Today we’d like to introduce you to Whitney Richards.
Whitney, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have been a math teacher for nine years and I have always done tutoring on the side. I decided a year ago to take a leap of faith and open up my tutoring company. I started by renting out a conference room hourly, running ACT and SAT cram sessions. I tutored the math section and my friend from the high school I taught at, who teaches English, tutored the English section. We were a small operation but we made an impact on the students and from there, we have grown. I now rent my own office space in Main Street Depot, located in Old Town Keller, and I have nine certified teachers that tutor for KLP.
Has it been a smooth road?
I knew to become a business owner would have it’s challenges, and that is part of the reason I waited so long to make the leap. When I decided to open KLP, I wanted to buy my own building immediately, however, my husband talked me down from that idea, thank goodness! For one, we didn’t have the money to do that. Secondly, owning a building would come with it’s own set of challenges that I wasn’t ready to handle yet. My husband encouraged me to keep my focus on the tutoring, build the business, and watch how it would grow over time.
So, I would say that finding a location to hold my tutoring sessions was definitely my first and most challenging struggle. We are believers, so I 100% know that it was God’s doing when I found Main Street Depot. It was the perfect scenario. The building manager allowed me to rent the conference room hourly until I was able to become a full time tenant. I was able to build my clientele while offering a professional atmosphere to holding my tutoring sessions.
Another struggle I’ve had was really fear more than anything. I’m good at math. I have a Master’s degree from UTA in Mathematics so I feel completely confident with teaching and tutoring math. That way, great when my clients needed math help, but when they started asking for English, science, and other subjects, I had a freak out moment. There was no way I could tutor those subjects, by any means, so I knew I needed to find tutors who were highly qualified certified teachers who had a passion for tutoring like I did. That was hard for me – my business wasn’t just in my hands anymore! I had to put trust in my staff to carry out my mission and vision for my company. Man, have they exceeded my expectations. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without their hard work!
Tell us more about the business.
Keller Learning Program specializes in small group tutoring (2-8 students), but we also offer 1:1 sessions as well. We offer tutoring in all math courses, English, science, dyslexia/reading comprehension, ACT/SAT, and organization/study skills. We also offer to tutor for standardized test prep and college application/essay preparation.
What sets us apart is that we are a locally owned business with roots in the community. My husband grew up in Keller and graduated from Keller High School. He now serves on district committees that help serve the Keller school district. I worked at Keller High School for three years, as an Algebra I, Multivariable Calculus, and Linear Algebra teacher, before I stepped down to stay at home with our nine month old son and run my business. We choose to raise our family in Keller because of how great of community it is. It’s a big city with a small town feel and that’s the same vision I have from KLP. When you send your child to tutor at KLP, you know you are getting an individualized, tailored experience. We don’t use algorithms, or a “one size fits all” mentality. We get to know the student. We figure out their strengths and weaknesses, their goals and aspirations. We help the student succeed.
I am most proud of what we stand for. We provide an academic atmosphere conducive to student success. Our mission is to support student achievement, create an encouraging learning environment, and translate difficult educational concepts in a way that is easy for all students to understand. As a company, we want to inspire students to be passionate about learning, instill the confidence in the students that they can succeed in school or anything they put their mind to, and to encourage the students, if anything, to always believe in themselves.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Like in most things, technology can change an industry. The same goes for tutoring. Kids are busy. They have school, work, extracurricular activities, friends, etc. It can be hard to find time to make it tutoring. We offer virtual tutoring for those students that need extra help but can’t make to in-person tutoring and I think we will see this as a trend over the next few years.
- Address: Main Street Depot, Suite 200
204 S. Main Street
Keller, Texas 76248
- Website: www.kellerlearningprogram.com
- Phone: (817) 368-5206
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica Bailey Photography