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Laurie Spicer – 35 Year Milestone

Laurie Spicer – 35 Year Milestone

35 years is an incredible milestone for a career, especially in this day and age when people change jobs often and the average time in a position is just over four years. We are immensely proud of these milestone employees and are pleased to bring their stories of celebration to our community!

Click Here to learn more, and apply today!

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Laurie Spicer – Recreation Therapist

Laurie Spicer is a familiar face throughout Springbrook—it’s no surprise, seeing as she has worked as a Recreation Therapist here for 35 years!

When you talk to Laurie about her time at Springbrook, the love and passion she has for her work quickly become evident. Her most treasured memories involve adventures she has orchestrated with students, particularly the annual camping trips to Meadowvale Campground she planned from the mid-eighties to the mid-nineties. “Many of the students had never been in a tent or slept outside before, and they had so much fun! That was my all-time highlight,” said Laurie. “I took each dorm for two overnights. We went on boats and fished, had campfires every night—it was a lot of work, but it was so rewarding. There have been many kids who would put their coats on as soon as they saw me come in the door—because they knew I was the one who was going to take them somewhere!”

Laurie genuinely realizes the importance of exposing the children to new experiences as a significant component of individual growth. She shared that one student she works with recently got to see a farm and farm animals for the first time after moving here from Brooklyn. “It brought tears to my eyes to see her so excited,” she said. Laurie’s planned events extend beyond the great outdoors, however. On occasion, she’d arrange to take students to New York City to see a Broadway show or see the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Every Wednesday before the pandemic, she’d make a themed dinner at the FEC – sometimes for up to 85 people! For example, they would watch Disney’s, The Little Mermaid and eat stuffed shells; or have spaghetti with meatballs for Lady and the Tramp. “I’m really going to miss that,” she reminisced.

We asked Laurie what has changed at Springbrook over the past 35 years. Her eyes lit up and she laughed. “What hasn’t changed?” she said. When Laurie started, Springbrook was still Upstate Home for Children and Adults. There were 48 students in the residential school program, divided into four living units in the school building (where the physical and occupational therapy rooms and the nursing suite now exist). Laurie lived in the White Building, upstairs where there were two apartments, with three other staff members; there was another apartment downstairs as well.

Laurie grew up in Hornell, NY, and went to Houghton College, a small, Christian liberal arts college not far from there. She majored in recreational therapy and psychology and came to work at Upstate Home in 1986 because they offered a position in her field. “I didn’t have a lot of experience when I first started,” she said. “But that’s something nice about Springbrook; they take you under their wing and teach you. I had an internship and a couple of years at a camp for kids with special needs under my belt, but that was it.”

While at Springbrook, Laurie became close friends with Alice Loomis, the assistant administrator under Bill Nunn, then CEO. “Alice died about ten years ago; she was my best friend in the whole world,” said Laurie. Alice’s passion for the students at Springbrook was an inspiration to Laurie. Sometimes they would have lunch together at a café that used to be in the school, called Sutton Place. Laurie also attributes much of her success to having worked under Jeff Edelstein. “I’ve been very fortunate to have Jeff as a supervisor; he is very trusting, and it is nice to work for someone who has faith in what you do.”

This August, Laurie retired from her position as a recreation therapist and moved to a part-time role in Self-Directed Services, allowing her to care for her elderly father, who lives with her. “I’ve given my heart and soul to Springbrook,” she said, “but now I need to take more time to care for my dad.”

In her free time, Laurie is an avid outdoors enthusiast and loves to bike and hike. Most people probably don’t know that when she turned 40, she ran the Pit Run 10k race, completed a 70-mile canoe regatta from Otsego Lake to Bainbridge, raced a “bike a century” event where she rode 100 miles in one day and did a 5-mile cross-country ski race, where she won second place! “I’m not a city girl,” she jests. Laurie is also heavily involved with her church, Elm Park United Methodist. She teaches Sunday school and vacation bible school.

