News from the Noteworthy
I just returned from a trip to visit family. While away, I had the opportunity to celebrate a milestone — my grandson’s graduation from fifth grade. At his ceremony, he shared that his goal throughout school was to “make his parents proud.” His sincerity has me thinking about Springbrook at this time of year — summer at Springbrook feels charmed.
In June, we celebrated the accomplishments of ten exceptional graduates of The School at Springbrook. These young people came to The School at Springbrook from across the state, with unique backgrounds, skills, and goals. One graduate came to Springbrook as a nonverbal student, and through years of work and determination, crossed the graduation stage as a multilingual adult. Several graduates leave us ready to pursue meaningful employment, or to find new living environments that continue to promote their independence. What each of these graduates shares is tenacity — a determination that cannot be broken, no matter what the wider world may say. What I take pride in is that, at Springbrook, we say “yes, you can!” when all others say, “no, you can’t.”
June also saw us “Tooty Ta’ing” along with graduates of the Kids Unlimited Preschool — the youngest members of Springbrook’s vast community! These five-year-olds spent two years learning their ABCs and 123s at Otsego County’s only integrated preschool (meaning students with special needs learn alongside typically developing students). Kids Unlimited is a preschool unlike any other, where students learn from each other’s differences — where they learn how beautiful diversity truly is. These young graduates leave Springbrook ready to take on the challenges of Kindergarten with the skills they need, and the perspective to be advocates for others.
And, summer at Springbrook also brings our annual Milestone Employee celebration. This week we congratulate over 200 Springbrook employees who have been with Springbrook for over 10 years. You read that correctly! When I think on that number, it brings me great joy — because one of my goals has always been to make our employees proud! Among those employees are people who may have come to us out of high school, looking for a place to define themselves. Others came to us after years of work for other companies and organizations. Others may have started here, left, then returned. Regardless of how they found Springbrook, I am grateful to each person for choosing to stay. And, I like to think, we give them many reasons to stay — investing in our employees has always been a priority for Springbrook.
For over ten years, we have raised our wages annually. We have worked hard to offer a benefits package that makes a real difference in people’s lives — including becoming self-insured in order to help regulate rising costs of health insurance. And, for nearly ten years, we have offered our Springbrook Scholars program, which offers employees the opportunity to earn credentials or degrees at no (or very little) cost. This program is made possible by contributions from individuals and foundations alike. The Scriven Foundation has been instrumental in the success of the Scholars program, along with many other contributions to Springbrook. Their partnership enables the success of countless members of the Springbrook community. And, families like the Spadaccias support offerings like our RN to BNA Scholars program. Because of the generosity of Scriven, Spadaccia, and many others, Springbrook continues to make strides in being a premier employer in our region. These accomplishments are wonderful, and we still have more we can and will do. So, as I settle back into my routine, I am gladdened by the opportunities summer brings. I wish you a charmed summer!
Chief Executive Officer, Springbrook