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Focus Stories

Sylvan Learning Center of Lake Mary

by Dori Gerber

Featured Photo from Sylvan Learning Center of Lake Mary

The Sylvan Learning Center of Lake Mary is the most successful of the company’s locations across the state of Florida, and the reason is simple: community. The center, located in the heart of downtown Lake Mary, is directly connected to local families. It is also up-to-date on the curriculum of the schools within the community, allowing the center’s instructors to apply the strategies that are familiar to students while imparting techniques that target each learner’s individual needs.

Norma Urbiola, the Lake Mary location’s owner/franchisee; Lauren Edsel, the director of education; and Matthew Cothrine, the director of operations, along with their team of highly-certified instructors, strive to create confident, independent students by targeting the cause of their academic frustrations and developing instruction to meet their individual needs in pursuit of academic success. Whether the concern is early literacy, middle-school math, advanced-placement physics, or SAT preparation, Sylvan Learning Center of Lake Mary can help.

The staff cares about kids and wants to see them excel in their academics to make sure they can achieve their future goals. One of the center’s driving principles is that students should be able to pick their career, not have their career pick them. No student should have to give up on a dream just because they have academic challenges.

Another aspect that sets Sylvan Learning Center of Lake Mary apart from others is its attention to the students’ emotional well-being. The center’s staff understands that before students can succeed, they have to believe in themselves. The instructors work hard to form bonds with their students, helping them to feel comfortable with their learning. This bond, combined with the use of educational games and motivational systems, promotes a positive learning environment where students gain academic achievements.

For the Sylvan Learning Center of Lake Mary team, there is nothing as fulfilling as seeing that spark in a student’s eyes when he or she finally grasps a difficult concept. The staff makes a difference in the students’ and families’ lives, and finds great satisfaction in their work.

Back in December, Sylvan Learning Center of Lake Mary implemented two new ways to work with families to design the optimal learning plan for students. One is the Contact Center, which is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. by calling  407-688-2017. This Contact Center aims to assist parents with questions they have about the learning center and its programs. The other is a state-of-the-art website,, that is designed to set all children up for success.

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