Fifteen years ago, Vista embarked on a journey to provide high-quality services to individuals and their families in the Central Pennsylvania area affected by autism. Meeting their critical needs requires an enthusiastic, talented, and dedicated workforce. To celebrate this significant anniversary in the organization’s history, we are spotlighting staff members who started their employment with Vista in each of the 15 years.
2003 – Michele Staub
When Michele was pursuing her undergraduate degree at Lebanon Valley College in 1998, she noticed a flyer on a Psychology Department job bulletin and called the number listed. The opportunity was to work part time in a new in-home program set up by Mike and Deirdre Jarman, for their pre-school-aged sons, Patrick and Sean. She quickly accepted the opportunity and began learning about Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), the content area for the master’s degree she later earned from Penn State University.
After graduating from college, Michele began working as a Therapeutic Support Staff at a local human services agency. Upon learning that the Jarmans’ dream of opening an ABA-based school was about to become a reality, she immediately quit her job to join the cause and hasn’t looked back. Since then, Michele has held the positions of Special Education Teacher, Program Coordinator, Program Consultant, Speech and Language Pathology Supervisor, and currently serves as Vista’s Behavior Supports Supervisor.
What was Vista like in 2003?
As a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Michele was part of the core group that brought the Competent Learner Model (CLM) to the organization. Although the idea was initially met with resistance due to the many changes it brought, she served as one of the first CLM coaches. CLM is still used today.
What has made you stay so long?
“I live an hour and a half away so people ask me that a lot, but there truly isn’t another place I believe in as much as here. You don’t have as much of an ability to effect change anywhere else. No matter what program you’re in, you all have the same goal and the same agenda: everyone wants their client to make progress. Yes, it’s a lot of travel, but that offsets it for me.
I want to work somewhere I’m proud of, somewhere that likes learning new things and does what’s best for the clients. The people you work with are so driven at Vista. I feel like I’m at home when I’m here. This is where I belong.”