Former Emerald Mountain School teacher starts Key to Learning tutoring business |

Former Emerald Mountain School teacher starts Key to Learning tutoring business

Kim Schulz left her position as an English teacher with Emerald Mountain School to take on tutoring students full time.
John F. Russell

— A Steamboat Springs teacher is aiming to fill a void locally by offering a specialized tutoring service for K-8 students.

Kim Schulz was a teacher for more than 10 years when she began to realize the lack of available tutoring options for students, especially those with specific struggles or disabilities.

“I had a student that needed specialized reading instruction (and) I could not find a tutor to work with this student,” said Schulz, who spent the past four years teaching English and language arts at Emerald Mountain School.

The student’s need prompted Schulz to get certified in the Orton-Gillingham Approach, a specialized way of working with students that have challenges associated with dyslexia.

Schulz realized that she enjoyed working with students one-on-one and creating specialized curriculum to help those struggling, a realization that led her to leave teaching and to start Key to Learning, a new tutoring service.

“I want to help other students feel confident and successful as readers and writers,” Schulz said. “As a tutor, I’m able to focus on one child at a time and help that child reach his or her greatest potential.”

Schulz currently tutors at her office at the Yampa Valley Entrepreneurship Center at Colorado Mountain College or at schools with the permission of administration.

She began tutoring full time during the summer and has seven students now, but she has the capacity to tutor more.

Being a teacher herself, Schulz knows that often students can’t get the specialized attention they need to succeed from just inside the classroom.

“As a former classroom teacher, I know that some students need more one-on-one individualized instruction than is possible to provide in the school day,” she said. “In addition, some parents need assistance to extend or support their child’s learning at home, especially as the option of homeschooling has become more prevalent.”

Schulz said she finds the tutoring business rewarding.

“I enjoy creating an individualized curriculum to meet a child’s specific learning needs and style,” Schulz said. “Celebrating my students’ successes and helping them grow more confident, while having fun, is what makes tutoring so rewarding for me.”

For more information about Key to Learning, call 303-514-9012 or visit

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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