Brother and sister duo Jason Jensen and Jamie Sanders are getting ready to open the first Sylvan Learning center in Wyoming.
Their Sylvan Learning center will be located in Gillette, Wyoming and is expected to open in mid to late January. Not only will their center be the brand’s first in the Equality State, but it will also officially mark the brand’s presence in all 50 states.
Jensen and Sanders bring two very different work backgrounds to the table. Jensen has a background in sales, while Sanders is a fourth-grade teacher in the Campbell County School District. This is her seventh year teaching fourth grade, and prior to teaching fourth grade, she taught music.
“We’ve talked about doing different things and felt this was a good fit for us and our community and thought we could play to each other’s strengths,” Jensen said. “We both have leadership roles and have worked in situations that require conflict resolution, being presentable to the community and customer service. Jamie also brings that aspect of knowing what the school district needs and making sure we can be compliant with the state.”
Per the U.S. Census Bureau, the population in Gillette is just over 30,000. Sanders noted that while Gillette is not a big city, it is big for Wyoming. Sanders and Jensen want to eventually expand their Sylvan enterprise throughout the state.
“I would like to have a center here in Gillette and room to grow throughout the state,” he said.
What attracted Sanders to the Sylvan brand is that it helps both students who are struggling and also provides enrichment to take kids “above and beyond.” She also likes how Sylvan offers ACT preparation as part of its services.
“We looked at quite a few different systems and styles and most of it was online research and as we got more serious about it, we started talking to different companies,” Jensen said of their research process when they decided to pursue franchising.
Jensen and Sanders are excited to get their Sylvan center up and running and serve their community.
“From my background, from the education side of it, I can see how this can benefit the community,” Sanders said. “I can see how we can help students that maybe are struggling or need that little bit of push. I’ve seen a cultural change in the 17 years I’ve been teaching and the exams that are placed on those kids, and that’s what I’m excited about - it’s to help growth in all areas and for all kids as we start this venture.”
Jensen is also thrilled to start his new business venture, and part of that is for personal reasons. His teenage daughter will be taking ACT lessons at the Sylvan Learning once it’s up and running.
“I’m excited just because this is something we haven’t seen here in Gillette,” Jensen said. “I see it with my own kids when we look at the ACT. Things like this would have been awesome for all of my kids. I’m excited to get this going so she can get going to take the course. It’s wonderful to have something for the community. It’s just a nice enhancement.”
Sylvan Learning is hoping to add two additional locations across the state over the next year.
“It’s a huge milestone for us to be able to say we are now in 50 states,” said Sylvan Learning VP of franchise development Georgia Chasen. “We’re looking forward to Jason and Jamie joining our franchise system and blazing a trail for us in Wyoming. It’s the beginning of our expansion in the market and for us to be able to offer our services to families across Gillette and beyond.”
The startup costs for a Sylvan Learning center range from $70,980 to $159,885. The franchise fee is $24,000. To learn more about franchising with Sylvan, visit https://sylvanfranchise.com/.