Laurie has helped many, many children over the past 35 years. “Every day is different. Every day is rewarding. You don’t ever know what you’re going to walk into. But, watching kids grow and learn is amazing, and it’s not about the money. It’s about helping kids live the fullest they can and have fun in life. Just seeing kids learn how to tie their shoes and take their shoes off or put new ones on at the bowling alley or the roller rink. It’s about making learning fun.”

Thank you, Laurie, for all your years of dedication and love to Springbrook.

 

Take A Look Tuesday – 2021 Greater Binghamton Job & Career Fair

Take A Look Tuesday – 2021 Greater Binghamton Job & Career Fair

On this #TakeALookTuesday, Springbrook is inviting you to meet our recruitment team during the 2021 Greater Binghamton Job & Career Fair, this Thursday 9/9 at the Binghamton Holiday Inn, from 2 pm – 6 pm. Learn about our diverse positions, varied locations throughout the tri-county, excellent benefit packages, and our storied history. Becoming a direct support professional (DSP) is an exciting, meaningful career choice, and now at Springbrook, DSPs earn a starting wage from $15-$20/hour depending upon position, experience, and education. Share with a friend and come on down to learn more about how you can start a career that makes a difference in people’s lives. Springbrook is ready to HIRE you!

https://greaterbinghamtonchamber.com/2021-greater-binghamton-job-career-fair/

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Anna Stathoudakis – 25 Year Milestone

Anna Stathoudakis – 25 Year Milestone

25 years is an incredible milestone for a career, especially in this day and age when people change jobs often and the average time in a position is just over four years. We are immensely proud of these milestone employees and are pleased to bring their stories of celebration to our community!

Click Here to learn more, and apply today!

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Anna Stathoudakis – Residence Counselor Overnight

An organization’s continued growth and success depends on having hard-working and devoted employees like 25-year Milestone employee, Anna Stathoudakis. Anna started her Springbrook journey volunteering at a classroom on the main campus, where she was hired to work shortly thereafter. Anna then took a position at the Kids Unlimited Preschool. From there, she went to Springbrook’s day habilitation program, staying until 2001. Then she started overnights at the Morris Community Home and remains there until this day.

Anna loves going to different houses to help out, especially when she sees the residents smile at her because they recognize a familiar face. She has fun taking residents for day or overnight trips to the places they really enjoy. This experience has given Anna a very unique and accurate portrait of working at Springbrook. Her advice to new employees, Anna muses, “Take to heart the advice [the current staff] give you and try it out. Eventually, you will add your own unique skills, because we are all different.!”

When she is not providing service at Springbrook, Anna has a vibrant and productive personal life and is no stranger to excitement. She was once stuck in a Greek gorge walking tour, her knees gave out, and they took her out by a five-hour mule ride. Anna loves reading and is currently enjoying The Perfect Father, a true-crime novel by John Glatt. It’s likely she will be reading a similar genre book on the cruise ship deck during her upcoming vacation to Bermuda!

Congratulations on your Springbrook Milestone, Anna, and thank you so much for your 25 years of service.

Lori Moss – 20 Year Milestone

Lori Moss – 20 Year Milestone

20 years is an incredible milestone for a career, especially in this day and age when people change jobs often and the average time in a position is just over four years. We are immensely proud of these milestone employees and are pleased to bring their stories of celebration to our community!

Click Here to learn more, and apply today!

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Lori Moss – School Counselor

Today we are thrilled to recognize Lori Moss for her 20-year Springbrook Milestone! Lori began her career at Springbrook, looking for work for a year before she was set to move. Lori experienced a heartfelt interview with a wonderful team. Lori shared, “After leaving the interview, I took some back roads to another appointment. I kept driving and driving and somehow ended up back at Springbrook. It was then that I knew that I just belonged here. It was an honor to join Springbrook as their first official school counselor.” Lori had 18 years of previous work experience as a mental health counselor before settling at Springbrook, which made her very experienced in her field. Lori goes out of her way to get to know the students and her colleagues, and has a well-earned reputation as the staff member who is always smiling, and giving a warm greeting as she passes you in the hall.

