situation, where our programs are not the typical tutoring place. We try to do more.

“We are in touch with the parents as much as a teacher would be. We want to make sure that the students are doing well.”

Peiris says the Best in Class centers have been well received by the Solon and Mayfield Heights communities.

“We participate in a lot of community activities,” he wrote. “We have participated in Solon Fun Day, and in a Mayfield parade the last two years. We also sponsor (area) high school sports. We try to do as much as possible. We coordinate with the (local) libraries to do activities where students can come in and learn skills.”


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