Sarah LaPierre has worked at The New England Center for Children (NECC) since 2017. Though LaPierre currently serves as a teacher at NECC’s Michael F. Downey Center for Child Development (also known as the NECC day care), she initially joined NECC as a teacher in the residential programs. She was nominated by her colleagues because her love for children shines through in everything she does. “She is always so positive and makes her classroom fun for the babies in it,” shared one colleague. “She listens to parents and is accommodating to the kids’ needs. She makes parents feel comfortable leaving their children with her. Sarah works a long day to ensure everyone has the care they need.” Another added, “Sarah is kind and great at talking with parents, so she is the perfect fit for our new moms coming back to work at NECC. She’s taken her experience and expertise with working both at NECC and being a mother herself, and has put many, many new parents at ease! Sarah is a joy to work with and a team player all around. We are very lucky to have her on our team!”
How long have you worked for NECC?
I have worked at NECC since September 2017. I started as a level 2 teacher on West Hill Road. As time passed, I moved into the residential coordinator position and then the day coordinator position up until West Hill closed. From there, I was the day coordinator on Parker Road and Francine Road up until moving to the Downey Center for Child Development in March of this year, where I get to spend my days enriching the lives of all the littles.
Why did you choose a career in working with children with autism?
My undergraduate degree is in speech therapy, but when I graduated from the University of New Hampshire, I realized I wasn’t quite sure that was what I wanted to do. While I was shadowing my aunt who worked as an occupational therapist in a public school, I stumbled upon the applied behavior analysis (ABA) classroom and fell in love with the work they were doing. That was when I decided to pursue working with children on the autism spectrum.
I chose to work at NECC because I was using the ACE® ABA Software System in a public school setting as an ABA therapist. The BCBA I worked with at the time had previously worked at NECC and told me about the amazing children she got to work with along with the benefits of the clinical work I would be a part of. While here, I decided to further my education and get my master’s degree in ABA through the Western New England program.
Why did you decide to move to NECC’s Downey Center for Child Development?
I chose to work with the infants because I saw how wonderful the teachers were with my daughter. I believe that the workers here at the Downey Center for Child Development have had such a huge impact on her achieving every milestone in her life; they have been the family I never knew I needed! I wanted to have that impact with other families here at NECC. While I love ABA and I cannot wait to be a BCBA, moving to the Downey Center for Child Development allowed me the opportunity to enjoy the little moments in my daughter’s life for right now. I truly enjoy children of all ages; they bring me so much joy. I could not be happier playing with and taking care of these little ones all day.
How old is your daughter?
My daughter will be 2 years old in December, and she truly thinks that NECC is her home away from home. Without this Center, I truly do not think she would be thriving as much as she is. She has been fortunate enough to have been a part of music with Ms. Nadia, and also has the most amazing teachers who care for her deeply.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love seeing and being a part of all the milestones each child achieves on a daily basis.
What is something about you that your colleagues might be surprised to learn?
A hidden talent of mine is that growing up, I was a drummer in band. I also took private drum lessons and would rock out on my drum set.
Who is someone you look up to?
I look up to all the working mothers and fathers who work such hectic schedules but still make sure to be present for their children at the end of every day, even if it was a tough one. Working in the field has shown me how hard of a balance that can be, but so many of you have shown me that it can be done!
What is your life philosophy or motto you like to live by?
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Anything you would like to add?
I truly thank NECC for every opportunity I have been given! It’s been such a pleasure working here in every capacity. Erin (Carmody) is an amazing director who truly understands the needs of these children and her staff. It’s been such a weight off my shoulders to know my daughter is in such good care here. I will forever be grateful to NECC for that!