Employee Testimonials

Find out why employees choose us… and stay with us.

Angela Paterniti  ShanerEducational Support Specialist

I applied a Sarah Reed right after I received my teaching certificate.  I thought that this would be a great place to start my teaching career, after two and half years of employment I realized it was more than just a starting point.  I really enjoy working here the staff, kids, and work environment it great.  It is very rewarding when you know that the children that you are working with are completing their therapeutic and academic goals.  I love that Sarah Reed is such a positive and safe environment for the kids and the staff.  It is so satisfying to watch the children grow and learn each day. 

Matt Haight Manager of Employee Development and Training

 I admire the love and dedication I see in my co-workers everyday; it motivates me to work to meet the standards that were set by previous staff and those that maintain and raise those standards each day. Sarah Reed has become an extension of my family over the years, as I've shared both my own and fellow staff's personal and professional achievements, celebrations, and losses. It seems every crisis I remember is now linked to a wonderful or hysterical experience. While I've had multiple opportunities and interests elsewhere, I just can't see myself being anywhere else doing anything different.

Dennis Williams Site Supervisor of Bayfront Alternative Education Program

My initial reason for coming to Sarah Reed was to help people reach destinations...literally.  I thought I was interviewing to be a van driver for the house on Zimmerly Road.  At that time, Zimmerly was home for approximately 8 teens with physical and mental limitations.  During my interview, I discovered that Sarah Reed was much more than one home on Zimmerly Road (and also, there was no such 'van driver' position).  Once I was told what the agency did for the community, I was very excited about becoming a part of it.  I wanted to help provide opportunities and experiences that enrich the lives of others and show them what they are capable of accomplishing. 

My career began at Gifford Cottage as a call-off staff.  I had the distinct pleasure of working and learning from true and tested veterans.  They taught me several skills that were related to the job and life in general.  I learned to be organized, listen to others, be confident in my decisions, and stay flexible- be ready for changes and make adjustments accordingly.  A year later, I was given the opportunity to be one of the first school-based TSS/Wraparound staff.  I worked alongside a teacher and a Behavior Specialist within General McLane High School's Emotional Support classroom.  Besides working with the students, I frequently participated in IEP and Wrap meetings.  I gained experience in regards to working with families, school personnel, and gained insight into the roles and functions of district personnel.  During my transition, my Gifford co-workers were very supportive, checked up on me, and gave great advice.  My next position was Program Coordinator for the Alternative Education Program at EIC.  I was given the opportunity to supervise teachers and counselors, develop skills to foster and maintain relationships with school district personnel, and work directly with the students.  Also, I had the opportunity to develop organizational skills, and interpersonal skills.  My Sarah Reed experience came full-circle when I was given the opportunity to return to Gifford Cottage as the Case Manager.  This position was challenging, dynamic, and an overall life enriching experience.  My roles included creating treatment plans, participating in court hearings and Team meetings, transporting clients to various parts of the state, daily communications with various agencies and families, and many other duties.  I participated on a number of different committees dedicated to improving our quality of service.  Overall, the position demanded constant, efficient communications with various entities to ensure the appropriateness and delivery of services to each consumer and family.  After approximately nine years in this role, I was given the opportunity to supervise the Millcreek Partial Hospitalization Program.  After a few years, I began to supervise the Bayfront Alternative Education Program. This is my current role within the agency, and it has been a refreshing, revitalizing experience thus far.         

I have many reasons for staying at Sarah Reed.  Our mission is necessary and highly realistic.  It feels good to work alongside so many people that have the same goals and genuine desire to help others.  Sarah Reed as an agency is very dynamic.  I feel proud to be part of an agency that can continue to make changes that meet the demands of the field and more importantly the needs of the public.  I like the people- clients, families, colleagues, and other community entities- over my career, I've had many great experiences and some losses, but overall I've learned from each instance.   

My initial goal of 'helping others reach destinations' is met daily.  I am part of a TEAM that provides guidance and support to children and families in need assistance as they navigate through life's challenges and obstacles.

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