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PresenceLearning with a Purpose: Great Place to Work with Ross Porter

PresenceLearning is proud to be a company that is Great Places to Work certified. What is it like to work for a Great Place to Work? At PresenceLearning, it is being in a work community that fosters a sense of belonging for its employees andthat empowers them to innovate with purpose. Recently we sat down with Ross Porter, an account executive in field sales, who shared his story.

Ross Porter, Account Executive

Ross joined PresenceLearning at the end of August, 2021 after making a big move from southern California to a small community in northern California. His wife is a therapist and works in a local school district. They recently welcomed a new baby into their lives.

We’d love to hear how PresenceLearning is a great place to work in your experience.

I think it’s really one of the greatest places to work, because you can clearly see the positive impact our products and services make, not just on students’ lives, but also on providers’ lives, and on school districts. We see that every day through what we’re offering.

On the student level we see it because IEP goals are being met. Whatever the kiddo is working on, whether it be a speech service, occupational therapy service, behavioral service, we’re showing that teletherapy works and that students are trending to reach their IEP objectives—we get to see that tangibly on the student level. On a provider level and on a district level, I would say that when we come into a school district a lot of the work we end up providing turns into long lasting relationships. I think that a really great way to quantify a positive impact is the renewal—the number of districts that choose to partner with us year over year, especially here in California. We’re working at over 200 schools right now.

I’m on the sales side so a lot of my work is on the front end—establishing the relationship, doing my best to liaise and really understand what the need of that school district is. Here within the state there’s just so much need. There is a huge gap between the number of students that require services and the number of providers that are actually working at these schools. People have extremely high caseload numbers. So when we come in and we get up and going, it’s really a breath of fresh air. It provides space for districts to essentially hand us some of the things that maybe they could do but now they can give their staff the ability to get their time down within normal working hours, right? We get to see just tons of positive daily impacts. But I think the retention rate in that regard really shows the positive impact on a district level.

How do you serve the PresenceLearning mission of ensuring that all students receive the services they need to grow and thrive?

I grew up with family working in special education. My mom has been an aid for about 30 years.

My wife works in the space—she’s a behavioral therapist. I think I was really drawn to the mission of PresenceLearning because we get to come in with the purpose of helping people have better lives through reaching their goals and objectives, aligned within their IEPs. That resonated with me because I really wanted to work in a space where we get to make a positive impact on students’ lives.

The other thing that internally resonates with me is this—a great part about working at PresenceLearning is that as much as the staff externally want to serve students in districts, internally it’s the same way. I really appreciate the compassion and support that the company provides us in wanting us to succeed and grow. I think that is also reaffirming to the mission of the company. That’s pretty cool.

One example stands out—being pretty new, we just welcomed our first kid into the world. He’s four-months-old today. Especially in sales, joining a company with a new baby along the way within your first year of work is a little daunting because you’re coming in, and then you’re going to need some time off. I received a tremendous outpouring of love from not only the sales team, but company wide, welcoming my new baby into the world.

The gifts, the outpouring of love, the messages really meant a lot to me. PresenceLearning just does such a good job supporting us, and making sure that we’re also growing as well.

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