Helping students reach new heights
By Cindy Kent
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
February 23, 2009
Jereann Shafir Zann is director of Score at the Top Learning Center in Boca Raton. She launched her career working for a private hospital and nonprofit organizations. Marketing, fundraising and development responsibilities prepped her for work in the entrepreneurial world, she said.
Her job is to make the community aware of Score’s services: tutoring, test preparation, home schooling and learning camps. The learning center is accredited for grades pre-kindergarten through 12th and can grant a high-school diploma and give courses for credit through 12th grade. Also accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the school offers college students tutoring or teaching assistance for their online or distance-education courses. Academic counseling and college application help is also available. Score has four locations in Broward and Palm Beach counties. Zann manages scheduling about 30 teachers for the Boca Raton location, which services about 300 students.
It’s important to be in sync with parents and their concerns in a tough economy, said Zann. Employees have the same goals as students and parents, she said. Clear communication and understanding the customer is essential, she said.
It’s important to motivate staff in tough times too, said Zann. Recognize employees with holidays and birthday celebrations; provide the opportunity for staff to attend professional development seminars and workshops; have an open door policy. She meets with other Score directors from other locations every three weeks to share resources and leads, challenges and successes.
“My career is a success because of my education. I would not have been able to do so much without it, and I wanted to embrace its very foundation,” Zann said. When she joined, Zann said, staff was helpful in getting her up to speed. “You always learn on the job, absolutely. But my formal education gave me the realization that the sky’s the limit.”
Zann said feedback from clients and teachers helps evaluate success. That feedback can be communicated as simply as through body language. “When I first see students, of all ages, come in here, they’re frustrated,” she said.
By observing posture, she notices people make less eye contact, their shoulders hunched. But then a light goes on when they get it, she said. All of a sudden, students are standing taller, they smile, it’s in their eyes.
“I want to dedicate my career to education so other kids can follow their dreams, but they have to have the tools to do that,” said Zann.
Cindy Kent can be reached at ckent@SunSentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter @mindingyourbiz. 954-356-4662.