Gladys H. Oberle SchoolYou never know who might be the next connection to your new career.

My mom loved helping me and my friends find a job, even if it was something temporary until we found a more permanent position. She knew that as long as we had jobs we could make our car payments and it guaranteed that we’d stay out of trouble busy during the day. 

Twelve years ago, my best friend Tricia, who I’ve known since first grade, worked as the At Once Staffing receptionist. Her warm smile and friendly voice and blonde hair made our staff and applicants feel welcome. One day, an applicant came into the office with her job coach. Tricia struck up a conversation with the job coach and learned she worked for the Gladys H. Oberle School in downtown Fredericksburg. Tricia mentioned she was looking for a permanent teaching position and the job coach encouraged her to apply. Later that day Tricia applied for a teaching position, and in the Fall she began teaching Biology at the school. She is now one of the administrators at Gladys H. Oberle.

For my next on-site job visit, I spent the day with Tricia at Gladys H. Oberle School. Her school is a private special education day program that serves middle and high school that are identified with Autism, Emotional Disability, Intellectual Disability, Learning Disability, ADHD and Multiple disabilities. Tricia is now the Program Coordinator, responsible for developing and implementing educational programs to meet the needs of the students. 

Great Teachers & Classes

First, I stopped to meet teacher Holly Corwin. Holly introduced me to the students and then asked them what they liked most about school. One student noted he appreciates that the teachers understand him and what he goes through, and likes how they work with him when he gets upset. Another student said he loves the work experience he receives. This particular student had a tough time finding employment, but with the help from the job coaches and school, they found something that fits his needs. The final student said they love the food! Check out the latest newsletter for the yummy food choices!

Gladys H. Oberle offers a wide variety of classes beyond the regular covering vocational classes, job training and the arts. Specific classes they offer include small engine repair, bike repair and maintenance, small hand tools, culinary arts, art, computer applications, and education for employment.  I met teachers Paul, Andy (fellow North Stafford graduate) and Kermit, who seemed very involved with teaching and training the students.  Their classes have been making picnic tables, podiums and cookbook stands.

Next, I met Mr. and Mrs. Perrow, a husband and wife team, teach the culinary arts program. They teach the students culinary skills and prepare lunch for the students during the day.  With the upcoming Easter season, the students prepared an Easter Celebration with dyed hard-boiled eggs, sweet potatoes, ham and sugar cookies.

Then I met Janette, an English teacher, who reviewed lessons with the students and their recent “Roast a Teacher” homework assignment.  The homework assignment completely engaged the students – they couldn’t wait to get started.

Low Teacher to Student Ratio

The teachers and students impressed me with their hands-on approach to learning. The school has a teacher to student ratio of 1:4, giving students the best attention and support to reach their highest potential. Tricia, and other administrators, have an open door policy. Throughout the day several visitors popped into her office, which allowed us to easily interact with the teachers and students.  

I extremely enjoyed working with Tricia and meeting the staff at Gladys H. Oberle School.  Their teaching styles, variety of classes, and dedication to the students provide enhanced educational and real world experiences. 


  • Bring your small engine or bike repairs to Gladys H. Oberle
  • May 26 – Stop by their car wash where all donations will go to the school
  • June 2 – Register for their Open Golf Tournament and help the school raise money to continue serving students with special needs and help them expand their educational and job training programs. Matern Staffing will be there!
  • Graduating seniors, check back soon for more information about applying for a Matern Staffing sponsored scholarship to use towards college or technical school