Marquis Top Business and Financial Professionals

Tarla Ward Gernert

Title: Founder, Owner, and Chief Executive Officer
Company: Homeschool Connections Educational Services LLC
Location: Pinckney, Michigan, United States

Tarla Ward Gernert, Founder, Owner and Chief Executive Officer at Homeschool Connections Educational Services LLC, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Business Owners for dedication, achievements, and leadership in education. With nearly 40 years of experience and a strong focus on creating educational programs for homeschooled students, she has made a huge impact through the various programs with which she has been involved in the field of education in Michigan and across the country.

Homeschool Connections Educational Services, founded in 2002, is a program that offers high-quality in-person classes for homeschooled students and helps families educate their children at multiple campuses in southeast Michigan. In 2011, Ms. Gernert worked as an adviser and consultant alongside with a team of educators from Oxford Public Schools to create Oxford Virtual Academy, a program that provided funding for homeschooled students to take classes through community resource providers as well as opened the door to revolutionary virtual classes. Beginning the program with more than one hundred students, this program has helped support the growth of multiple hybrid programs across Michigan educating thousands.

In 2015, Ms. Gernert co-founded the High Point Hybrid Academy, a unique two-day-a-week program that blends the joys of learning at home with the support and structure of in-person learning groups. She held the position of Chief Executive Officer until 2022. The response to this program has been tremendous, necessitating multiple campuses to meet the demand.

Along with these, Ms. Gernert helped establish The Master’s Academy of Fine Arts in Greensboro, North Carolina, where she was an independent educational instructor from 1999 to 2001. She has also mentored the founder of Life Prep Christian Academy, a thriving hybrid program located out of Fort Myers, Florida.

Before embarking on her professional path, Ms. Gernert earned a Bachelor of Science in elementary education in 1985 at Liberty University. She began her career as a classroom teacher at Bedford County Schools from 1985 to 1988, then worked as an academic advisor at Liberty University (now Liberty Online) from 1988 to 1989. She was successful as an executive manager at Tupperware from 1989 to 1992, and then as an account executive at GETKO Group, Inc. from 1997 to 1999 and Our Town America from 2010 to 2011.

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, and was on the board and served as the president of her community Homeowners Association. In addition to her primary vocation, she remains affiliated with various organizations in relation to her areas of expertise, including the Association of Christian Schools International, as a board member of Nicea Christian Schools in Naples, Florida, and as a founding member of Hybrid Schools Society, founded by Kennesaw State University. Ms. Gernert’s most notable achievement is the impact she’s had on thousands of people’s lives through the programs she has built. 

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