Amanda McNew and her mother, Kym Benford's passion for education led to owning their first Sylvan center.
My mom and I love keeping our Sylvan Learning center a family affair. I graduated from Shippensburg University with a degree in elementary education. I first began working with Sylvan’s Chambersburg location as the Executive Director when it was under different ownership. When the location went up for sale, my mom saw it as an opportunity for the whole family to grow with a great brand. After just a year of running our Chambersburg, Pa. Sylvan center, we have taken steps to expand the footprint of our education business with a double expansion — first by taking ownership of a corporate-owned center in York, Pa., then by making plans to open a brick-and-mortar location in Camp Hill, Pa.
My mom has been working for 17 years at GLC Industries as the Director for Business Intelligence. I previously worked as a fourth-grade teacher in the local school district, and currently teach second grade at a virtual charter school. Our family also has quite the history in education—my mom's parents (my grandparents), were both educators.
How I Heard About Sylvan
Sylvan was really presented as a job opportunity by the former franchisees when they brought me in to be the center’s executive director. When the then-franchisees started talking about selling the business, I started thinking about purchasing it. Eventually, I brought the idea to my mom, as a business plan and asked if she would sign-on to be my co-owner. She did, and we’ve been working together as partners ever since.
Why We Chose Sylvan
After working in the public school district, I realized that there are a lot of unforeseen limitations in the regular classroom. I wanted to help students that might be struggling, or that might not get individualized attention from the teacher because class sizes are too big. With Sylvan, we could help students to go above and beyond these obstacles.
Development Plans With Sylvan
I want Sylvan to be seen as a leading education institution in our community. Our goal is to be the place that everyone in the local area can go for a great education, whether they need extra help or just want to get ahead. I want going to Sylvan—and tutoring, more broadly—to become thought of less as “getting help” and more as “getting an education.”