Building FoundationsJan 01, 2016 ● By Frisco STYLE
DeDee and Kevin Gebhardt, proud, actively involved residents of Frisco and owners of Primrose School of Griffin Parc (at Eldorado Parkway), Primrose School of Prestmont (at Ohio Drive) and the soon-to-be-open Primrose School of Frisco (at Main and Teel), fully understand the gamut of feelings parents may face. “As working parents with six children, we know firsthand the difficult journey and rollercoaster of emotions parents go through to find the perfect balance of quality care and education for their children. That is why we feel like we are in the best position to provide the safe, nurturing and joy-filled environment we know parents are looking for to all of the children in our schools,” says Mrs. Gebhardt.
Originally from Calif., the family relocated to Frisco more than 16 years ago while working with JCPenney. During their search for childcare in their new community, they first learned about Primrose and enrolled their twin daughters as 3-year-olds. The Gebhardts were instantly impressed with the quality of care and the academics the school provided to their girls, but they never thought about owning a school of their own. When Mr. Gebhardt reached his 36th year of service at JCPenney, he took advantage of early retirement, and soon after, the couple was approached by the girls’ school director with the idea to start their own Primrose School. “We weren’t actively looking for a career change, but we always talked about starting a business together, so when the opportunity presented itself, we felt like it was a higher calling,” says Mr. Gebhardt. “After doing our research, DeDee actually resigned from her position of 26 years, and we dove right into the process of becoming Primrose franchise owners. Even now, we pinch ourselves and feel so grateful that we have the opportunity to make an immediate, positive impact on the lives of the families and children in our community.”
Primrose Schools is an accredited early childhood education preschool that offers a premier educational child care experience for families. The Primrose experience starts with fostering a strong connection and partnership with parents to help build the right foundation for future learning and success in school and in life. “When parents visit one of our schools, they not only experience a warm and caring environment where children are happy, safe and having fun while learning, they will experience our management team, who embodies the meaning of servant leadership.” says Mrs. Gebhardt.
Primrose differentiates itself in the competitive preschool space by choosing to focus on a few, but very important, areas. People and culture: one reason parents choose Primrose is because they know they are leaving their children with qualified, caring people. The leadership team members and teachers exceed expectations by creating and maintaining trusted relationships with every family they serve. Balanced learning system: this system provides high-quality educational experiences that support children’s development as well-rounded individuals. It addresses children’s social-emotional, cognitive, creative and physical development. This curriculum is reviewed and updated annually to ensure continued alignment with early learning standards. Standards of excellence: Primrose Schools holds schools to high standards of excellence with the implementation of quality assurance and continuous improvement through an internal Service Excellence Assurance program and an external AdvancED Corp-oration Systems Accredit-ation, which ensures each school’s adherence to AdvancED Standards for Quality Early Learning Schools. Partnership with parents: teachers and staff establish strong connections with families by providing ongoing communication through orientations, events and resources for parents to extend and reinforce children’s learning at home.
So, long story short, they have done their homework, too. The Gebhardt’s Primrose Schools are also National Training Schools, where they personally train new franchise owners and directors from all over the country. The level of expertise and servant leadership is unmatched. The Gebhardts are dedicated to making sure every child (ages 6 weeks to 6 years old) who attends their Primrose Schools is offered not only a premier educational childcare experience, but a unique environment to develop traits such as compassion, generosity and kindness. “It is our goal to build the foundation children need to develop a lifelong love of learning,” says Mr. Gebhardt. “Nurturing good character is an important part of that mission. Character lessons are woven through our curriculum and daily classroom experiences to help children learn about character and apply specific character traits to authentic situations.”
As successful franchise owners of two other Primrose Schools in Frisco, the Gebhardt’s third Primrose School is set to open in early 2016. The couple is dedicated to bringing the same level of service and trust that their current Primrose parents expect to the new location, Primrose Frisco, located at Main Street and Teel Parkway. The Gebhardts are active members of the Frisco community, and their Primrose Schools’ philanthropic efforts go to support Frisco Family Services through book drives, food drives and other regular fundraisers. “As franchise owners, we can build schools anywhere across the Dallas metroplex, but staying in Frisco is important to us. This third school is being constructed in response to the tremendous growth Frisco has experienced and referrals we have from our current families. We want to say ‘yes’ to more people,” says Mr. Gebhardt. Mrs. Gebhardt adds, “Each of our children graduated from the original Frisco High School. Frisco is where our heart is, and it is where we, as small business owners, choose to build our business in support of our community.”
Primrose School of Frisco will feature the newest in environmentally conscious equipment, including LED lighting and high-efficiency heating and air. “We are really excited to bring some of the newest innovations to Frisco,” says Mr. Gebhardt. The children will enjoy a natural grass playground featuring a splash park and large shade-covered play areas, as well as a unique outdoor (amphitheater-like) reading and storytelling classroom area. It is created to feel more like a park than a play yard. Talk about hitting it out of the park!
The unique support and educational curriculum provided by a national franchise, paired with local, small business owners who lead with a servant’s heart, is a winning combination. As owners, the Gebhardts invite you to come for a tour and see for yourself what sets their Primrose Schools apart. They say, “We feel so blessed by the opportunity, and at the same time, we are humbled by the responsibility we have accepted to ensure our families have the same great experience that we have enjoyed. For us, it is not just a business, it is a mission … and one that has truly changed our lives forever.”