Rarely has the aphorism that “a rising tide lifts all boats” been more true than in the kid-centric educational space in Mill Valley and throughout Marin.

With deeply rooted local businesses like Sage Educators, Mathnasium, MV Code Club and C2 Education, there’s no shortage of places for parents to turn when their children need some academic guidance, not to mention the plethora of kid-focused arts organizations like PAAM and Poekie Nook.

Given the bevy of local educational options, C2 officials are thrilled at the growth of their learning center in Alto Plaza between Rocco’s Pizza and Thailand restaurant, according to Shawn Souza, a Sonoma native who went to Dominican University, lives in San Rafael and oversees C2’s efforts in Northern California.

“To know that we are a booming learning center that has the ability to continue helping students is very gratifying,” says Souza, noting that C2 Mill Valley has more than 100 students right now. “But most importantly, we want to make sure that we continue to provide the quality of service that our students and families have come to expect.”


​C2 Education was born as a private tutoring service out of a Harvard University dorm room in 1997, and has since grown to include more than 180 centers nationwide, serving more than 10,000 students. The business focuses primarily on personal tutoring and SAT, PSAT, ACT and AP Exam preparation.

“We’ve been able to develop a quality, diverse staff that covers the whole spectrum of our students’ needs,” Souza says. “And what makes us unique is that we have the ability to do long-term planning. For instance, for a high school sophomore who’d like to get into a UC (University of California system) school, we can work with them on an academic timeline and constructing their academic profile – grades, college essays, extracurricular activities and internships – to mimic those of students who go to those schools now. We take that holistic approach.”

Souza admits that C2 Mill Valley’s growth in the months after it opened in September 2014 centered on its proximity to Edna Maguire Elementary School and Mill Valley Middle School, but has steadily improved with students at Tamalpais High and Redwood High. The Mill Valley center’s students are now split into thirds: elementary, junior high and high school students, she says.

C2’s success to date in Mill Valley feeds the aforementioned aphorism. “I understand very clearly who we are and what we do, so if a family walks in the door with a specialty case, we won’t hesitate to send them to Mathnasium or another local provider,” Souza says. “We’ve built a rapport with the community for that reason. We’re here to service the needs of the children, even at the expense of growing our business.”

The 411: C2 Education is at 721 East Blithedale Avenue in the Alto PLaza shopping center. MORE INFO.

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