A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Katie Lanham is new transition coordinator for The Point/Arc, stepping into new role

By Andy Furman
The Point/Arc

It’s a new world for Katie Lanham and she can’t wait to get started.

The 29-year-old graduate of Ohio University is the new Transition Coordinator for The Point/Arc.

“When the head of a department leaves,” said Judy Gerding, Point/Arc president, “the task of filling someone’s shoes is easiest when a seasoned and highly-qualified person has been working with them on the team.”

Katie Lanham

Lanham replaces Robyn Dischar, who served as Transition Coordinator at The Point/Arc for close to five years.

“It’s an honor to promote Katie Lanham as our new Transition Coordinator,” Gerding continued, “She has all the skills to take our well recognized and unique educational offerings to the next level.”

Lanham was hired at The Point/Arc two years ago as Social Communications Specialist, but feels she’s better suited for her new position.

“I was a Child and Family Studies major, and certainly look forward to the new school year and challenges ahead,” she said.

The new school year, she says, should get underway sometime in late August – and it will be the first at Zembrodt Education Center (ZEC) since 2019 –thanks to the pandemic.

Two classes are in the planning stage for The Point/Arc’s new Transition Coordinator – a pre-vocational curriculum and Career Exploration.

“The pre-vocational skills are primarily for juniors and seniors in high school, and Career Exploration mostly for high school seniors,” said Lanham. “In Career Exploration,” she continued, “we identify jobs that are well-matched to personal interests and strengths.”

Lanham says the pre-vocational classes are set to meet Mondays and Wednesdays. The Career Exploration classes will be three-times-a-week – Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Each class is a two-hour session and taught by Lanham.

“In Career Exploration, we go to job sites in the community and get hands-on practice,” said Lanham, an Anderson Township resident and graduate of Anderson High School.

“We have community partners in both Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati,” she said.

Some of those partners include: H.O.N.K. – Housing Opportunities of Northern Kentucky – where students are challenged on construction/type skills.

“We’ll have students do volunteer one-day jobs at places like YMCA Camp Ernst, Spring Grove Cemetery and even the Independence (Ky.) Police Department,” she said.

As Transition Coordinator for The Point/Arc Katie Lanham is all about workplace readiness for her students. Everyday skills like following directions, increasing communication skills, money and time management and even practicing good hygiene, Lanham says.

The Point/Arc was founded in 1972 by a group of parents fighting for the educational rights of their children, who were diagnosed with an intellectual and developmental (I/DD) disability. The mission – to help people with disabilities achieve their highest potential educationally, socially, residentially and vocationally. More than this, The Point/Arc has been an organization that identifies gaps in services and provides care and support to fill these gaps – even government funding sources are not available.

“We’re about recognizing where a person’s talents and skills might be best served as well as appreciated,” said Lanham.

And that might be the biggest transition of all.

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