New inclusion helper starts journey at North Harford, Adjusts to unfamiliar environment

Grace Feldbush, Reporter

    North Harford’s newest staff member stepped into the building in December. Mrs. Melissa Weitkamp is the newest inclusion helper who has been assigned to assist a single student.

     At the Nest, Weitkamp says she is working with a “young man who has mobility issues which requires him to need an adult with him at all times.”  She explains all the teachers she works with have been great, helping her get adjusted to the new job. “I was glad they were so kind and showed me around when I first came here,” she says.  

     Weitkamp says the best part of her job is seeing the student she works with smile and have a good day. She explains the hardest part is being strict. She says he loves chatting about his day, so it is hard sometimes to get him to do his schoolwork. “I don’t like upsetting him, but I do have to lay down rules sometimes,” she says.  

     “I am a mother, so I know you have to put rules into place with this job,” Weitkamp says.

     “I am just playing it by ear and taking each day as it comes because each day is different and I am just trying to be as helpful… as I can be,” Weitkamp says.  

     Weitkamp mentions she had a knee replacement a year ago and knew she needed to slow things down physically. “I don’t like being home a whole lot,” she says. She explains a friend of hers works at the middle school and told her to apply here.  

    “I liked the idea of the job, it has good benefits, and I have a young son so with this job I can be home in time to get off the bus, so it was really a perfect fit,” Weitkamp says. 

     “Before coming to North Harford, I worked with Miller’s Lawn Care, which is a family business,” that she says does things like landscaping and snow removal.  She also had ran her own pet sitting business where she took care of people’s pets so they would not have to take them to kennels.  

    Weitkamp went to Wilson College and has a bachelor’s degree in science for vet tech and minors in business and psychology.  

     “It makes me upset to see him missing out on things he wants to do but I always try to make him the happiest he can be,” Weitkamp says. She explains she has always loved helping others which is why she loves this job and hopes to stick with it for quite awhile.