March 27, 2024

Gretchen Resto-Maldonado joined The New England Center for Children (NECC) as a level 2 teacher in January 2022 and currently serves as a backup shift manager and case manager for NECC’s Salem End Road residence. She was nominated by a colleague because she “comes to work with a smile on her face every day! Gretchen is an excellent case manager and advocate for all the students on Salem End Road. She is thorough in her work and is always willing to try anything, always with a positive attitude. I have observed her supporting her students as a job coach while also providing shift manager supervision to the staff on her team. In addition to her work in the school, Gretchen has demonstrated those same skills as a job coach in the community. The job sites that she has been to have passed along positive feedback, and she can be depended upon to maintain a good rapport with our community partners.”

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is being a part of helping our students prepare and practice vocational opportunities. Watching our students be able to translate the skills we practice at NECC to vocational opportunities in the community is amazing. At Salem End Road, our students are usually preparing to graduate so it feels great to be able to be a part of setting them up for success in their future endeavors. 

Why did you choose a career in helping children with autism?

My passion for working with children began when I was working as a preschool teacher prior to coming to NECC. I loved being able to help children learn and grow. The excitement children have for learning made me really excited and motivated to continue finding different ways to guide them on their developmental journey, support their unique needs, and empower them to reach their full potential. 


I knew I wanted to continue working with children, but I wanted to work somewhere where I had the opportunity to learn and grow myself. I love that NECC gives you the opportunity to grow and advance your career. NECC really does an exemplary job of cultivating an environment of respect and care for staff and students. 

Have you taken advantage of any of the grad programs or teacher training at NECC?

I hope to enroll in a grad program at NECC in the near future. 

What is something about you that your colleagues might be surprised to learn?

I love to sew, specifically embroidery. 

Who is someone you look up to?

Someone I look up to is Miss Nadia [Castagna, NECC’s music teacher]. I enjoy her music lessons as much as the students do! I love the different themes and how she takes the students all around the world through music. Every single lesson is so interesting. It is so amazing to watch the students discover different instruments and songs. Her ability to create lessons and rhythms for the students to follow using music from every era and part of the world is extraordinary. 

What is your life philosophy or motto you like to live by?

A life motto I like to live by is, “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson