Every few months, we’ll be introducing you to a new School on Wheels staff member so you can learn more about the people who make our programs run successfully! This month, we’re highlighting Kate Hussey, our Chief Operating Officer, who holds the distinction of working at School on Wheels longer than anyone besides our Founder & CEO, Sally Bindley!

What is your role at School on Wheels?
I’m the chief operations officer, overseeing the business operations of School on Wheels. I collaborate with our board and School on Wheels’ teams to develop and implement our strategic plan.

kate with the swimming girl education celebrationWhat did you do before you started working at School on Wheels?
I was an education consultant in San Francisco and in corporate management in Indianapolis prior to joining School on Wheels.

Why did you decide to join the School on Wheels team?
I had an opportunity to run a non-profit awards program for several years through my corporate work. I was drawn to School on Wheels because I wanted to use my skills and experience to impact lives in a much more meaningful way.

What’s your favorite thing about your job?
I can’t possibly list just one thing!

One of my favorite things about my job is hearing about our students’ success stories. I love talking to a mom who worked closely with our staff to find the right school for her child. I love hearing that a student got his first A on a spelling test because he practiced the list with his favorite tutor. It is so rewarding to hear from partners and schools that they see a difference in the students who are enrolled in School on Wheels programs.

Working with our team has been the most rewarding experience of my career. It is a pleasure to work with such a dedicated, hard-working, talented and cohesive team. Every staff member is deeply engaged in our mission and committed to providing the best solutions for the students and families we serve. School on Wheels students are just like any other children, but they are living in extreme poverty and facing very difficult circumstances. It is critical that the staff be able to work together seamlessly to provide strong programming and support to our kids.

kate writing prompt cropped

Can you share one of your favorite tutoring stories?
One little girl who will always be special to me is someone I met when she was just four years old. She was not yet enrolled in kindergarten, but she wanted to attend tutoring – she saw the “big kids” having fun and didn’t want to miss out. The program team asked if we could make an exception and allow her to enroll in the program. I met her one night during tutoring and was blown away by how bright, engaged, and excited she was to be doing Kindergarten level work with a tutor. She attended our programs 3-4 times per week for over four years. Her mother worked closely with a School on Wheels program coordinator to enroll her in a charter school, where she is now a successful sixth grader.

Although she and her family moved into their own apartment a few years ago, she stays in touch with the School on Wheels team and participates in our summer program and tutoring whenever possible. She is such a great kid. It is wonderful to see her thriving socially and academically. She is a great example that every child can succeed with the right support systems in place.

What’s one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?
I met my husband when we were studying abroad in Germany. I love traveling and learning about different cultures and people. If we won the lottery we would take a year off and travel the world together.