During her evenings and weekend time away from work, you may find Lori reading or writing—she’s a writer but lightheartedly admits that she needs to spend a little more time on her craft. You can also find her spending quality time with her family or grandson Max, who is her inspiration and keeps her moving forward through the not-so-great days. Lori was also excited to add that her favorite movie is Mary Poppins—and had a great reason why. “My lifetime love is Mary Poppins because Mary visits where she is needed and helps people, and encourages them to find the inner strength to make it on their own. She makes great things happen, and then she’s gone, needing nothing in return. It’s sort of like me! I have always helped people, getting them going in the right direction, and have always helped with no intention of getting anything back.” If you’ve ever had the pleasure to meet Lori, you’d know quite quickly that she embodies the values of Ms. Poppins and that kindness and passion go a long way.

Lori shares that Dr. Goldman, a Ph.D. Psychologist at Springbrook has been a valued colleague and mentor throughout her career. When Lori was an undergrad in 1979, she took Dr. Goldman’s counseling class, who at the time was her professor. Lori sat in the front of the class and received an “A” with lots of hard work. Dr. Goldman was one of her favorite Professors that introduced her to the Humanistic method of counseling. Twenty years later, when Lori started working at Springbrook, she reconnected with Dr. Goldman, who then was a Ph.D. Psychologist at Springbrook. “It must have been fate because I haven’t seen him since undergrad, and when I met him again at Springbrook, he remembered exactly who I was, that I always sat in the front of the class, and that I earned an A for the course” shared Lori. She spoke highly of Dr. Goldman and attributed him as one of the reasons she became a school counselor.

Lori’s advice for current and new Springbrook staff is simple— try to find the good in everybody and laugh with people. Humor and smiles can go a long way! Try to say hello to everyone and smile. Kindness is key, and compassion is honored. Respect, empathize and treat the students we serve with dignity. Our students not only rely on us for physical support, but thrive on our ability to believe in them, to foster independence and a “can do” attitude.

Lori’s friends, family, and colleagues will tell you she is kind, caring, dependable, and truly passionate about her work. When asked to share some of the things she enjoys about Springbrook, Lori happily answered, “The dedication of staff to always keep trying with the students is something I enjoy. If there are “road obstacles,” we always figure out how to encourage the students and make it work as a team. Springbrook never looks at how much time it takes. They keep going at the pace that is good for the student—it’s not them or us, it’s WE. I feel like I made some great connections here and a lifetime of friends. Every person here has a love for the people we serve.” Lori’s kindness, passion, and positive attitude are inspiring. Congratulations, Lori, on your 20-year Milestone!

 

Anna Stathoudakis – 25 Year Milestone

Tracy Cobb – 25 Year Milestone

25 years is an incredible milestone for a career, especially in this day and age when people change jobs often and the average time in a position is just over four years. We are immensely proud of these milestone employees and are pleased to bring their stories of celebration to our community!

Click Here to learn more, and apply today!

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Tracy Cobb – LPN

As an LPN at the School at Springbrook, Tracy works with students from all different backgrounds and she is in awe of all their talents and dedication. This year, Tracy is celebrating her 25-year Milestone at Springbrook. Like many employees that reach milestones, one of the biggest reasons she has stayed with Springbrook for so long is because of her lasting connections with the people she supports.

Tracy started her career at ARC Otsego before coming to Springbrook as a direct care aide. She was one of the first two LPNs hired at the then Upstate Home for Children & Adults in the Parker House (one of the original houses on the main campus). Before moving to the education program, Tracy worked at Snell House with the original school nurses.

Tracy’s day-to-day tasks mainly involve providing medical treatments for day and residential students at the School at Springbrook. She sees the struggles that some of the students go through, but looks past them and recognizes the amazing things that happen with time and perseverance. “The people we support are amazing!” she said. “Some go onto college; some have written books, and with all of the obstacles in the way…it’s just amazing! You learn at this job that the students don’t see disabilities and obstacles and we, as healthcare professionals, shouldn’t either.”

