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Northern Educate Sports Academy Acquired in Deal That Gives School New Lease on Life
Local Stillwater businessmen Greg Gartner and Tom Forsythe teamed up to rescue the school from imminent closure. While the school’s education and athletic programs were thriving, rapid expansion and accompanying debt led to a situation where the school’s future was in jeopardy.
With a son attending the school, Gartner became aware of the situation. Seeking the advice of their counsel, Greg and Tom explored a way to form a new company that would carry forward the vision of the original program, keep the students and employees together, and avoid a permanent shutdown.
Their newly formed Ability Academic and Athletic LLC, acquired certain assets of the school’s former owner and operator No Limits Academic and Athletic Development, Inc., and several of it's subsidiary LLC's, without assuming prior liabilities.
According to Greg Gartner, “We felt that this was an amazing concept that lost its core focus along the way. It was obvious the school couldn’t survive with the current debt load, so we were able to negotiate a way to structure the purchase to create the stability needed to grow the program into the future.”
Tom Forsythe added, “It was incredibly rewarding to be able to transition ownership in a way that did not disrupt the staff, the students, or the activities of the current school year.”
The company currently operates locations at the Vadnais Sports Center in Vadnais Heights, Minnesota; Eden Prairie Community Center in Eden Prairie, Minnesota; and Bill Grays Regional Iceplex in Rochester, New York, where they lease space for both classroom and athletic training.
And while former No Limits owners had previously explored purchasing the Vadnais Sports Center, current owners with the Ability team are not pursuing such a purchase. According to Gartner, “We’re here on site everyday, and if future owners of the center would like to explore having us manage the property, we would be very open to such a proposal. But our main goal is running an exceptional school, and we want to focus on that.”
Northern Educate Sports Academy is the undisputed leader in preparing young people for excellence in sports and academics. Their programs serve students age 5 to 18, in grades K-12 who have a passion for hockey, lacrosse or soccer. They operate two tandem programs, which work together to provide an interactive academic environment, distinctive from traditional schools.
Northern Educate is a premier sports training program that also provides daily, one-on-one and small group tutoring to all students in its athletic facilities. Students enroll separately in one of several online fully accredited public charter schools, and receive an unmatched level of individual attention from live instructors that hold teaching licenses, Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees.
Achiever Academy is an elite prep school, featuring a blended curriculum that strives for high academic and athletic standards. Students at Achiever Academy are eligible to compete in select Minnesota State High School League sports.
With business ownership in the printing and graphic arts industry, Tom Forsythe also served as founder of a K-8 charter school in the Florida Keys. He has served on multiple boards, and anchored a community focused summer hockey program for residents in Brainerd, Minnesota.
Prominent in the area hockey community as a youth coach in the Stillwater Area Hockey Association, Greg Garter is partner in the Lumberyard Hockey and Sports Center in Stillwater, Minnesota. His companies are a title sponsor of the Stillwater Rink, and have partnered with the City of Woodbury to operate a 250-seat restaurant in the Bielenberg Sports Center, scheduled to open in 2014. He is also CEO of Gartner Studios, a Stillwater-based global leader in the stationery, greeting card, licensed digital design, party goods, and specialty food industries, with divisions including boutique retailer MARA-MI, and upscale office products retailer russell+hazel.
For more information on Northern Educate Sports Academy, visit: www.northerneducate.com