(CANTON, OH) – This month The Golden Key Center for Exceptional Children, Inc. celebrates its 15th Anniversary as the area’s premier non-public charter school serving students on the autism spectrum. Over the years, The Golden Key has hired many staff with great passion to educate students with unique abilities. But none has touched so many hearts as Barb Ross.
“The best part of my day is getting up to come to work,” Barb Ross – the longest-serving employee of The Golden Key. “I have retired from three jobs but I won’t be retiring from this one.” Barb started in November 2011 in the infant room when the organization was a childcare center. Barb, 85, continues to come in daily and supports the Office Manager, Housekeeping and the Snack Program. Her doctor told her recently that her health is in such great condition because she has a purpose.
“We have been lucky to secure strong tenured employees over the years, especially in a field where burnout is high,” said Terry Frank, co-founder and executive director. “But Barb’s commitment is impressive and something we all aspire to have.” Over the years Barb has been known to be called “grandma” to many of the students. One year she even took on the challenge to color and frame a personalized name art for each student in the program. At that time there were over 85 students attending the preschool through the 8-grade program.
The Golden Key Center for Exceptional Children, Inc. opened its physical location at 1431 30th St NW in Canton in November of 2008. Over its years it has morphed from childcare for neuro-typical and medically fragile students to becoming the area’s premiere non-public, non-charter school for those on the autism spectrum and other cognitive disabilities in preschool – 8th grade. The Golden Key, a 501(c)3, just