Title: Founder, Owner, and Chief Executive Officer
Company: Homeschool Connections
Location: Pinckney, Michigan, United States
Tarla Ward Gernert, founder, owner and chief executive officer at Homeschool Connections, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Business Owners for dedication, achievements, and leadership in homeschooling.
With nearly 40 years of experience to her credit, Ms. Gernert has excelled as founder, owner, administrator, and chief executive officer of Homeschool Connections since 2002. She began her career as a classroom teacher at Bedford County Schools from 1985 to 1988. She worked in educational sales and as an academic advisor at Liberty University from 1988 to 1989. She found success as an executive manager at Tupperware from 1989 to 1992, and then as an account executive at GETKO Group, Inc. from 1997 to 1999.
Ms. Gernert served as an independent educational instructor from 1999 to 2001 and as an account manager at Our Town America from 2010 to 2011. Before embarking on her professional path, she pursued an education at Liberty University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in elementary education in 1985.
Beyond her responsibilities within the field, Ms. Gernert has participated in numerous endeavors outside of her professional circles. She contributed to Rotary International from 2008 to 2009. In addition to her primary vocation, she remains affiliated with various organizations in relation to her areas of expertise, including as a member of the Association of Christian Schools International.
Ms. Gernert’s most notable achievement is the impact she’s had on thousands of people’s lives. In 2011, she spent the summer working with a team of teachers from Oxford to create Oxford Virtual Academy, which was designed to fund community resource classes for homeschool students. They started the program with over 1,000 students, and grew substantially over subsequent years. She also co-founded the High Point Hybrid Academy in 2015, and held the position of chief executive officer until 2022.
Ms. Gernert was a teacher by profession, as were her mother and grandmother. She taught for three years, but then chose to be a stay-at-home mother when she had children. After being exposed to a robust homeschooling environment, she worked with two home educator parents, and they created an academy for fine arts that specialized in music education. After moving back to her native Michigan, she collaborated with teachers and other professionals to open a homeschool program and over time, established it as a business. At present, she has seven campuses and had nearly 780 students last year.
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