That challenge now rings true for John and Jody Agaman, owners of the Goddard School in Sparks, who brought home the state’s first Circle of Excellence Award among franchisees of the nationwide preschool and Kindergarten facilities.
“If you’re going to be the best, you have to constantly stay the best,” John said.
The Goddard School in Sparks, located on Los Altos Parkway near Sepulveda Elementary School, was the first of its national chain to open in Nevada offering private, play-based instruction for children ranging in age from 6 weeks to 6 years old. With four total Goddard Schools in Nevada, three in northern Nevada alone, the Agamans were overwhelmed to win the Circle of Excellence Award given to 21 out of 406 franchisees in the country.
John credited the Quality Assurance score, which examines everything from school cleanliness to curriculum composition, the school receives each year remaining at 99 percent or higher in recent years. He added that finally filling the school’s capacity brought the Sparks school to the top.
“We have always been able to get this award by all of the requirements, except we never had a full enrollment,” John said. “I think it is a huge honor, especially in Sparks because we are the most expensive. Filling the school up going against other preschools that don’t offer as much is difficult, but if someone is hurting with bad economic times it is hard to get into our school.”
John said connecting and meshing with the Sparks community is one of the most important factors of the school’s success due to the area being a “transient town.” He said being able to get more than 160 children into the school this year comes from parents and locals relying on one another.
“I think all the schools rely on word of mouth from the parents,” he said, “Because we are out in the community doing blood drives and various things, but having parents tell other parents and friends that their child is getting an education.
“We are not really a babysitting place. That is not to say that we are Harvard or anything like that. We are having fun, but we are about much more than that. If you are looking for someone to just watch your kids during the day you are in the wrong place.”
Since moving to the community and opening the school in 2008, the Agamans pride themselves on keeping strict business practices that focus on the children in the Goddard School in Sparks. With 25 teachers, two directors and themselves on the school’s staff, hundreds of man hours are required to coordinate things like parent’s night out, a holiday scavenger hunt for teachers and many other community events designed to boost morale.
The Agamans, transplants from Los Angeles, said their reputation is only as good as their results.
“We never take anything for granted,” John said. “We know where we came from and we definitely love what we do. We love making a difference in the children’s and families’ lives. We are here a lot of hours. The area is really what has us doing that. When you get a layoff it hurts here, and those ties in the community means people will rely on you for certain things.”
John said the future at the Goddard School in Sparks could bring changes to the nine different curricula being used in the school and possibly some additions to the facility located at 751 Los Altos Pkwy. He hopes forming a bond with the parents of children at Sepulveda Elementary would prove beneficial for his school.
“We would love to one day expand to the dirt lot between us and Sepulveda and provide a before and after school program for elementary school students,” John said. “We wanted to do it a few years ago but the economy was just not stable enough for us to manage it. We hope that will turn around and we can begin forming close relationships with the Sepulveda community.”
For more information about the Goddard School in Sparks, visit http://www.goddardschool.com/reno/sparks-los-altos-parkway-nv.