To celebrate Vista’s 15th anniversary, we are bringing you a spotlight of someone who started his or her employment with Vista across each of the 15 years.
2011 – Emily Strausbaugh
Emily began her Vista journey in July of 2011. Prior to starting at Vista, Emily attended James Madison University for her bachelor’s degree in psychology. Immediately afterward, Emily attended the University of Delaware and received her master’s degree in school psychology in 2009.
Emily worked in the Delaware public school system for two years, and then she and her husband decided to move back to Central Pennsylvania. That’s when she saw the posting for the School Psychologist position at Vista. She was reluctant to apply because the posting was for a part-time role, but decided to apply and came for an interview.
“When I came in for my interview, I saw the passion for student progress and I knew this was a special place.”
Vista offered her the part-time School Psychologist position along with a part-time Behavior Technician position to increase Emily to full-time status. She did this for four months before the School Psychologist role became full time.
What does a day in the life of the School Psychologist look like?
“Every day is different, which is part of the reason why I love my job! As Vista has grown, my caseload has increased; I have the ability to work with every student at The Vista School, ages 3-21, which is so special to me. Seeing the students’ progress throughout the year is very rewarding and is ultimately what keeps me engaged and motivated.”
Emily has a variety of responsibilities to her role, including IQ testing, Annual Progress Monitoring, classroom observations, and preparation for Individual Education Program (IEP) and other meetings. Emily also has a great deal of contact with the families of Vista students.
“I love hearing the family stories. They will tell me time and time again, ‘It’s working, it’s helping! This is the first time my child is coming to school.’ This is so encouraging to me. I also love to hear about the type of progress the student is making at home and the parents’ hopes and dreams for the student’s future.”
What do you enjoy about Vista?
“I continue to see the same passion I saw when I first came to Vista. I see the passion that staff have for their students and their progress… We believe in our students and believe they can achieve great things in life! They can work, be employed, access the community, and have meaningful and fulfilled lives. We give families hope!”