Sylvan Franchising 101

Step 1

Initial Conversation

Once you express preliminary interest in joining the Sylvan franchise family, we’ll connect you with a member of our franchise team to answer any questions you may have and walk you through our franchise process in detail. Eager to schedule your initial call now?

Step 2

Submit Request for Consideration

Here is where you’ll submit a request for consideration by filling out a form with your basic information. It’s your way of letting us know you want to be a Sylvan owner!

Step 3

Franchise Disclosure Document

At this point in the process, we’ll share our Franchise Disclosure Document, which is an industry-standard report designed to promote transparency and full visibility. Within its pages, you’ll find comprehensive details about our financial performance, track record, terms and more.

Step 4

Attend Discovery Day

It’s time for a little show and tell! Discovery Day is your chance to meet the rest of your support system, including our leadership team. You’ll learn the ins and outs of franchising directly from our dedicated departments to truly envision yourself as a Sylvan owner. Still wondering what happens at Discovery Day?

Step 5

Franchise Application

We’re getting closer! The next step involves submitting your franchise application, where you’ll provide further details about your background, credit history and financial information to ensure we’ll be a great fit.

Step 6

Committee Review

This is when our committee will conduct a thorough review of your application and provide the final seal of approval for you to move forward on your journey.

Step 7

Franchise Agreement

Sent, signed and delivered — the territory or territories are yours! We’ll send you the franchise agreement and you’ll formally secure your territory(ies) by signing and paying the franchise fees.

Step 8

Franchise Awarded

Gold star for you: You’re officially part of the Sylvan franchise family!


Discovery Day 101

Our Discovery Days are virtual or in-person events designed to give you a glimpse into how our franchise model operates. Think of it as a show and tell where each of our departments, including marketing, operations, education, finance and more, showcase the unique ways they plan to contribute to your success as a Sylvan franchise owner.

You'll gain valuable insights into the benefits of franchising with Sylvan, as explained by our leaders within each department. They'll share their knowledge and expertise to help you understand our comprehensive support, product offerings and what your return on investment looks like.

During and after the event, you’ll have the chance to ask any questions you may have. We're here to ensure you have all the information you need to embark on your franchise journey with confidence and peace of mind.We look forward to meeting you!
Meet the Sylvan Team

Your A+ Team

When you invest in a Sylvan franchise, you gain access to top-of-the-class expertise and leadership.

John McAuliffe

Chief Executive Officer

John McAuliffe joined the Sylvan family in January 2010 as the Chief Financial Officer. As CFO, he created the annual budget and the forecasting of the company’s financial outlook. After his promotion to Chief Executive Officer in January 2016, John laid out an ambitious roadmap for future success and spearheaded efforts to streamline Sylvan’s business model, resulting in the most flexible and dynamic education franchise in the country. Under John’s leadership, Sylvan aims to deliver the best educational programs through the use of cutting-edge technology and best-in-class customer service. He holds a BA in Accounting from Loyola University Maryland.

John McAuliffe
Susan Valverde

Susan Valverde

Chief Franchise Operations Officer

Susan Valverde became Chief Franchise Operations Officer in August 2016 after a successful 15-year run as a Sylvan franchisee. In her capacity, she has transformed how Sylvan supports franchisees by managing the franchise business consultants, franchisee training, institutional support teams and education operations and oversight. Susan is also key in Sylvan’s new owner onboarding process and regularly holds regional trainings that are focused on key growth areas. With more than 25 years of business experience, she has held leadership positions in various organizations from the Sylvan Franchise Owners Association to the Texas Lyceum and Latinos for Education. Susan holds an MBA from the University of Texas, Edinburg and has been a fellow at the Aspen Institute for ten years.

