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The Deal: Nina and Jay Parrish. Parrish Learning Zone, LLC

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Date published: 4/17/2012

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By Craig Schulin

FAMILY: Jay and Nina live in Spotsylvania County with their almost 2-year-old daughter, Alyssa.

EDUCATION: Nina: bachelor of science in psychology from Mary Washington College; teaching certification in K-12 special education--SLD, ED, MR from North Carolina A&T; master's of education in school counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University

Jay: bachelor of science in business administration from Mary Washington College

Jay took part in the Career Switcher Program with Spotsylvania County Schools and is a business and marketing teacher at Spotsylvania High School.

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP? As a child, Jay wanted to be an NBA basketball player. He was always very athletic and played basketball at Fairfax High School and Mary Washington. Nina knew that she wanted to work with children. As a child, she was always forcing her little sister, Amy, and whoever else would participate, to play school using her mom's old college textbooks.

FIRST JOB: Jay's first job was mowing lawns. At 14, he started his own business, mowing lawns in his neighborhood. Nina's first job was as a server at a nursing home, when she was 16.

WORST JOB: We have both had a variety of jobs and have learned something from each experience. One of Jay's most physically challenging jobs was working for a moving company during his sophomore year of college. He had to work 12 to 14 hours a day during the summer doing manual labor. This gave him motivation to work hard in college. Nina worked as a server at many different restaurants throughout high school and college. This taught her the importance of good customer service.

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