Throughout the years, Tracy has found inspiration in these three things; the students/residents, her children, and the beach! Tracy is most proud of her kids and has a deep fondness for the beach—it is her favorite place to unwind. So if Tracy is not available, she is likely at the beach with her family.

Congratulations on your Milestone achievement, Tracy, and thank you. We are grateful for your 25 years of service!

Anna Stathoudakis – 25 Year Milestone

James Dutcher – 25 Year Milestone

25 years is an incredible milestone for a career, especially in this day and age when people change jobs often and the average time in a position is just over four years. We are immensely proud of these milestone employees and are pleased to bring their stories of celebration to our community!

Click Here to learn more, and apply today!

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James Dutcher – Maintenance

Staff and residents easily know when James Dutcher is arriving at a home. They can see his “leg lamp” from A Christmas Story on the dashboard of his facilities vehicle, bobbing up and down to his usual soundtrack of classic rock anthems. Before coming to Springbrook, James served his country as a helicopter operator in the US Army, and later worked on boilers in all kinds of unique locations throughout New York City.

James is celebrating his 25-year Milestone with Springbrook this year, having started his journey in 1996 with the facilities department, where he still works today. He found Springbrook because his mother-in-law, a food services employee, encouraged him to apply. At the time, he was tired of his long commute and the hectic and unpredictable nature of working in the city. James is known to be a “jack of all trades” and does a little bit of everything for the facilities department.

If you’re ever curious about what is going on at Springbrook, James is the man to ask. He stays well-informed with what’s going on because he likes to advocate for the people supported by Springbrook. James said his main reason for staying at Springbrook is all about the students and residents—it’s never about the money or the position. The relationships he has built have brought him much satisfaction and fulfillment over these 25 years.

James is no amateur when it comes to surprises, whether in his work or his personal life, seeing as every day is different at Springbrook. Once, however, James went on vacation with his family to Six Flags. He worked up the courage to do the “Superman Drop” and right after that exhilaration ended, his daughter gave him a huge surprise—James was going to be a grandfather! This was a huge mix of emotions and “the rush of a lifetime,” he said.

James has no plans to stop anytime soon. “I started here just to get a job,” he said, “and I have stayed 25 years because of the relationships I have built.” James builds and helps maintain much more than buildings at Springbrook—he builds smiles as well!

Congratulations on your Milestone, James, and thank you so much for your 25 years of service!

 

Lori Moss – 20 Year Milestone

Lauren Cicerone – 20 Year Milestone

20 years is an incredible milestone for a career, especially in this day and age when people change jobs often and the average time in a position is just over four years. We are immensely proud of these milestone employees and are pleased to bring their stories of celebration to our community!

Click Here to learn more, and apply today!

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Lauren Cicerone – Classroom Aide at the GEMS School

Congratulations to Lauren Cicerone on reaching her 20-year Springbrook Milestone! Lauren is the Classroom Aide at the GEMS School and she does a wonderful job providing quality supports and services. Thank you for your years of service, Lauren, and congratulations on your Milestone achievement. #SpringbrookNY #ThisMoment #OneontaNY

Lori Moss – 20 Year Milestone

Jeff Thorne – 20 Year Milestone

20 years is an incredible milestone for a career, especially in this day and age when people change jobs often and the average time in a position is just over four years. We are immensely proud of these milestone employees and are pleased to bring their stories of celebration to our community!

Click Here to learn more, and apply today!

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Jeff Thorne – Assistant Residential Manager

Dedicated, caring, and humorous are just a few of the things Jeff Thorne is known for at Springbrook. For 20 years, Jeffrey, Assistant Residential Manager at Springbrook’s Otego Community Home, has committed his time, talent, and heart to the people supported by Springbrook. Jeff began his career with our organization as a Direct Support Professional. Before starting at Springbrook, Jeff worked for ARC for eight years and made great friendships with some of the people he supported there. One of Jeff’s favorite individuals left ARC and came to Springbrook for supports and services, and that is when Jeff made the move to Springbrook—not willing to lose that connection. 19 years of service later, Jeff now happily holds the title of Assistant Residential Manager.

