Bright Minds Tutoring offers tutoring in Wilmington, NC for all students and all ages in reading and writing. We also offer math tutoring for students in K-8th grade. The company began because of one bright child with dyslexia who was struggling academically, and one parent who was searching for a solution. It was a frustrating search, with more questions than answers, and more misconceptions than facts. Through that search came a passionate desire to help other families who found themselves in a similar situation.


April Coggins

For over a decade, April Coggins has been helping ‘out of the box’ learners achieve success in the classroom. She is a Dyslexia Specialist and has been trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach for both reading and math, as well as other evidence-based teaching methodologies. April has an MS in Special Education with a Specialization in Learning Disabilities and a BA in English. In 2019, April was featured in Forbes as Runner Up for Tutor of the Year. She stays abreast of the latest research and advancements in the field and shares her expansive personal knowledge base through the free resource library. April enjoys the challenge of uncovering each child’s unique strengths and gifts. She combines those strengths with research-based strategies to help a student overcome their limitations and reach their full potential.


Joy is a Wilmingtonian, born and raised in Wilmington. She completed a bachelor’s in Elementary Education at UNC-Wilmington, with a concentration in English. After teaching in the classroom and working with children with learning disabilities, she decided to pursue a master’s in special education from Grand Canyon University, in order to better help those students. She has also been trained in the Orton Gillingham method, earning a Classroom Educator level certificate. She has taught 18 years in the classroom, 5 of those in the Special Education classroom as the Resource director. Joy has a passion for encouraging students to see they are wonderfully made, helping them develop a love for learning, as well as teaching them in a way that makes them feel confident.


Joann Harrington is a professional educator who has years of experience as a teacher in special education. Joann has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Northeastern University and a master’s degree in special education from Cambridge College. Joann is also trained and certified as a Wilson Level 1 teacher. She has tutored 1:1 in Wilson as well as taught small group with Wilson Fundations. Joann has worked with students in grades K-8 with a range of disabilities including: SLD, Development Delay, Neurological Impairment, Cognitive Impairment, and Autism. After retiring as a special education teacher in Massachusetts, Joann and her husband moved to the Wilmington area in 2019. Missing teaching, Joann has joined Bright Minds Tutoring where she will utilize her experience but more importantly her passion for student success. She believes that 1:1 tutoring offers students the opportunity to discover the right tools and strategies for their individual learning style. She is looking forward to guiding students through the discovery process, which will lead them to independent success.


Barbara Mercer is a professional educator who has extensive experience as a teacher in both regular and special education. Barbara has a bachelor’s degree in elementary and early childhood education from Shepherd University and a master’s degree in learning disabilities from West Virginia University. After retiring as a third-grade teacher in Virginia, Barbara and her husband moved to the Wilmington area in 2018. Since retiring, Barbara has continued to expand her professional skills by completing additional Orton-Gillingham training and coursework in multisensory math. Barbara specializes in working with elementary-aged students. She enjoys discovering each student’s unique learning strengths and weaknesses and is passionate about developing individualized, multisensory instruction to match those strengths and weaknesses. She believes that tutoring sessions should be fun, positive experiences in which students learn and gain confidence in their own abilities.


As a licensed Special Education teacher for the past 5 years, Melissa Proctor has provided math and reading intervention support to elementary and middle school students throughout New Hanover and Pender county. Melissa has supported students with learning disabilities, autism, emotional/behavioral disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and developmental delays in a variety of settings. She most recently served as an Exceptional Children Department Chair at D.C Virgo Preparatory Academy. She has also supported students at the Autism Society of North Carolina, South Topsail Elementary School, Topsail Elementary School, Edwin A. Alderman Elementary School, and the UNCW Education Lab. Melissa received a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education from the University of North Carolina – Wilmington.


Toni is a dedicated and caring educator with over eight years of experience working with young learners. She graduated from Meredith College with a license to teach grades K-6 and received Meredith College Teaching Fellows accolades upon completing the program. She also graduated with a BA in English, specializing in Shakespeare. Toni has presented research at conferences along the east coast and began her teaching career in Raleigh. New to the Wilmington area in 2018, she was excited to join the Bright Minds team to continue to work in a field she is passionate about. Toni believes in creating a fun and creative learning environment where her students feel like the sky is the limit.


Terri Catron is a dedicated, creative, and goal-driven professional educator with over 16 years of classroom experience. She has a BA in Early Childhood Education and an MA in Early Elementary Education. Terri specializes in helping children in K-3 develop core competencies in reading and math. She is a resourceful and committed teacher, able to quickly assess a student’s needs and differentiate instruction as necessary. Terri is passionate about helping all children achieve success and believes that one-on-one tutoring allows her to better meet that goal.