We talk a lot about how becoming a Knight changes the lives of the students at Woodward Academy. But they are not the only ones who are impacted by the amazing culture on campus. The adults who work tirelessly with these students are also changed as a result of their time on campus and it is an experience that is unique and one they never forget.
Many staff members have made a career at Woodward Academy because they have fallen in love with the school’s mission. The work is not easy, but they know they are fundamentally making a difference in the lives of youth on a daily basis. This is the primary reason why staff continue to love Woodward Academy, but it is not the only factor. The staff highlighted here volunteered to be interviewed on camera as a part of a video series that you can see on our YouTube Channel. Through their discussions, a number of similarities arose as to why they love being a Knight and how Woodward Academy is more than just a job.
At Woodward Academy, no day is exactly the same and this flexibility appeals to a lot of people. Group Leader Darryl Stewart put it best when he said that he couldn’t work at a desk job. He said it’s just not him and prefers to be active with the students and fellow staff members to plan the day and come up with solutions to problems. This “family feel” approach was a common theme among these staff and they attribute much of their success to the support they received early on.
A lot of veteran staff members entered Woodward Academy straight out of college, knowing very little about the school. They anticipated it being a stepping stone to something larger, but fell in love with the philosophy, the culture, and how it challenged them professionally. At the time, they entered a world they knew little about, but over time were molded in the Woodward Academy way.
Program Director Ted Rives said it is the “best job I’ve ever had.” Case Manager Sierra Schnoebelen continues that sentiment when she says “It’s a job I wake up and want to come to work every day.” These staff make Woodward Academy successful and pave the way for the next group who decides to Become a Knight.