Staff Spotlight: Mason Messinger

Mr. Mason Messinger is currently a teacher in the Life Skills Support program, serving as the Project SEARCH instructor at Kalahari Resorts in the Poconos for the last seven years. His tenure at CIU 20 spans twenty years and includes previous stints as a job coach and Partial Hospitalization Teacher. This fall, he will be teaching the first group of interns at the new Project SEARCH location at Wind Creek Resort in Bethlehem.
Mr. Messinger has this to say about his new role, "I'm very excited about having a Project SEARCH program at Wind Creek Bethlehem to best meet our districts, students and families in Northampton County! It's been a long time coming, but it will be great to see students hopefully transition to a higher level of independence and replicate the success of the Kalahari location."
When asked what the most rewarding aspect of his role at the IU is, Mason points to the work he has done with the Project SEARCH program, "We focus entirely on competitive employment opportunities for our students and it's super rewarding seeing young adults obtaining employment and are still working many years later." He references relationship building as a key factor to his ability to help students maximize their potential, "We all know connecting with some students can be a challenge, but I've realized over the years the more you can show interest in what's going on in their lives, the greater the chance they will listen to the feedback you will give them down the road."
Mason's advice for a new employee starting out at the IU is "Keep growing and developing. There's no greater learning curve than on the job training and everything that they can't teach you in school. Some days/years are definitely challenging, but the better you can bond/connect with your co-workers the more you will grow."