After 20 years as a paralegal, longtime Cherokee County resident and single mom Misty Sheffield ventured out to start her own business, bringing tutoring services to the county.
Sheffield, along with her three children, has opened tutoring doors in Cherokee for all ages and grade levels.
Tutor Doctor, a tutoring company that spans more than 15 countries and has 200 offices around the world, has made its way to Cherokee County thanks to Sheffield.
“We provide one-on-one, in-home tutoring and we do every grade level,” Sheffield said. “We provide tutoring from kindergarten all the way through college students and we have adult students as well that are going back to school. We offer all subjects, so I have to maintain a large roster of tutors to be able to service that many subjects and grade levels.”
Sheffield said she had been in the legal world for years and wanted to branch out to pursue her dream.
“First of all, I really like helping people and wanted to get into something where I felt I was really making a difference in people’s lives and helping people meet their goals,” she said. “I ultimately wanted something where my family could work with me.”
Cherokee County is home, according to Sheffield.
“I really enjoy the community. My older sister teaches in Cherokee County. I graduated from Cherokee High School, so my heart is here,” she said. “I wanted Cherokee County because that’s where I know people. That’s where people I care about are. That’s where my kids are in school and I love it here.”
Sheffield now has 27 tutors, ranging from certified teachers to college students who are either education majors or subject matter experts.
“I have two specific types. I have certified teachers; most of them are not working full-time in the school system. I do have a couple of certified teachers who just prefer to tutor instead of teaching in the classroom full-time,” she said. “They really like the one-on-one setting and the progress they are able to make with kids, and it is very rewarding for them.”
One of the things Sheffield looked for in a business was family involvement.
“I wanted something that my family could get involved in and maybe ultimately take over or at least be a part of,” she said. “I have two boys in high school and a daughter in college and they have all helped me tremendously. We put up tents and events at different festivals. They are great helpers because they run games for the kids, providing prizes and activities for kids who come up to the booth. My younger son also likes to wear our ‘Big Apple’ mascot costume.”
Sheffield said her children are also great salespeople.
“They have always had plenty of tutors, which is one of the reasons I got into the business, so they can talk to the families about how it helps them improve their grades and prepare for tests and exams,” she said. “They provide first-hand testimonies right there. My daughter helps me with proctoring practice ACT tests and a lot of ACT prep. Part of our small group prep classes is that we do a full length proctored ACT test, which is three and a half hours in length.”
Venturing out into the business world was scary at first, according to Sheffield.
“At this point, I don’t have any regrets. It definitely was scary, but I went with the mantra of not taking a risk is the greatest risk of all,” she said. “I knew that if I didn’t try business ownership and going out on my own, I would always regret it. I would rather have tried and failed than not tried at all.”
For more information on Tutor Doctor in Cherokee County, visit woodstockgatutor.com or call 770-691-0817.