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An elementary school boy sits in front of a computer in his special education school while holding up a page of autographs.



Meet Staci: Lead Teacher Support

Meet Staci: Lead Teacher Support

March 1 is Employee Appreciation Day! We are celebrating our team members all month long by sharing their stories. Meet Staci Newsome, the Lead Teacher Support at New Story Schools’ Lancaster campus in Ohio, who values growth and celebrates curiosity.

What is your favorite thing about working here?

My favorite thing about working here is the team structure we have. Our team always comes together to try to find ways to best support the kids, make the school day fun, and make it enjoyable to come in every day. It’s really fun to see the creativity of our team come to life through things like activities for students and door decorations.

What keeps you coming to work each day?

The kids! No matter what kind of day I’m having, the kids always help me see the good. I love when my students come up to me with hugs and tell me how great their day was. Seeing them make so much progress makes me really happy.

How do you make an impact on students’ lives?

I make an impact by consistently demonstrating that learning is a lifelong journey. I maintain transparency regarding my own areas of growth, fostering an environment where curiosity is celebrated. Additionally, I prioritize providing a safe space for them to make mistakes, express emotions, and gain insights from these experiences.

Last year, we rolled out our BetterTogether guiding principles. Which one of our values resonates with you most personally and why?

Supportive resonates with me most. Especially in this line of work, we need  team members who are able to have hard conversations and always support each other. Even if we don’t necessarily agree, we always support what’s best for the students.

What does a “day in the life” look like for your role?

In my role I do a lot of coaching. I visit classrooms to observe and coach teachers and teacher supports. I’m one of the first responders to all of the behavior calls. I cover staff lunch breaks, during which I help with classroom instruction or organize a fun activity. If students need a break, I’ll take them out of the classroom to spend time in the break space or sensory room. I’m also in charge of the after-school program, so I stay and provide instruction for students enrolled in the program after the school day ends.

Can you talk a little bit about your career trajectory and what led you to where you are now?

I initially went to school for psychology, but I decided to take a break and started a job at Amazon. I moved up and became a manager, but the days were long with a lengthy commute, and it didn’t allow me to see my daughter as much as I wanted to. I’d been considering going back to special education when I came across New Story Schools and saw they had an opening here in Lancaster. I originally went in wanting to lay low while I got a feel for the school as a teacher support, but once I got here and met the staff and students, I was inspired to work my way up. I’m now going back to school to become a BCBA and I love having the sense of direction that I feel now.

What has been your proudest moment or accomplishment in your role?

We have a student with very high behaviors who is on a pretty strict safety plan. She’s learned a lot of different coping skills to choose from during her behaviors. The other day I went into her classroom while another student was having a behavior, and I noticed she was sharing her coping skills with her peer. She calmly asked, “Do you need a break? Do you want a snack?” She also offered some suggestions of skills that work for her by saying, “I like to draw it out when I’m having a bad time. What do you like to do?” It was such a proud moment for me to watch that interaction between them.

What is something about you that not many people know?

I recently got into building LEGO sets with my four-year-old daughter and my fiancé. We’re currently working on the Hogwarts castle and plan on building the Disney castle and Avengers tower next!

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