Megan King, MSEd, joined The New England Center for Children (NECC) in 2007 as a level 2 teacher and has spent the last six years working as a vocational specialist in NECC’s Vocational Services Department. She was nominated by a colleague because “to Megan, the students always come first! Whether she is working with Maintenance to create an adapted table, or making sure job site materials are up to date, Megan ensures that everyone—both staff and students—has what they need to be successful. Megan is a forward-thinker, foreseeing upcoming areas of need and initiating the steps toward a solution so that our department functions effectively. Megan also considers the future of each individual student, putting careful thought and consideration into objectives and programming to make sure they are meaningful and geared towards life after NECC. I admire the effort that she puts into supporting the staff on her teams. We are so lucky to work with Megan!”
How long have you worked for NECC?
I started working at NECC in September 2007. I spent my first nine years working on residential teams (West 1, Parker, Salem End Road) in the roles of level 2 teacher, core shift manager, residential coordinator, day coordinator, and educational coordinator. In 2016, I moved to the Vocational Department where I worked as a vocational coordinator for a year before becoming a vocational specialist.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of this job is seeing students complete tasks independently that they have been working on for months or years. Seeing how happy they are as well as their teachers are when they can stock the cafeteria independently, wash windows at Apex Entertainment, or even complete a laundry routine by themselves never gets old. Additionally, I love collaborating with the education coordinators, program specialists, and other specialty services on my caseload to find different ways to help students become independent at their jobs or when they are completing vocational tasks.
Why are vocational opportunities important for NECC students?
I want every student to live a happy and fulfilled life now and into their adulthood. Vocational opportunities allow students to be part of their community and to participate in the same things their neurotypical peers do.
Why did you choose a career in helping children with autism? Why NECC?
After graduating college, I was looking for a job and one of my friends who worked here recommended NECC. I had never heard of NECC and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do career-wise but decided to apply. After working here for a few months, I fell in love with the students, the staff I worked with, and the mission of NECC. Now I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Have you taken advantage of any of the grad programs or teacher training at NECC? If so, how has it affected your teaching style?
I graduated from the Simmons University master’s degree program in 2011 with a Master of Science in Education and currently hold my professional teaching license. Later this month, I will be starting the Assumption University Transition Specialist Program.
What is something about you that your colleagues might be surprised to learn?
Every year, except for 2020, on the first Friday in August, my family has run a Memorial Golf Tournament in honor of my Aunt Maureen, who died of breast cancer in 1996. The proceeds go to a scholarship in her name, which is given to a high school senior from Saint Paul’s High School in Worcester. I golf in it with three friends I graduated high school with. This year, we brought home the last-place trophy…which we added to our collection of other last-place trophies.
Who is someone you look up to?
I look up to my parents. They taught my siblings and me to appreciate the small things in life, including that spending time with the people you care about is more important than the material things we have.