February 29, 2024

The Goddard School’s Franchisee Awards Recognize Outstanding Performance and Service

Awards presented at the 2024 Goddard School Franchisee Convention in Orlando, FL

The 2024 Goddard School Franchisee Convention concluded yesterday with the presentation of awards honoring franchisees who have made momentous contributions to the Goddard system and their communities across the country. The awards were selected and presented by Goddard Systems, the manager of The Goddard School franchise system, the nation’s leading provider of premium early childhood education.

“The 2024 Goddard School Franchisee Convention served as an opportunity to celebrate our franchisees’ success—and there was a lot to celebrate— and collaborate on building an inspiring future together,” said Dennis R. Maple, chairman and CEO of Goddard Systems. “One of the event’s highlights was honoring our award winners, a collection of exceptional franchisees who have consistently gone above and beyond to serve their families, faculties and communities, as well as the entire Goddard School system. On behalf of our Goddard Systems team, I congratulate our award winners and thank them for their steadfast commitment to making the world a better place through early childhood education.” 

The franchisee awards and respective winners:

  • The Goddard Chairman’s AwardMelanie and Bill Hyatt, The Goddard Schools of Greenville and Simpsonville, SC: Honoring a franchisee for their groundbreaking contributions to the Goddard system while demonstrating unwavering brand stewardship, The Goddard Chairman's Award is the company’s highest honor and pays homage to Goddard’s past and present leaders, Joe and Phil Schumacher and Dennis Maple. The Hyatts are deeply engaged franchisees, serving on the Goddard Systems Advisory Council and multiple Franchisee Input Groups, and have been recognized as a member of the Goddard School Circle of Excellence, which honors the top-performing Goddard Schools nationwide. They have set a standard within their schools for operational and educational excellence and have built long-standing relationships with their faculty and families.
  • The Goddard Lifetime Achievement Award Presented posthumously to Fran Lubbs, The Goddard Schools of Royersford and Wayne, PA: The Goddard Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a franchisee or Goddard Systems leader who, during their lifetime, has made momentous contributions of outstanding significance to the Goddard School brand and reputation. This year’s award was presented posthumously to Fran Lubbs, who served as a Goddard Systems employee before transitioning to the role of franchisee in 2001. Lubbs always said “the world is changed one child at a time” and she used her years in the early childhood education field to change the world for the better, not only in her own schools but through her mentorship of others.
  • The Schumacher Resiliency Award Rick Beechy, The Goddard School of Uniontown, OH: Named for Phil and Joe Schumacher, former Goddard Systems leaders, the Schumacher Resiliency Award serves as a beacon for franchisees who have used their capabilities to foresee, plan for, act on and adjust as needed to change or challenges to endure and thrive. Beechy opened his school in 2008 during the Global Financial Crisis with just 14 students and 7 teachers, but through perseverance and dedication has built his school into a premier destination for both families and educators.
  • The Goddard Humanitarian Award – The Chicago Market, which includes 29 Goddard Schools: The Goddard Humanitarian Award honors franchisees who are devoted to the welfare of humanity by making the world a better place through early childhood education. The Chicagoland Goddard Schools coordinate two market-wide charitable events each year: a book drive supporting Bernie’s Book Bank—they have collected nearly 300,000 books over the last decade—and an essential goods drive supporting Cradles to Crayons. Additionally, individual schools support a number of organizations within their communities.
  • The Goddard Outstanding Family Experience Award – JoEllen Johnson and Kimberly Camarillo, The Goddard School of Goodyear, AZ: The Goddard Outstanding Family Experience Award recognizes a franchisee who has developed a culture within their school that ensures the schools’ management teams and faculty members provide the highest level of service to current and prospective families. Johnson and Camarillo go above and beyond for their families by connecting inside and outside of the classroom, including hosting community events and fostering a strong home-to-school connection through fun and engaging activities.
  • The Goddard Emerging Leader Award – Erin Anderson, The Goddard School of New Braunfels, TX: The Goddard Emerging Leader Award celebrates a rising star within the Goddard franchise community who became a part of the Goddard system in 2022 or 2023. Before opening in May 2022, Anderson hosted many pre-enrollment events to establish her school within her community, and since opening she has built a strong culture with both her faculty and families. Moreover, she frequently speaks with new franchisees to share best practices for opening a school and fostering employee engagement.
  • The Goddard Transformational Development Award – Stacey Warner and Jordan Zielinski, The Goddard School of Enola, PA: A new award in 2024, the Goddard Transformational Development Award recognizes a franchisee who reinvested in their school through an annex, satellite, or relocation. Warner and Zielinski, a mother-daughter duo with a track record of success, took risks, overcame challenges and forged ahead with the relocation of their existing school. The result is a state-of-the-art facility that opened in November 2022, serves more than 200 students and was honored as a Circle of Excellence member in 2023.
  • The Goddard Cornerstone Award – Melanie and Bill Hyatt, The Goddard Schools of Greenville and Simpsonville, SC: Another new award, the Goddard Cornerstone Award recognizes a franchisee who has opened a new school and made innovative enhancements. The Hyatts have made a significant impact on the brand and their communities through their willingness to invest in building a new school to serve even more families. They opened The Goddard School of Greenville in January 2023, nearly two decades after opening The Goddard School of Simpsonville.
  • The Goddard Brand Ambassador Award: The Goddard Brand Ambassador Award celebrates franchisees who collaborate with their peers to strengthen the Goddard brand and reputation in their local markets. There are four regional winners:
    • Midwest – Kim DiMuzio, The Goddard School of Chagrin Falls, OH:  DiMuzio is a true collaborator, always willing to offer advice to other franchisees and frequently touring other Goddard Schools to see where they are excelling. Her school is a top-performer and Circle of Excellence member in 2023.
    • Northeast – Kristin McNulty, The Goddard School of Dedham, MA: Prior to opening her school in 2020, McNulty was a Goddard parent. Channeling that experience, she strives to serve as a brand ambassador by providing her families with quality curriculum, well developed faculty and an administrative team dedicated to the best family experience.
    • Southeast – Jenna Ellis, The Goddard School of Alpharetta (Windward), GA: With an unwavering commitment to nurturing young minds and fostering a supportive learning environment, Ellis embodies the values of excellence, care and innovation. Her focus on collaborative decision-making ensures that families are actively involved in shaping the educational experience for their children.
    • West – Shalini Dhiman, The Goddard School of Carlsbad, CA: Dhiman is passionate about the Goddard brand and is committed to providing the highest quality care and education for the children in her school. She is an active member of the Goddard franchise community, always offering to help other franchisees and serving on the Goddard School Advisory Council and multiple Franchisee Input Groups. Her school was a Circle of Excellence member in 2023.

    For more information about The Goddard School, please visit GoddardSchool.com, and to learn about franchise opportunities, go to GoddardSchoolFranchise.com.

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