Dr. Alissa Gardenhire is celebrating one year of operation for her first Best in Class Education Center, which she opened on the second floor of 71 Valley Street in South Orange in February 2018.
Like many Best in Class franchisees, Dr. Gardenhire had a career in education before joining the franchise, but she had never owned a business.
For the last 15 years, Gardenhire has been working in New York City as an education policy researcher. Having both parents and grandparents who were teachers, she has always been passionate about education, and she ended up getting her Doctorate in Urban Planning from Harvard. Her entrepreneurial spirit led her to many side businesses throughout her career, from becoming a certified life coach to running a school dance business (Middle School Dances) with her 6th grade son, who attends South Orange Middle School.
“I’m happier than I’ve ever been professionally through this work,” Dr. Gardenhire told Village Green. “That’s a blessing. I’ve got a large vision for what we intend to do for kids as we grow, gain recognition for the outstanding work we are doing (through a combination of excellent materials and fabulous teachers). My center’s motto ‘Ahead of the Curve, Above Grade Level!’ applies to every child who comes to us regardless of where they’re beginning. We love what we do and where we are fortunate to do it, SOMA.”
“My first year in business in South Orange has honestly been a dream!” added Dr. Gardenhire. “South Orange had been the perfect choice for my first Best In Class Education Center location because the town is so inviting and accessible to families all around the local area, allowing us to serve more families and support the learning needs of more kids, which is the name of the game! “
Gardenhire’s Best in Class location was the third location in the state of New Jersey, and she plans to open several satellite and brick and mortar locations over the next few years as well.
Best in Class South Orange, 71 Valley St Suite 200, (973) 327-9775, [email protected].