Inspirational Beginnings

Each year Lakeside hires and orients new staff to our mission and work with students who have struggled to maintain their status in their school.  All in all, we serve approximately 3,500 students per year in 45 different school districts located in seven Pennsylvania counties. These students have been identified as in need of counseling, a variety of supports and maybe an entire therapeutic community at one of our four alternative educational programs. We consider it a privilege to have this great stewardship of care for so many students who will be able to succeed because of the help we provide.

It is absolutely amazing to realize that Lakeside is hiring 50 new staff this year who will join our force of care for an entire region of students. I remember when I first came to Lakeside, our staff numbered less than 50 in total. It is exciting to see how our vision and impact has grown to now be one of the most prominent organizations who care for students with significant needs.  The key to our success is the quality of staff that we are so grateful for as we strive to meet these needs within our communities.

Caucasian female teacher wearing face mask at school, teaching children at school classroom. Education back to school health safety during Covid19 Coronavirus pandemic.

However, we do not do it alone. Without our community school districts and the relationships we have established with them we would not be able to hire the staff that helps thousands of students. With some added funding from governmental sources, many of our school districts have wisely contracted for more clinical help for students who are returning back to in-person school after the hybrid learning that has been so prevalent in the past 18 months. They have recognized that this year will be full of challenges and have requested more counseling help from Lakeside. They have invested in a healthy future by investing in their students’ lives.

Lakeside currently provides educational, clinical and behavior management services through

Lakeside School in Horsham, Pa., Lakeside Girls Academy also in Horsham, Upper Merion Vantage Academy in Bridgeport, Pa. and Souderton Vantage Academy in Franconia Township, Pa. Lakeside also provides tutoring and counseling programs within our varied communities via our Mobile Support Program where our staff supports students in a variety of locations in their communities. Lakeside also provides an In-School Counselor Program where our counselors work in school districts to meet their students’ needs as they progress through their academic programs. Finally our Neurologic program provides specialists who give both staff and student support to students who have faced specific adversities and trauma. 

It is truly inspirational to see these new staff members emerge into a caring force in the lives of thousands of students. When I think of all that is before them, I am excited to see what will unfold in this next year to come. In the midst of a pandemic and all the dissonance around us, these individuals will bring compassion, help and hope to those they encounter within these many programs of Lakeside. Our future will be brighter because of these dedicated staff.

Gerry Vassar


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