The newest of 13 Texas Sylvan Learning locations will be opening on Monday, Feb. 25.

Brothers Chris Pittner and Jano Pittner are the franchise owners in McKinney, located at 6840 Virginia Parkway, in the Albertson’s shopping center.

The brothers work as a successful tandem. Chris, with his background in the corporate world, handles more of the business side while Jano handles the curriculum and center business.

When it came to choosing a location in McKinney, the brothers had a lot to choose from.

“We considered 14 different locations,” Pittner said. “We felt this one was in the right location from the standpoint of being as close as possible to those in need of our services.”

“The hardest part was finding the right location and negotiating an agreement with the landlord that was beneficial to all parties.”

It will be convenient for the staff too.

“The director of the new McKinney campus lives in McKinney, probably less than a mile from the location,” he added.


Sylvan Learning Chief Growth Officer Barbara Timm-Brock is also happy for the new McKinney location.

“We are delighted to have a very strong group of Sylvan franchisees in Texas,” she said. “We will work with them as their growth plans take shape and we are always delighted to welcome new franchisees into our community. There is plenty of opportunity in Texas.”

Sylvan began in the late 1970s, and by the mid-1980s, it had grown to over 500 locations across the United States. The main headquarters is located in Baltimore.

Sylvan offers programs in math, reading and writing. It offers study skills and homework help, and it preps students for the various state tests, the SAT/ACT and college.

One of the main reasons Sylvan is successful, according to Pittner, is their excellent employees.

“We look for people with strong backgrounds in education and customer service,” he said. “They have to love kids, love education and have great customer service skills.

“A big reason why we are successful, and not meaning to sound like a cliché, but we really believe that it’s not a job, but a calling. You can see the changes happen. We really believe we are changing lives. When you have that, it makes it so easy to go to work every day.”


Sylvan has integrated technology into its learning platform, through SylvanSync™ and soon-to-come mobile sites.

Timm-Brock best describes the new program.

“SylvanSync™ is a new instructional system created by Sylvan to address the needs of today’s students while engaging them in a new way,” she said. “With SylvanSync™, Sylvan’s certified instructors develop a personalized learning plan for each student and teach each Sylvan lesson on an iPad, creating a more robust educational experience for students. The Sylvan experience extends into the home and onto mobile devices with the addition of mySylvan, a personalized web portal for students and families.

“The SylvanSync™  system enables our franchisees to work with more students in many new locations throughout their communities. These locations, called Sylvan Satellites, allow franchisees to expand their own footprint while also providing more convenient locations to families. “

The Sylvan Satellites concept is the new mobile initiative.

“Not only does Sylvan work with people who come in to our locations, but we go to the schools to help them, especially to help them become stronger from an academic standpoint,” Pittner said. “If a school in Prosper needs help, we can take Sylvan to them.

“We want to find out from the schools what they need and deliver it to them.”

Timm-Brock adds: “Sylvan has a long history of working in concert with schools to meet the needs of students. Our new Sylvan Satellites will enable our franchisees to work together with their local schools to bring Sylvan services and solutions into schools in their communities in a new and compelling way.”

For parents and students in McKinney and neighboring areas, Sylvan is coming and looks to help.

“We’re real happy to be in the McKinney community,” Pittner said. “It is growing so fast.”

For more about Sylvan Learning, visit them online at