In 2005, the concept of Ivybrook Academy was developed by first grade teacher Jennifer McWilliams.  After recognizing the absence of multidimensional learning opportunities for her students, she knew they deserved better.  With her passion to shape and teach young minds as her driving force, she set out to create the optimal learning environment for students.

Visualizing a school that recognizes the strengths and needs of each individual child, she worked to develop Ivybrook Academy.  The Weddington campus opened its doors in August 2007 with nearly full enrollment on the first day of school.  To this day, we remain humbled by the support of our community as our flagship campus continues to be voted the #1 Pre-School in the Charlotte area year after year.  Seeing how Ivybrook students were flourishing, Jennifer’s husband Drew recognized that all children deserved this caliber of education.  He left his successful real estate career to commit his focus on bringing this model to other communities. Under the leadership of Jennifer and Drew, our second campus in Fort Mill, SC opened in 2011. It brought them immense joy to witness this campus mirror the success of its predecessor and become an integral part of the community.

Yearning to replicate the Ivybrook experience, families who relocated outside of the Charlotte area were quickly disheartened when they were unsuccessful in finding a school like ours.  This reaffirmed Jennifer & Drew’s desire for all children to have access to the quality education that Ivybrook Academy provides. This was achieved when they meticulously developed a company growth plan allowing more students around the country to have the same opportunity.

“With gratitude to the children and families that inspire us every day, we hope Ivybrook Academy is a special to you as it is to us.”

Founders Jennifer & Drew McWilliams

Drew McWilliams
Drew McWilliamsPresident
Each day I am motivated to make Ivybrook Academy an incredible place for our students, our educators, and for our school owners. My passion and drive is rooted in the knowledge that Ivybrook Academy is providing an environment where everyone involved is excited about the amazing opportunities that await them each and every day. It is a very rewarding feeling walking along side each school owner in a partnership, as well as empowering them with the skills necessary to continue to create this same opportunity for children across our country.
Jennifer McWilliams
Jennifer McWilliamsFounder/COO
Holding true to my belief in the importance of a multidimensional approach to early childhood education, I have made Ivybrook Academy my life’s work. As a mother of two Ivybrook graduates, I have had the privilege of witnessing the Ivybrook experience through the eyes of my children. It has deepened my conviction and belief in the quality education and supportive community that Ivybrook provides.

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