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Meet Ross: Behavior Analyst

Meet Ross: Behavior Analyst

March 1 is Employee Appreciation Day! We are celebrating our team members all month long by sharing their stories. Read more about Ross Wolkenbrod, Behavior Analyst, and how he uses the school store to reward and impact his students.  

What is your favorite thing about working here?   

I love the team-based approach here at Green Tree School. This is my first time working in a school that has all of the related service branches under one roof. We have speech angles, behavior angles, occupational therapy angles, and others. It’s been nice and has changed the way I consult.  

What keeps you coming to work each day?  

The students. I’ve had an opportunity to develop relationships with quite a few of them. I run the school store here, which has allowed me to be a part of their improvement.  

How do you make an impact on students’ lives?   

Like I said, I try to develop those individual relationships and consider their needs and wants. Recognizing that school is a place where there is tremendous potential for growth and change is one of the reasons why I stepped into running the school store. Due to staffing, it wasn’t open consistently, so to change that has made a huge impact on students participating. 

Last year, we rolled out our BetterTogether guiding principles. Which one of our values resonates with you most personally and why? (Integrity, Accountable, Collaborative, Inclusive, Supportive)   

Collaborative. I am always looking to fill in gaps for the students. I have been here for about a year. During that time, I have covered classrooms, gone on field trips, carted out some lunches, even scooped ice off the sidewalks. Being a part of a team that is helping the students in every way is giving them what they need in the end. We recognize that it is something you cannot do alone; you need collaboration to do this.  

What does a “day in the life” look like for your role?   

There is a good mix of student time and report writing. I make a point to do laps around the school throughout the day and show my face to see if anyone needs anything. I know everyone is going to ask me if the store is open! There is obviously the behavior analytic side as well. It includes meetings, putting in data for individualized education plans (IEPs), and working on behavioral assessments. I try to keep a good mix so that if I am at my desk half of the day, I try to be away from it for the other half.  

Can you talk a little bit about your career trajectory and what led you to where you are now?   

I was a psychology student and got my master’s degree in human development. I passed the Behavior Analytics Certification Board. I then started working for insurance companies. I liked the ability to make personal connections, but I did not like the instability in scheduling. There can be a lot of cancellations. I started looking for something that would bring a larger caseload of people I could connect with, along with a consistent staff and scheduling stability. 

What has been your proudest moment or accomplishment in your role?  

I have had a handful of students make significant behavioral improvements with the reinforcement being that they get to assist me in the store at the end of the day. Having a direct hand in that change has been really nice.  

What is something about you that not many people know?   

I am very good at jigsaw puzzles.  

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