Staff Stories – Barb: Lead Teacher

Bara Schwankl has been part of the Reach-Up team since 2013. She worked with us as a Substitute Teacher, then was promoted to Assistant Teacher, and now has been a Lead Teacher for five years. Prior to joining our team, Barb ran her own daycare for more than twenty years. 

“My sister-in-law had a connection and she first told me about Reach-Up. I was 50 years old and looking for a life change, so I came to Reach-Up. After my years of being a Substitute and Assistant Teacher, I asked ‘what do I need to do to be a Lead Teacher?’ so I went back and got my associate’s and then my bachelor’s degree at age 60. I knew I could do it – anyone can do it!”

“Working in a school setting like Reach-Up is far less intimidating than the school district. There is a lot of support and mentoring from all departments. They are very welcoming and have all the resources in place to help the staff really succeed. There is a strong sense of respect and trust among our team. And we’re just that – a team. The encouragement and support are incredible.”

Barb enjoys the curious and creative nature of her students. “Seeing younger children build friendships among one another and accomplish their goals is why I do what I do. Those kids are why this job is so important to me.”

“If someone I know was considering joining our team, I would tell them to jump in. If they love kids and are looking for a company that is growing and allows their employees to grow, this is the best place for them. Reach-Up is different. We’re mentors, we’re coaches. We help one another. I do truly love coming to work. Every day I wake up and think to myself, ‘I want to go to school.’”

When asked to describe her career with Reach-Up in just 3 words, she chose Passionate, Rewarding, and Student-Focused.