Amy Przywara

Chief Marketing Officer

Amy Przywara became the Chief Marketing Officer at Sylvan in 2015, following more than a decade as a leader in Sylvan’s Marketing Department as VP of Marketing and Senior Director of Brand and Customer Acquisition. Amy has been instrumental in the company’s digital marketing transformation and in delivering integrated campaigns for Sylvan franchisees. She leverages her past leadership experience at a full-service advertising agency to deliver national and locally focused strategies to drive business to local centers. Amy is also instrumental in Sylvan’s corporate culture including being an executive member of the company’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Amy holds a BA in Communications and Advertising from the Pennsylvania State University.

Amy Przywara
Jacob Jones

Jacob Jones

Chief Financial Officer & Head of Technology

Since 2011, Jacob Jones has played a pivotal role in streamlining and modernizing Sylvan into the technologically advanced company known today. From budgeting and forecasting to analytics, he has automated and updated the finance department. Thanks to Jacob and his team, Sylvan owners can rest assured the company remains at the forefront of technology with innovations like our proprietary curriculum, SylvanSync™, and advanced backend technology systems that ensure smooth center operations. Jacob holds a Bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University and a Master’s degree from Auburn University.

Kate McComiskey

Senior Vice President & General Counsel

Kate McComiskey joined the Sylvan family in 2014. In her multifaceted role, Kate helps protect Sylvan and its franchise owners by managing the company’s legal priorities, including compliance with franchising regulations and territory protection. She ascertains potential risks for the company and oversees the creation of franchisee agreements. In addition to legal matters, Kate manages the company’s human resource needs and strives to build a welcoming and engaging culture by co-leading the company’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. She holds a BA from Wake Forest University and a JD from the University of Maryland School of Law.

Kate McComiskey
Emily Mitchell

Emily Mitchell

Vice President of Education

Emily Mitchell re-joined Sylvan in 2016 as Vice President of Education, overseeing the development of Sylvan’s academic programs and educational quality in the centers. She had previously been at Sylvan from 2003-2008 as the Program Manager for Language Arts and Accreditation. Emily’s extensive experience in educational technology includes time spent as Vice President of Curriculum at Citelighter writing software suite, spearheading curriculum for publishers at CORE ECS and Six Red Marbles and developing digital assessments and learning plans. After earning a BA in Secondary English Education from the University of Maryland and an MS from Towson University, Emily began her career as a middle school teacher in Maryland.

Leslie Poteet

Vice President of Operations

Leslie Poteet joined the Sylvan Corporate family in 2011 after a five-year record of success working in both corporate and franchise-owned Sylvan Learning Centers. She leads the team of franchise business consultants, the onboarding experience for new Sylvan franchise owners and oversees the National Learning Centers. Leslie has held various roles at Sylvan, including Institutional Business Consultant, Business Development and Director of Management Systems. Prior to Sylvan, she worked in sales roles for investment and software organizations. Leslie has a BA in English and Philosophy from Suffolk University and an MA in Classics from Boston University.

Leslie Poteet

Your Franchise Development Team

Kea Perkins

Senior Director, Franchise Development

Courtney Wells

Director, Franchise Development

What Drives Us

Education is Everything

Education is Everything

A child’s academic success starts with a solid education and a love of learning. We teach children how to learn, so they build the confidence and skills to thrive in school and beyond.
Learning Should Be Personal

Learning Should Be Personal

No two students are exactly alike. That’s why we offer diverse programs and a personal, customizable approach to make sure children are learning in a way that works best for them — at the right pace, in the right style and with the right skills.
Inspirational Franchise Owners

Inspirational Franchise Owners

Our franchisees get to know the children who come into their centers, build trust with students and parents and create an encouraging, collaborative environment. Our centers turn frustration into confidence, Bs into As and dreamers into life-long achievers.
Technology Accelerates Learning

Technology Accelerates Learning

Technology has the ability to improve the way we live and learn. But technology doesn’t teach students, teachers do. We blend great teaching with advanced technology to meet students where they are academically and get them to where they need to be.
Results Matter

Results Matter

Ensuring the advancement of every Sylvan student is our mission (and it has been for decades)! We have over 40 years of great results and millions of successful students and counting.

Join a Nationally Recognized & Beloved Brand