“Home is where one starts from” – T.S Eliot
Since late November 2014 Stepping Stones Education has been through great lengths to finally build a place we can call the home of our tutors and students. We’d like to share with you our story and provide you an insight into the decisions that led to Stepping Stones Education being where it is now. I, Martin S Phabmixay, the CEO and Founder of Stepping Stones Education would also like to personally invite you to experience our journey and share in our memories in hopes that you will find motivation in our passion to move forward.
Before we dive into the centre of our journey, I’d would like to share with you how Stepping Stones Education began. In late January 2014 at a Krispy Kreme, Chris,Thomas, and I got together to found a small tutoring operation which would provide high school students with the opportunity to receive quality mentoring and guidance throughout their schooling to excel academically in the HSC and beyond. Our intended purpose with Stepping Stones Education was to specialise in Science, Mathematics and English tutoring for the community of local students in our area.
In the months following, we were already tutoring a wide range of students returning with significantly improved results and our feedback was quite positive across all subjects. Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to Chris, as he had made the decision to focus more greatly on his Bachelor of Medicine in the University of New South Wales, which was understandably difficult. It was in these months that Stepping Stones Education had been officially named and a business structure formally documented.
Thomas and I were left with the responsibility of taking Stepping Stones Education to another level, to create course content and a system which would ensure the long term success of our students in their studies. It was at this point we had named our head tutors with me taking task of the Year 11 & Year 12 tutoring operation and Thomas with the Year 7 -10 tutoring. With our vision set out, we strove to build a tutoring centre that would ensure a student’s long term success throughout their academic and personal endeavours. Like any business we had our challenges but it was through our passion to move forward that we were able to overcome them.
For the next few months we as Stepping Stones Education had been growing at a steady pace. We had found that discipline and determination were great assets in allowing us to consistently improve our course resources and further document and expand on our tutoring methodology. With students returning back each class with marks that surprised even themselves, we grew a reputation for being able assist students of all levels attain high marks. We relied on our referrals for the majority of our client base, so quality tutoring and customer service were and are still our main priorities for improving our word of mouth.
October 2014, was a nerve racking month for us at Stepping Stones Education. Our first graduates were off to begin their HSC examinations and hopefully return with a mark that was indicative of the effort we as tutors and the students have put in. It was also at this time we begun talks about improving our facilities and building a better home for our future students to study in. I knew that at some point it needed to happen and that the time and resource commitments would be huge, but it was here it felt like the right time to begin work.
November 2014, we had begun our planning for a new and refined centre. It started with us making our own drawings on the measurements we had of the premises before we decided to contact freelancers to review our floor plans and validated that what we were about to do was possible. 3-4 weeks passed and planning was complete, everything was mapped out and ready to start. We knew we had taken a huge commitment under our wing, there was no turning back. The stakes were high and the risk of failure due to having to put the business on hold for the duration of the renovation added a tremendous amount of pressure on us. It was through clear and calm level headedness that we as a team were able to face the many challenges of juggling the project and having to make important decisions.
With everything planned out and ready to go Stepping Stones Education had commissioned the building renovations to begin. We have taken pictures and documented the process, and decided to share the important parts with you, we hope you enjoy
The office has been cleared and building materials moved to their correct locations (over 2 tonnes of Gyprock and insulation had to be transported upstairs, it was a good workout)
Each wall had to be fitted with soundproof insulation.
Things are beginning to take shape and the builders have begun knocking down existing walls and putting in place the main structure of our classrooms. Many thanks to Raymond at Green Global for providing us an amazing cleaning service for our floors.
Skipping until mid-February, everything was finally built! Our walls had finished and everything was painted. Here are some of the pictures of what we are proud to call the home of Stepping Stones Education. With three classrooms, a reception area and a nice office for Thomas and I to work away, the centre was cleaned, furnished and fully operational.
Thank you for sharing in our journey and although it was about us and how far we’ve come I hope that you’ve found some enjoyment in sharing in the joy that we had. We would like to thank our friends and family, our students who ended up smashing the HSC with 90+ ATARs and all our supporters who have kept a close eye on us since the beginning.
For all those just finding out about us we would really appreciate for you to tell your friends and family about us and if you know someone who needs tutoring send them our way. Thank you for reading my story.
Martin S. Phabmixay CEO & Head Tutor – Stepping Stones Education
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