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Friday, 23 January 2015 10:42

Saratoga Man Takes Over Local Sylvan Learning Franchise

By | Business

Plans to Build on 20-Year Regional Tutoring Legacy for Students K-12

CLIFTON PARK – The Capital Region franchise for Sylvan Learning Inc., arguably the most recognized name in tutoring, is under new ownership. The leading provider of supplemental education for students in grades K-12 recently announced that Patrick McNamara has purchased and become the owner and operator of the regional franchise. 

McNamara, a Saratoga Springs resident, assumes the title of executive director and will oversee student educational services, human resources, advertising and marketing campaigns, and financial management of the company. The business has offices in Albany, Clifton Park, and a satellite classroom at the YMCA in Bethlehem.

He purchased the business from Catherine Hull who ran the regional franchise from 1995 to 2014.

Sylvan’s programs include math, reading, writing, study skills and test preparation for SAT, ACT and Regents exams, as well as traditional homework help. State-certified teachers use interactive technology to help students gain the confidence they need to improve their grades.

“I really like what we do,” said McNamara. “It’s great to see the growth after kids come in struggling especially in the beginning as their confidence improves. When a kid comes in and they’re behind in reading, the goal is to get them caught up so that they don’t need us anymore. We want them to become independent, confident learners.”

McNamara says he’s looking forward to building on the regional franchise’s 20-year history of helping families in the Capital Region. As an example of that growth, Sylvan is introducing STEM-related programs such as HTML coding, math enrichment and robotics, which McNamara will incorporate into his Albany and Clifton Park classrooms.

Programs are personalized to meet the needs of each child and more importantly, Sylvan’s ratio of a maximum of three students per teacher allows every student to maximize their session.

“At school, teachers are working really hard but she or he has 25 or 30 kids and they need the majority of the class to move forward and they do,” said McNamara. “Some of the kids get caught up and miss the foundational skills they need to master more complex ones. We’re here to help them with that.”

Prior to his current position, McNamara practiced law for 29 years in New York City, providing general business representation to individuals and companies with an emphasis on clients in the entertainment industry. He says his decision to change career paths and move to Saratoga Springs has been a rewarding one.

“We’re helping kids solve their academic problems and we help parents identify what the problem is and help them solve it,” said McNamara. “A lot of parents come to us because homework has turned into a nightmare and they need someone to help them identify a foundational skill that’s missing. We’ll help fix that.”

Sylvan Learning will offer a free, practice SAT exam for interested high school juniors on Saturday, Feb. 14. Those interested in enrolling their children at Sylvan can arrange a free assessment and/or take a tour of the classrooms.


For more information, visit www.sylvanlearning.com or call 869-6005. 

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