Educational counselor to focus on relocating firms |

Educational counselor to focus on relocating firms

Anne Knowles

A northern California educational counselor for students with a new Reno office is expanding into providing relocation services for businesses and real estate firms.

Buckley Education Group Inc., based in San Mateo and founded by education consultant Jean Marie Buckley, provides test preparation and tutoring for high school and college admissions exams as well as help choosing the right schools.

In October 2012 the company opened its Reno office and since then Alexandra Ellison, an education associate, has been reaching out to schools, students, parents and others in the community to determine the kind of services needed here.

“We try to address things in an organic fashion,” says Ellison, who grew up in Reno and recently returned after graduating from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and teaching English in Europe. She is currently studying for her college counseling certificate from the University of California, Los Angeles.

So far, the Reno office has worked with Hug and McQueen high school students, holding workshops on the college application process.

But as part of its networking efforts, Ellison also talked to members of the business community and Buckley soon realized there might be another market for their services: helping companies relocate or recruit employees. And the best way to target it, the company decided, was by marketing a new service to corporate human resources departments and real estate firms.

“We just started having conversations and getting feedback,” says Ellison. “What do you want to be prepared for to convince clients or employees they should move?”

The company started looking at how it could tweak its offerings to suit those clients. The result is MovED, online at, a new service offered by both Buckley offices.

So far, the service consists of a relocation binder of extensive information on all local schools, public, private and charter, including details on costs, rankings and unique programs as well as a worksheet to help parents document visits to schools and evaluate each one. Eventually, the information will be online with secure accounts for each client.

Ellison says Buckley is working on contracts with several businesses and Realtors in both locations, and she continues to market the idea to companies such as Microsoft Licensing in Reno.

The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, for one, welcomes the idea.

“EDAWN is always excited when companies and members of the community get actively involved in assisting EDAWN in our job attraction efforts,” says Mike Kazmierski, president and CEO. “As competitive as it is to attract these companies, anything that we can do as a community to make it easier for potential companies and their employees to transition to our region, gives us an advantage and we need all the help we can get.”

Nancy McCormick. EDAWN’s vice president, business retention, expansion and workforce, says Buckley’s new service is unique and especially helpful because education here often gets a bad rap.

“There are a lot of misconceptions about the state of education in northern Nevada,” says McCormick, who says she would likely refer Buckley to clients struggling to evaluate the school system since it is a one-of-a-kind service.

“This is another tool in EDAWN’s toolbox.”