November 30, 2022

McKenzie Rusczyk, a level 2 teacher for The New England Center for Children’s (NECC) Intensive Treatment Team (ITT) Apartment 4, has worked for NECC for almost two years, currently serving as a back-up core shift manager and case manager. Rusczyk was nominated by a colleague for her ability to ensure each shift runs smoothly. “She looks out for every single student as well as staff. She is constantly checking in to make sure all the staff are doing well throughout the shift and asks if we need anything. She is a huge help. McKenzie is able to balance multiple tasks at once and handles them so well. From my first day, McKenzie has been so kind to me and has really been such a great teacher. McKenzie is always willing to help and answer any questions,” shared the colleague.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Hands down the favorite part about my job is continuing to expand on the relationships and rapport I have with the students. Playing an active and integral role in their everyday lives is a beautiful thing. I work with six of the best ladies and one of the best gentlemen on Apartment 4, and my relationship with each of them has impacted my life dearly.  

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

I chose a career in helping children with autism because I am passionate about helping people in any capacity. It is extremely rewarding to build such a strong rapport with students that they become comfortable with sharing part of their world with me. I love that each day is different from the last, and I have come to greatly appreciate how genuine my interactions are with my students. It is a valuable thing to be able to view the world from a different perspective than my own.  


I chose NECC because I was interested in working with the population that it serves, and I liked the idea of working with the students at both the school and in the residential setting. I have met some of the most caring and sincere individuals while working here, and I am extremely grateful to work alongside the ladies and one gentleman (Shoutout to Ben Egby) of Apartment 4 that truly go above all expectations to provide our students with the most genuine and loving form of care. 

Have you taken advantage of any of the grad programs or teacher training at NECC? If so, how has it impacted your teaching/career?

I am currently enrolled in the Simmons University program, and it has definitely helped me grow as a teacher on the floor. I feel more confident running programs and following student guidelines.  

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

I have never been on a plane.  

Who is someone you look up to?

Someone at NECC I look up to is Lauren Himmighoefer. She is the speech language pathologist for the ITT and is a great resource on and off the floor. She is a friendly face to see around the ITT and she truly cares about the students beyond the scope of her job.   

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

Always find a reason.