PE-backed School of Rock hires CEO

Music education franchise School of Rock, which is backed by Sterling Partners, has hired Dzana Homan as CEO. Previously, Homan worked at Goddard Systems where she served as chief operating officer.


CHICAGO, July 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — School of Rock, the national leader in performance-based music education, and its growth equity partner, Sterling Partners, announced today the appointment of Dzana Homan as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. Homan will lead School of Rock into its next phase of growth by leveraging her extensive career leading large franchise organizations, her experience as a franchisee, and her musical background. She will focus on expanding the company’s global footprint, introducing new programs and services and forming industry partnerships to provide current and future students of all ages with additional instructional and performance-oriented music education opportunities.

“Seven years ago, I attended a School of Rock concert in Los Angeles. I was mesmerized by the quality of the performances, the passion of the students and their instructors, and the reaction from the audience. These School of Rock students had only been playing their instruments for a few months, and their performances were astonishing,” said Homan. “As a classically trained pianist, I have a deep appreciation of the arts and personally understand how playing an instrument builds confidence, encourages teamwork and problem solving, and inspires people on stage and in life.”

Sterling Partners welcomed School of Rock into its portfolio, largely because of its mission to provide quality education offerings that yield demonstrated learning outcomes and inspire students to become better citizens and positively impact their communities. Since partnering with Sterling, the education-based franchise company has continued to increase its number of schools both in the United States and abroad, and has added even more programs and services for toddlers, children, teenagers and adults in order to meet the growing demand for quality music education. School of Rock largely attributes its growth to its successful franchise system. The company’s passionate and talented franchisees are dedicated to providing students with the best music education experience possible by enhancing programs, expanding service offerings and attracting talented music professionals.

“Having previously served in roles as both a franchisor and franchisee, I understand the deep connection between the two and realize that one cannot succeed without the other. That’s why I’m visiting all of our locations, camps and concert venues, so I can foster the relationship between our corporate team and the individual schools to ensure we are continuing to provide an immersive experience that inspires our students to be their best,” said Homan. “When Sterling Partners reached out to me about this new role, I jumped at the opportunity to be part of a company with such a meaningful purpose. As School of Rock moves into its next phase of growth, I look forward to working closely with the entire School of Rock family from the executive leadership team, franchisees and general managers to music directors and instructors.”

Homan has more than 15 years of hands-on experience leading and managing high-growth and outcome-driven institutions in the education, technology and franchise industries. Prior to School of Rock, she served as Chief Operating Officer of Goddard Systems, Inc., the leading early-childhood education franchise in the nation, where she led strategic operations and marketing initiatives across all departments for the company’s 400 franchised schools, including implementing a new Franchise Management Software (technology-based curriculum) and spearheading a data-driven brand refresh. As the CEO of Huntington Learning Center, Homan developed strategic, tactical and marketing plans, and facilitated major changes to take the for-profit, 340-franchise-based educational services operation to a higher level, which resulted in dramatically increased sales.

Dzana also served as the CEO of FutureKids, Inc., where she played an integral role in the growth of the company in the United States and East Asia while bolstering FutureKids’ relevance in existing markets. During her time as CEO, she led strategic partnerships with leading technology companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Hewlett Packard that resulted in the Classrooms for the Future (CFF) initiative. Prior to leading FutureKids, Homan served as a teacher and a center director at the company, and then became a franchise owner for five years. Homan holds an M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Physics and a B.S. in Piano.

“Dzana brings a wealth of knowledge, industry experience and contagious enthusiasm that will help School of Rock expand its global footprint and product offerings, while still delivering unmatched music education to children, teenagers and adults,” said Kim Vender Moffat, principal at Sterling Partners. “Dzana’s goals for the future of School of Rock align perfectly with the solid foundation and mission that the individual schools and the executive team have worked so hard to build. Her deep understanding of franchised businesses and extensive marketing experience, combined with her musical background and demonstrated ability to form beneficial strategic partnerships will help the company achieve its system-wide vision.”

Founded as a single school in Philadelphia in 1998, School of Rock has become a growing international franchise with schools in eight countries that impact more than 17,000 students and their families. Through its performance-based approach to music lessons, School of Rock students are taught by professional musicians using an interactive approach that culminates in live performances before crowds in real rock venues. This teaching method results in students who are more inspired to learn, more motivated to excel and more confident in life.

Sterling Partners focuses on partnering with like-minded founders and entrepreneurs and investing growth capital in small- and mid-market companies in industries with positive, long-term trends.

About School of Rock
The music school your mom and dad wished they had when they were kids, School of Rock is a unique concept that gets kids and adults rocking out to the classics and up and performing with their peers. With more than 130 locations in seven countries, the franchise proves that rock and roll is here to stay. For more information about the franchise opportunity, please visit

About Sterling Partners
Sterling Partners is a private equity firm with a distinct point of view on how to build great companies. Founded in 1983, Sterling has invested billions of dollars, guided by the company’s stated purpose: INSPIRED GROWTH®, which describes Sterling’s approach to buying differentiated businesses and growing them in inspired ways. Sterling focuses on investing growth capital in small- and mid-market companies in industries with positive, long-term trends – education, healthcare and business services. Sterling provides valuable support to the management teams of the companies in which the firm invests through a deep and dedicated team of operations and functional experts based in the firm’s offices in Chicago, Baltimore and Miami. The people at Sterling believe in ideas and ideals, in people and in partnerships that drive long-term success. For more information, please visit