Jeff shared that even as a young man, he was passionate about helping others. Jeff’s parents can attest to that since Jeff regularly heads to his parents at least once a week to help run errands, mow the lawn, and do some housework. This kindness and aptitude to help others carry into Jeff’s work at the Otego Community Home. He cares deeply for all the people he serves and ensures they receive the individual support they need. So when we asked Jeff about his favorite things about Springbrook, he energetically and immediately listed three. “My three favorite things about Springbrook are the residents. Secondly, is the staff I have the pleasure to work with, especially our manager. Lastly, it is the opportunity to do different things with the residents that they wouldn’t normally be able to do or experience easily on their own,” shared Jeff.

Jeff is truthful about his career with Springbrook, admitting that there have been some challenges. This perspective is at the heart of his advice for new staff or anyone interested in joining the Springbrook team. “You have to come into work with an open mind. Some residents face more challenges that, in turn, become your challenges. But, if you keep the people you support in mind and have the willingness to learn and the drive to make a difference, the challenges are inconsequential.” shared Jeff.

You can find Jeff spending time on his patio with his wife, listening to music, or practicing woodworking outside of work. Currently, he is working on making a bar out of reclaimed pallets—he admits that he’s not that great at building things yet, but enjoys spending time learning and taking the initiative to try new things. This positive attitude, along with Jeff’s exceptional work ethic and optimism, are only a few of the reasons Springbrook is fortunate to count him among our group of Milestone Employees. Thank you, Jeff, for 20 years of unwavering commitment!

Rhiannon Ham – 20 Year Milestone

Rhiannon Ham – 20 Year Milestone

20 years is an incredible milestone for a career, especially in this day and age when people change jobs often and the average time in a position is just over four years. We are immensely proud of these milestone employees and are pleased to bring their stories of celebration to our community!

Click Here to learn more, and apply today!

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Rhiannon Ham – Employment Specialist

Rhiannon Ham began working at Springbrook as a Direct Support Professional. She worked in an on-campus residence for nine years, finishing as an Assistant Manager before beginning work in Day Habilitation. Five years later, she was promoted to her current role—an Employment Specialist. Rhiannon shared, “When I first started working at Springbrook, it was only meant to be a summer job before returning to college. At the time, I just wanted to gain some more experience in the field I was going to school for. I never imagined that it would turn into a career.”

Today we are excited to congratulate Rhiannon on her 20-year Milestone. When we interviewed Rhiannon, we asked her to share a few of her favorite things about working at Springbrook. She happily replied, “I love seeing the enthusiasm for life that so many people have. So many face difficult life obstacles but still face each day with a smile on their faces. I love watching the progress that the residents make.” In addition, Rhiannon enjoys helping others and is described as thoughtful and caring by her friends and peers—two characteristics of her grandmother, whom she is inspired by. Springbrook has given Rhiannon the satisfaction and fullness that comes with helping others and making a difference every single day.

In reaching such a Milestone, there is always some great advice for those just starting at Springbrook. Rhiannon shared, “You need to treat everyone how you would want to be treated to be successful here and in life. We provide support to so many amazing individuals. Just have fun and remember that if someone has a bad day, don’t take it too personally. Each day is a new beginning and new opportunity to make a difference.” These are words that Rhiannon lives by, and you can tell even by a quick exchange of words with her that she genuinely makes it her mission to make that difference in the life of everyone she meets.

When not providing services for the people she supports, you can find Rhiannon studying her family genealogy, studying astrology, or reading a good book. She is excited to start her next book, The Testaments. You may catch her reading some when she visits Massachusetts to head to the beach to soak up some sun and rejuvenate herself. Who doesn’t like some relaxing time at the beach? Thank you so much for your 20 years of service, Rhiannon!

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