August 17, 2022

Kaitlyn Shea, MEd, SHRM-CP, has worked at The New England Center for Children (NECC) for 15 years in a variety of positions, including as a teacher in Southborough, an ABA therapist at NECC’s sister school in Abu Dhabi, and currently as the lead recruiting specialist for NECC Southborough.

Colleagues nominated Shea for her contributions not only to her current department but to the entire organization; she ran the Boston Marathon in 2016 for #TeamNECC and has been a supporter of the NECC Annual Fund for a number of years. “She is friendly and welcoming, and contributes thoughtfully to meetings around marketing, recruitment, staff appreciation, and other initiatives where she feels she can help make a difference,” shared one colleague. Another said that “Kait is a champion of NECC and its mission, and you hear her enthusiasm when she speaks to applicants, college professors, and professional colleagues.  She has a wealth of institutional knowledge and brings new and creative ideas to further develop recruitment efforts. Kait isn’t one to back down from a problem or a bump in the road. Her problem-solving approach and attention to detail are greatly appreciated. And whether it be bringing in summer reading for the department to swap, setting team goals, or coordinating reinforcing activities, she maintains perspective and motivates the team and the whole HR department. Kait is a pleasure to work with and we’re happy she’s part of #TeamNECC.”

How long have you worked for NECC?

I have worked at NECC for 15 years. My positions have included working as a:
Level 1 teacher (now called the behavioral health technician (BHT) position) on West Hill Road
Level 2 teacher on West Hill Road
ABA therapist in the Abu Dhabi program
BHT on New Castle Road
Recruiting Coordinator
Recruiting Specialist
Lead Recruiting Specialist

You just celebrated your 15th anniversary at NECC. Why have you stayed so long?

I have had a lot of different roles over the years at NECC, which have challenged me and given me a better understanding of all the services NECC has to offer. I started as a BHT on the former West Hill Road residential team because at the time I did not have any hands-on experience working with this population of students. A friend had recommended NECC to me, and I soon found out I loved this style of teaching (1:1). Prior to NECC, I was nervous about going into education because I didn’t want to teach large groups of students. This format and ABA were perfect for me.  I then moved into the level 2 teacher role, became a core shift manager (CSM), case manager, and then assistant education coordinator to help oversee student progress. I then took a position at NECC-Abu Dhabi as a therapist for a few years and worked at our school there; I loved that opportunity! I came back to the U.S. and finished my outside master’s program practicum in mental health counseling while working as a BHT on New Castle Road.  Then about eight years ago, an opportunity in the recruiting department opened up and I began my career hiring teachers and the rest is history! I have also assisted in other departments over the years as a lifeguard in the pool; volunteered at many fundraising events such as the gala and golf tournaments; raised money for the Annual Fund as a 2016 NECC Boston Marathon runner; and I continue to pick up shifts working with the boys on New Castle Road.

As a lead recruiting specialist, what are your responsibilities?

I work on supporting the staff recruiters in training, as well as planning and recruiting trips and events.  I also work on setting up information sessions about NECC, attending conferences, and posting open staff positions.  I have my own caseload of applicants that I work with and see them through the hiring process, beginning with when they submit their resume to their first day as an NECC employee. 

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part is hiring great teachers and working with them to find which program and team they will thrive in.

Why did you initially choose to begin your career at NECC?

It was completely by accident. When I graduated from college, I thought I would be going into law enforcement. However, we were going through a recession and a friend from college recommended NECC.  I thought I would try it out for a year and get some experience, but I fell in love with the students here!

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

I wish I did take advantage of the Simmons University program. I did an outside program in mental health counseling at Cambridge College and took advantage of the tuition reimbursement NECC offers. NECC also helped with the cost of my SHRM certification, which is a certificate in human resources.

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

I’m an open book, but I have an extensive collection of sea glass, I love true crime podcasts, reading a good book at the beach, and hiking with my dog, Gordon.  

Who is someone you look up to?

My Nana. She passed away about 2 years ago, but she was amazing!  She always reminded me that the good things in life don’t come easy and to work hard but to also enjoy life and have fun. She had a wonderful sense of humor.

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

One of my best friends always says that when she is with me there is “Never a dull moment.” I like to try to live life to the fullest, make it fun, and take chances.