This fall Pressley Ridge initiated a new awards program to honor our outstanding supervisors. Pressley Ridge supervisors are critical to the success of the organization and our work with children and families. They prepare our frontline staff for their work with children and families, and support and guide them as they carry out their vital duties. They are the true unsung heroes at Pressley Ridge.
At this year’s staff awards dinner in June 2011 Sue Kozak was named the first recipient of the Agnes Buchanan Supervisor of the Year, awarded for exceptional leadership to the organization.
Sue started her career at Pressley Ridge 33 years ago in the residential cottages on the Day School Pittsburgh campus. She then moved to the Day School and has worked as a Career Development Teacher, Family Liaison Specialist, Transition Coordinator, and now a Clinical Coordinator.
Kozak said, “one of the benefits of having been around for a while is the opportunity to speak with former students and families, to hear about the successes and growth they have achieved and the positive influence they have become in the community. It is really rewarding to know you have been able to touch and help someone to such an extent.” Sue believes that one of the key things we do at Pressley Ridge is provide Hope, hope for kids and families for a better and brighter future, she enjoys being a part of that and the kid’s, she really enjoys being with and helping the kids.
For Sue there are two components that play a role in being successful with the children and families we serve, camaraderie and attitude. Kozak noted that, “the camaraderie at Pressley Ridge is special, the greater the challenge the closer it makes people. We are able to lean on each other, respect each other and work together. This combined with a positive can do attitude and that everyone in the organization will do anything it takes to help, allows us to assist our children and families overcome the challenges they face every day.”
Sue’s favorite Re-ED principle is, Time Is An Ally, because she says, “I have seen this work time and time again with families and children struggling to overcome their problems. But if we hang in there and continue to work at it and understand that, Rome was not built in a day, over time we can solve a lot of problems and reach a successful outcome.”
She stresses that one of our greatest challenges as caregivers is maintaining a balance in our lives and fighting against burnout. Sue said, “When dealing and managing crisis all the time you need to find resources outside of work. I rely on my faith, family and friends, and believe that you need to take care of yourself so you can take care of others.”
Sue has truly demonstrated exceptional leadership to the organization and has the earned the respect and admiration not only of her staff but all of Pressley Ridge.