Sage Educators: Tam Foundation Business Partner of the Month
Every day, Tam students walk through the doors of the blue building on Miller Avenue that houses Sage Educators. Some come right after school. Others hang out with friends for a while, then drop by. Still others come in the evening, after sports practice and dinner at home. Whenever they come, they come to learn. To get their homework done, to polish an essay, to figure out Advanced Algebra. And to be part of a community that goes beyond just academic support.
Sage is a customized tutoring and test-prep center that offers students everything from a quiet place to do homework to one-on-one tutoring to college board exam prep courses to assistance with the college application process. It was founded in 2007 by William and Jaime Heaps, a Mill Valley couple who have been tutoring since they finished graduate school. Together with their staff of fourteen, they work with hundreds of students ranging from second to twelfth grades who come to their Mill Valley or Larkspur offices.
The Sage philosophy is simple: “We believe the best way to learn is one-on-one,” says William Heaps. “Everyone learns differently.” He remembers how, when he was in school, it was “the moments the teacher was speaking directly to me” that were the most instructive. This is what Sage tries to replicate. “The teacher-student relationship is pivotal to how a student approaches learning, so at Sage, we focus on fostering productive one-on-one mentorships.”
Sage tutors are also role models and friends. As Jaime Heaps explains, “Our top priority is getting to know our students, understanding what they need, and then developing supportive mentorships with them.” When hiring tutors, William and Jaime don’t just look for smart people who can think quickly and communicate well, but people who “are friendly, personable, and able to relate to our students.”
Their clients are delighted with the results. Judy H., the mother of a 2013 Tam graduate, credits Sage for “making sure [my son] understood his assignments, helped as needed with homework, led SAT test prep, edited his college application essays and more.” Heidi W., a 2013 Tam graduate currently attending UCLA, explains that, “at Sage, the tutors put in the extra effort to get to know all of their kids, and spent many extra hours helping me when I most needed the help. Sage is more than a tutoring company, it’s a family.”
It’s not surprising that a business that emphasizes community in its business model is also supportive of the wider Mill Valley academic community, including the Tam Foundation. “Tam kids are our kids,” says William Heaps. “We support the Tam High Foundation because we want our students to have the best possible educational opportunities, and because we view ourselves as partners with the wonderful Tam High teachers and staff who serve them every day.”
The Tam High Foundation is extremely grateful for the support it receives from Sage Educators, and is proud to feature them as September’s Business of the Month.