When Julie came to Genesee Lake School — a MyPath Company located in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin — she realized it was a much different environment than public school. As a special education teacher, she was comfortable working with children with high needs. But unlike most public schools, nearly all Genesee Lake School’s students have past trauma and negative school experiences. While there are more students with a lot more needs to manage on a day-to-day basis, the rewards that come with focusing on high-need students in a highly supportive environment outweigh the challenge.
“After my first couple years here, I was considering leaving because the work can be intense,” says Julie. “I was weighing the pros and cons, but it came down to the fact that I was really happy here.” Today, Julie has been with the company for over two decades working with special needs students that range from 12 to 18.
"... because this is the kind of place you want to stay.”
Genesee Lake School uses a team approach, so it encapsulates the whole child. “These kids really count on us to be their go-to people because this is their home,” says Julie. “Our approach leads to deep connections and relationships with each student.”
Julie says she is empowered to take her own creative approaches with her students. “We have a lot of leeway in our lessons, unlike public schools,” says Julie. “While we have a set curriculum, we work with our curriculum coordinator and have a lot of creative freedom to express ourselves.”
Today, students Julie taught years ago contact her and visit her. She loves to see how well former students are doing as adults. One student comes to mind. “It was a girl who came to us highly aggressive,” says Julie. “Now she’s grown to become more self-sufficient, living in a group home and volunteering at animal shelters on a regular basis.”
Julie believes there are many different reasons working at MyPath fulfills her each day, including the connections she makes with the students and teachers and the approach to care, culture and opportunities that MyPath provides.
“We have a team approach and support one another — from the therapists to the program staff. The relationship we have as colleagues and the way we work together translates into highly individualized care for our students — it’s what’s best for our students and us,” says Julie. “My coworkers have also become lifelong friends. Many of them have worked here longer than me, because this is the kind of place you want to stay.”
In addition to the team mentality and comradery, she says the company also puts a lot of stock in MyPath employees. MyPath is 100% employee owned. After a year of employment with 1,000 hours of work, employees begin to receive company funded MyPath stock shares. After continued employment, the number of shares employees receive grows. “The monetary and individual investment MyPath makes in us drives us to work harder for the company,” says Julie. “We have more pride in what we’re doing and perform better.”
Growth opportunities also come with employment at MyPath. There are nine MyPath companies with 150 locations throughout Wisconsin and Indiana. Julie says she has seen many special education teachers go on to leadership roles. “With all our companies, employees have a lot of options to explore other options to grow,” she says.
If you are detail oriented, flexible, willing to learn and compassionate — because nearly all these students have a traumatic history — you’ll find that Genesee Lake School is a great opportunity for you.
Start searching job opportunities today.