Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Best in Class focuses on math and English enrichment

Photo Credit: TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Ming Hsu, with his wife Angela, and sons Ryan and Alan stand outside the new Best in Class Education Center in Beaverton, which will help tutor students.Best in Class Education Center, which provides education enrichment programs, is expanding its operations in Washington County by opening a second branch in the Beaverton area.

On Saturday, the center, which specializes in math and English enrichment programs as well as providing college preparation work for students in kindergarten through the 12th grade, will host its grand opening.

The event will run from 2 to 5 p.m. at the center, 16165 S.W. Regatta Lane, Suite 800.

For Ming Hsu, the Oregon franchise owner of Best in Class, this will be the business’ fourth center with other sites in Southeast Portland, Lake Oswego and Bethany.

“Actually, we have been in Bethany for 14 years,” said Hsu, who spent 19 years teaching mechanical engineering at the University of Portland before joining Best in Class. “Students come to our center once a week for a one-hour session.”

Hsu said teachers at the center make sure students understand the curriculum before sending them home with a week’s worth of homework, enough for them to excel in their respective subjects but not enough to overwhelm them.

“We don’t want them to have hours and hours of homework,” he said, noting that the goal is to work on assignments 15 to 20 minutes each day. “Even though we give them a packet of homework, we don’t want them to finish it all in one day.”

Hsu said teachers monitor each student to ensure they know the homework material and don’t feel pressured.

For Hsu, Best in Class has become a family affair with his two sons and stepson joining him in teaching and administrative endeavors. Those include Ethan Mei, who is in charge of general administration for the Portland-area centers; Ryan Hsu, who teaches math; and Alan Hsu, who helps students with literature and writing programs.

Hsu said the majority of those attending Best in Class are extremely good students with most moving ahead of their classmates after participating in the program.

“They are top in the class,” said Hsu, who himself teaches several of the center’s advanced math classes.

At the same time, the center has students who are struggling in some academic subjects and need extra help.

“Our program is tailored to each individual student,” he said.

Students can take either a math or English class, but Hsu has found that most take both classes.

In addition to the reading, writing and math classes, the center offers ACT and SAT preparation classes for high school students as well as preparation for standardized school testing and help with entrance into talented and gifted programs for middle-schoolers.

Hsu said the SAT classes are usually conducted for six to eight weeks during the summer. The preparation often pays off with many students ending up getting perfect scores on the math, reading and writing tests.

“Every year, we have quite a few students get 800 (on their SATs in many) of those subjects,” he said.

Founded in 1995 in Seattle by Hao Lam, there are now 28 Best in Class Education Centers in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Ohio and Texas.

Lam said plans are to expand even more into the Portland market with two to five additional centers planned for the next three years. He also said he’s pleased with the opening of the new Beaverton center.

“Location is obviously key for any business, and we are thrilled to have a center opening in Beaverton — it’s a great location for a Best in Class and will be very easily accessible for area students and their parents,” said Lam. “Dr. Hsu is really passionate about education and improving the entire learning experience for his students, and I think that’s why he has been so successful and able to continue expanding in this area.”

Saturday’s grand opening will include tours of the new building, which contains six classrooms, along with specials for those who sign up that day.

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