Marcia Kramarczyk

Marcia Kramarczyk, day school social worker at Henrietta G. Lewis Campus School, will mark her 30th anniversary with the agency in July.
      “I was able to grow here,” she said. “Wyndham Lawn has provided me opportunities for professional and program development unmatched anywhere.”
      After receiving her bachelor’s from Brockport State College and her master’s in social work from the University of Chicago, Marcia started in the residential program at Wyndham Lawn.
      At that time, the social workers directly supervised the youth counselors in the cottages. Marcia wrote the proposal to institute cottage supervisors.
      She did the interior design for Quad, which then was a new supervised apartment program for boys. (It was called Quad because four youth could live there.)
      Marcia was later asked to develop the school program, and after 20 years with residential, moved to the school.
      Through the years, Marcia worked with many staff as they were starting out in their careers, including Jim Coder, CEO; Ed Gargala, Wyndham residential director; Chuck Wagner, director of youth development at Wyndham, and Lynn Siradas, director of Organizational and Staff Development and Global Village Therapeutic Foster Care.
      In the future, Marcia plans to refine her skills, collaborate with her team and with community service providers, and conduct therapy.  
      “I want to do therapy,” she said. “I’m committed to therapy.”
      When working with the youth and their families, it’s vital to start with an empathetic relationship, she said.
      “I’ll never be a 15-year-old boy, but I try to put myself in their shoes—that’s the key,” she said.
      Marcia works hard to put the youth and families first.
      “The minute I walk in that door, it’s all about them, not me,” she said. “We all have our struggles, but you need to check them at the door.
      “My work with the kids and families has been so rewarding and intriguing. It relies on every aspect of my being. There’s no better job.”
      All of her experiences are used to help her clients, whether it’s creating a slide show to expand students’ world views, sharing collections or celebrating diversity. This often helps to break through an impasse or help the student see the world through new eyes.
      In a field that is plagued by burnout, Marcia is perennially upbeat.
      “That’s because I know there’s always hope,” she explained. “You have to really believe in change, and I do.
      “If I really believe I did all I could to help the family, even if doesn’t work out the way I would like, they have free choice. I accept that.”
      Marcia points out that the architect Frank Lloyd Wright, at age 60, said his best work was ahead of him, and created his pinnacle work, Falling Waters, nine years later.
            “You’ve got to be a lifelong learner,” Marcia said. “If I expect my clients to move and change and grow, what about me? I need to walk the talk.”

 

About Marcia

Free Time Pursuits: Volunteers as a docent for Graycliff, the building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright; does re-enactments with the Lockport Historical Society; is writing a history of Wyndham Lawn, and takes writing and computer classes.

Book Recommendation: Radical Gratitude by Andrew Bienkowski and Mary Akers.

Favorite Movie: Dances With Wolves

Inspirational quote: “In the midst of winter I found in me an invincible summer” by Albert Camus and “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” by President John F. Kennedy.

 

May 2008

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