Corina Neagu knew early on that her passion for mathematics would take her far in life. What she didn’t realize was that her passion would lead her to open that door for so many others.
Neagu is the latest owner in the ever-expanding Spirit of Math franchise system, a chain of “after-school schools” that breaks the mold with its distinctive methods, unique curriculum and focus only on high performing students from grade one to high school.
Spirit of Math currently has 27 locations in North America, but this is the first campus in Newmarket. The program provides high-achieving students, those with a B+ average or higher, advanced math training and more of a challenge than what they get in their regular school. “These children are the doctors and CEOs of tomorrow,” says Neagu, “they are motivated and willing to work hard to reach their full potential, and I am proud to help them get there.”
Neagu is no stranger to hard work. After completing her degree in engineering at the University Politechnica in Bucharest, she immigrated to Canada and enrolled in York University’s Computer Science Department. Four years later, with a First Class standing B.A., a full time job at a major financial institution and two daughters, Neagu had little time to spare. However, she left her job to start her own IT consulting business, gaining respect in her field with the development and implementation of the Application Portfolio
Management program and for negotiating a software audit lead by a large software company that achieved 3.5 million in cost avoidance. That's when she came to the realization that what limited free time she had “was only for (her) daughters.”
She wanted them to have a head start in the advanced education that she had worked so hard to achieve, so she enrolled her eldest daughter in Spirit of Math Schools at the recommendation of a friend. “Diana loved it and the more I’ve learned about the program the more I realized how strong the curriculum is and how much my daughter will benefit from it,” said Neagu. Not only do Spirit of Math classes help students develop an in-depth knowledge of math, but also cooperative group-work, presentation skills and “a sense of pride and ownership in their learning that most ‘kids’ don’t learn until university,”
A year after joining, Neagu decided to apply for a franchise to help spread the phenomenal program and was awarded the Newmarket Campus, which opened for the 2011-12 school year on September 7 and will celebrate its Grand Opening on October 12 at the Trinity United Church, 461 Park Avenue in Newmarket.
Classes are held on Wednesday evenings for grades one to six at the Trinity United Church. Applications for admission to the 2011-12 school year are now being accepted.
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Spirit of Math is an after-school program that offers exciting, fast-paced math classes to high-performing students. SMS has been offering courses to students since 1992 and has schools in the GTA, Winnipeg and Ottawa, Vancouver and Edison, New Jersey. http://spiritofmath.com