Penn-Mar Supported Employees Part of “a Great Culture” at the Dallastown Area School District - Penn-Mar

Penn-Mar Supported Employees Part of “a Great Culture” at the Dallastown Area School District

Posted on May 21, 2024

Four individuals Penn-Mar supports have found a home for their customized employment skills working for Chartwells K12 at the Dallastown Area School District in Pennsylvania.

A Division of The Compass Group, the nation’s largest family of food service and facilities service companies, Chartwells provides dining programs for schools and districts across the country that deliver each student delicious, great tasting meals.

At the Dallastown Area School District, the company services eight huge school cafeterias — from kindergarten through 12th grade — providing some 2,000 breakfasts and 3,300 lunches each day.

Cindy at work in the back of a kitchen.

Cindy hard at work.

“The four Penn-Mar individuals working at our schools bring excitement to the entire workforce,” said Kevin Gouldner, the Food Service Director for Chartwells at the Dallastown Area School District.

Blake, Cindy, Aaron, and Becky received their training and on-site coaching for their part-time jobs from Penn-Mar’s Employment Team, beginning with an evidence-based Discovery process to match them with a career of their choice.

Jeannine O’Mahony, Penn-Mar’s PA Employment Support Manager, oversees a team of job developers and employment support coordinators who provide the necessary support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to help them be successful at a customized job in a competitive integrated environment.

Becky at work in the back of a kitchen.

Becky at work on the line to serve students their meals.

“The Compass organization is so easy to work with,” said Jeannine. “They are extremely collaborative in supporting the employees to achieve the most success they can within their job duties. They are quick to communicate with us when extra on-the-job coaching or counseling is necessary and are flexible with scheduling to accommodate doctor’s appointments.”

Blake is a die-hard Philly sports fan who is proud to be employed at the school where he formally attended. He works in the kitchen alongside Cindy and often refills the serving trays with chicken tenders and fries. Always smiling, his outgoing personality endears him to his coworkers.

Cindy has been working for the Dallastown Area School District since 2011 and is always looking for extra opportunities to help the staff. Described as reliable and independent, she works in the kitchen and on the service line. Her employer appreciates her flexibility to always fill in for staff and her consistent dedication to her tasks.

Aaron at work in the back of a kitchen.

Aaron Wagman at work in the dish room.

Aaron, too, has been a valued co-worker with the District since 2011. He loves to be busy and is very comfortable serving the students and working in the dish room at the Intermediate School. There he helps to clean pots and pans, runs dishes through the washer and puts them away. He also washes apples and scoops up the canned fruit in the morning.

Becky is the most recent member on the team, working five days a week at the Loganville-Springfield Elementary school since May 2022 during the breakfast and lunch shifts. She serves students as they come down the line, preps the fruit and bread in the kitchen area and assists with maintaining production records. She is a good communicator who enjoys being with the young students.

“These employees are dependable people who want to work,” said Kevin. “They are anxious to do their part and interact well with the staff and students. Their coworkers understand their challenges and desire for a meaningful job and encourage them a lot. It’s a great mix that helps us create a great culture overall.”

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