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Making the Grade

Think you have to be on personal terms with the likes of Elmo and Barney to run a preschool? Well, think again.

This story appears in the May 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Angela F. Norman is not a teacher. She doesn't have a degree in education or early childhood development, yet she's running a preschool. Formerly a district sales manager for a pharmaceutical company, Norman, 33, is now the owner and business operations manager of The Goddard School of Centerville, a child-care and education center in Centerville, Ohio.

"As the owner of the school, I manage all the business operations, and the educational director manages all the educational parts," Norman says. "They're two separate entities, so I don't have to have an early childhood education background to be in the field." While her staff of 20 educators works with infants, toddlers and small children, from 6 months to 6 years old, Norman is in charge of the payroll, accounting, billing and enrollment-one of the most important tasks at the school, which serves about 120 children each day. "It's my role to make sure the school stays 100 percent full," she says.

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