About Us

Dr. Benton grew up in Goldsboro, NC where he attended public schools. He graduated from Campbell University with a B.A. in English and taught at Ft. Bragg Schools for three years. While completing his Masters of Education and Education Specialist degrees at East Carolina University and his Doctorate in Education at Duke University, he served as a school administrator in Cumberland County Schools. 

Dr. Benton has taught at the college level and served as headmaster of a private school. In addition to his degrees in education, Dr. Benton has a B.S. in Psychology and a B.S. in Religion from the University of Mount Olive. As a school administrator, Dr. Benton has received awards at the local and state levels. He has been active in his local community, serving as President of the Goldsboro Rotary Club and a member of the Board of Directors of the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce. At present, he serves as the President of the Clinton Sampson County Rotary Club, a Board Member of The Free Will Baptist Children’s Home and is the Pastor of West Clinton FWB Church. He has written articles for the Sampson Independent Newspaper and the Community Magazine of The Free Will Baptist Denomination.

 In 1989, Dr. Benton founded Academics Plus Learning Center in Dunn, NC. This edu-business was established to supplement the educational activities of the public schools and private enterprise. In 1990, Academics Plus was incorporated and moved to Goldsboro, NC. 

After 25 years of tutoring and testing school age students, in 2012, the company moved with the times and developed an online training component. Now Academics Plus, Inc. has readjusted its mission and is offering consulting and coaching support to individuals as well as businesses, organizations, churches, and other non-profits. Dr. Ken Benton has over 30 years experience as a school and business leader, and is a Certified Member of The John Maxwell Team as a trainer, speaker, and coach. His areas of expertise are leadership development and personal growth. His most recent trainings have included the Sampson County Sheriff’s Department, The Covenant Ministers Group and the Wayne County and Harnett County Chambers of Commerce.  

Dr. Marilyn Benton began her career in education as a Home Economics teacher in Fayetteville, NC after completing her undergraduate degree at Campbell University. While teaching school, she earned her Master of Education and Education Specialist degrees. 

Upon the completion of her Doctorate in Education, Dr. Marilyn joined her husband in the building of their private education business, Academics Plus, Inc. Started in 1989, Academics Plus Learning Center was founded in Dunn NC and later opened offices in Goldsboro and Raleigh. This edu-business was established to give families a supplement to the services they were receiving in public and private schools. 

Using their knowledge of curriculum and instruction and their skills in planning, organizing, and training, Academics Plus, Inc. grew from a small private service supporting 50 families to serving over 4000 students across four states with over 700 employees. The company transitioned to an online presence in 2012, with Dr. Marilyn continuing in her role as Director of Operations. During this time, Dr. Marilyn expanded her role to include consulting opportunities in the areas of leadership and school organization. To support the consulting components of her work, Dr. Marilyn has completed training in the Franklin Covey 7 Habits Facilitator Training, Core Knowledge Training and Direct Instruction, Behavior Analysis and Precision Training by Michael Maloney. As a Certified Member of The John Maxwell Team, Dr. Marilyn is equipped to provide training and coaching to organizations and individuals in the areas of leadership development and personal growth. Today, she continues to partner with her husband, Dr. Ken Benton, as they provide support to both for-profit and non-profit businesses and organizations.