There has been a change in ownership in Maple Grove. Sean and Hillary Tilton purchased the Maple Grove Sylvan Learning Center, which is the sixth center in Minnesota they have taken over.
Tilton is very familiar with the Sylvan name. Her parents were among the first Sylvan franchisees, opening a center in Grand Rapids, Mich. in 1985. Her family oversaw seven centers in Michigan.
She started out of the Grand Rapids Sylvan center as a student when she was 5 years old. “It was a family business,” Tilton said of Sylvan. “I was part of all the aspects.”
Tilton graduated from college with an education background, specifically she received a special education teacher degree. “I ran one of the Michigan centers for a few years,” she said. “Now I have been overseeing them for the past six to seven years.”
So why did Tilton and her husband choose to run six centers in the Minneapolis area, including the Maple Grove center? “My husband is from the Minneapolis area and still has family here,” Tilton said “We travel to this area often.”
She said last September she and her husband heard about the area Sylvan centers while visiting family. Sean and Hillary officially took over the Maple Grove Sylvan and five other area centers last November.
“It was a great opportunity to expand,” Tilton said. “We have done great in Michigan and we felt Minneapolis was a great and natural place to expand. We see future growth in families here.”
Tilton and her husband are the official franchisees of the west Michigan group and Minneapolis group. The Minneapolis group includes centers in Maple Grove, Roseville, Woodbury, Burnsville, Coon Rapids and Edina.
How do the Tilton’s deal with managing centers in two different states? “We travel back and forth quite often,” she said. “We spend time in both locations. It helps we have a really great team in the Minneapolis group and west Michigan group.”
Sylvan Learning Centers offer tutoring programs in math, reading, writing, state test prep, study skills ad homework help for students in kindergarten through 12th grade, as well as college prep and summer camps. “We combine personal content and personal engagement,” Tilton said. “Ipads are now used as learning tools, replacing books and paper. This is new to us, but the kids expect it. We try to engage the kids and use interactive tools.”
She added that Sylvan partners with area schools and parents to have the student reach academic goals, stating the partnership helps students to become lifelong learners.