Chyten featured in ‘The Life in Biltmore Park’

Chyten was featured in the January 2012 edition of ‘The Life in Biltmore Park’ magazine.

What is Chyten?
Chyten is a tutoring and test preparation company that originated in Boston. The company’s founder, Neil Chyten, was a tutor for many of the Harvard professors’ children, and he began opening centers where highly motivated students could be taken to the next level. Currently, there are 40 Chyten centers across the country, including 4 in North Carolina. Our specialty is one-on-one, private tutoring, using proprietary techniques to teach our amazing test-taking strategies for the ACT and SAT.

Where did you grow up? How long have you lived in the area?
My name is Stacey Caskey. I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and completed my undergraduate and graduate degrees at Brooklyn College and Queens College. A National Board-certified educator, I taught in the NYC school system for eleven years before moving to Asheville in 2001. I taught at Claxton Elementary from 2001-2010 and am now the educational director and co-owner of Chyten Tutors and Test Prep. My husband, Brian, grew up in DeLand, Florida, where he earned his degree in Biology from Stetson University. Our daughter, Allison, is a third grader at Bell Elementary.

Brian and Stacey Caskey

Brian and Stacey Caskey

What interested you in opening a tutoring and test prep center?
Throughout the years, there were many times when a parent would ask me where they could supplement their child’s education; and really, there were no outstanding local options. Asheville has had a need for educational services that remediate, enrich, and allow a child to achieve academic success. Chyten’s philosophy helps students excel, as well as to get into the colleges of their dreams.

What makes Chyten different?
At Chyten, we firmly believe that tutoring leads to achievement. We also believe that parent involvement is crucial, which is why parents have real-time, online access to the tutor’s session notes and are part of the dialogue. At Chyten, we require our tutors to possess at least a Master’s degree! When you bring your child to work with one of our tutors, they have been matched with an expert.

Why are college admissions tests, like the ACT and SAT, so important?
College admissions are much more competitive now. In 2010, Harvard accepted only 6% of their applicants, Stanford 7%, Duke 14%, and UNC 29%. What does that mean for your student? Excellent ACT and SAT scores are needed before students will even be considered by a college admissions committee. Grades, extracurriculars, and class ranking remain important, but test scores make a very important first impression.

What does Chyten offer to academically gifted students?
With budget cuts in our schools, students are receiving less and less AIG services. Having taught the gifted program in New York for many years, I realize the importance of constantly challenging bright students. Many gifted students are bored in the classroom and struggle to maintain intellectual curiosity. At Chyten, we offer enrichment programs for students to keep them at the top of their game. Our E.N.R.I.C.H. program is taught by a certified AIG specialist, and teaches students to synthesize knowledge and inquiry.

Given your educational expertise, what advice can you offer to residents?
The best gift you can bestow upon your child is the opportunity to excel. Better test scores and grades will open doors to experiences that previously seemed out of reach. Younger students gain self-confidence and self-esteem when they perform well in school.

Pre-learning is not a new concept. When students are introduced to upcoming school topics beforehand, especially at the AP or Honors level, they excel. They enter the classroom prepared and confident. Chyten works extensively with local principals, teachers and curriculum experts to keep your child a few steps ahead at all times.

The best and most important advice I can offer to parents is to be proactive in their child’s education, and to always expect academic success.

We invite our Asheville neighbors to stop in at our state-of-the-art educational center, take a look around, have a cup of coffee, and talk to us about their child’s academic needs.