January 31, 2020
Master of all trades- Life as a Site Supervisor and Camp Manager!
By Valerie Kelly
Cassandra Brumfield (nicknamed “Smiley” at Young Set Club summer camp) wears many hats. From working as a Site Supervisor during the school year at Pleasant Grove CDC to running the Summer Camp program as a Camp Manager at Young Set Club in El Dorado Hills, there is never a dull moment. We had a great time getting to know Cassandra a little bit more and were able to learn about what it’s like being in such a unique position within the company.
How long have you been with CDI? Have you had any other roles/titles with us?
I’ve been with the agency since April 2014, which will be my six-year anniversary. I started off as a field staff Associate Teacher then that summer, I was doing summer camp at Franklin CDC. Then I was approached about being the off-track Summer Camp Counselor at Stone lake CDC. I transferred to Stone Lake in Nov 2014 and worked closely with Program Director, Erin Ellsworth, who was a Site Sup at the time. I continued my education in order to become a Site Supervisor. I started working at Young Set Club in 2017 and received a position as Assistant Camp Manager.
In late 2017, I received the Camp Manager position. I transferred out of Stone Lake and went into variable status with field staff in order to work on my teaching credentials. In early 2018, I returned to field staff full time as an Assistant Site Supervisor and during the transitional period I worked with the HR department doing prescreens and recruitment. Then I was later encouraged to apply for the Site Supervisor position at Pleasant Grove CDC, which merges during the summer and allows me to continue to work at Young Set Club as a Camp Manager, which I feel is a great fit for me.
“I knew my heart and passion for enriching children was better met by the philosophy of our program instead of a traditional classroom, so I went ahead and accepted the position in April 2018.”
Tell me about your career and educational background. What roles were you in prior to coming to CDI?
I was a certified massage therapist for eight years at a spa in Elk Grove which shut down just shortly before I had my daughter. For some time, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I enjoyed helping people feel better but couldn’t continue that type of work after a hand injury. After that, was a dance teacher and educator for six years before coming to CDI. I stayed at home after having my daughter for about two and a half years before enrolling my daughter in preschool at Raymond Case where I did some volunteering. One day, one of the teachers said I was so great with the kids and asked about my background. When I mentioned that I had a BA in Liberal Studies and was interested in being a teacher, I was encouraged to apply for a position within the company. I also have an AA in Music and a BA in Liberal Studies with a Dance Minor. I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment out of everything I do, but I hurt my hand quite a few years ago, so I can’t do massage therapy full time anymore, but I definitely enjoy the ability to make people feel better, whether it be relieving stress or tension.
Are there particular experiences or memorable moments that stand out to you in your time here at CDI?
Every time I was approached is pretty memorable for me, people wanted me and that made me happy. When I was asked to go to Stone Lake, Young Set Club and now Pleasant Grove, those are all pretty memorable moments for me as well as the relationships I’ve built along the way. Every summer I leave Young Set Club, I feel very fulfilled. Each time I’m in the office, I get to meet new people, especially people I’ve been talking with over the phone. It goes back to that relationship building. When I was there, I was able to put names to faces. During that time, I was at Anderson as an Assistant Site Sup. I was on restricted duty due to an injury, so spent some time working in the office.
What do you enjoy most about being a Site Supervisor or working here at CDI? Biggest Challenges?
The biggest thing for me is the relationships, whether it be with the school, kids, staff or community. CDI is really big on relationship building and I pride myself in building those relationships. At the school, I was nominated to be Vice President of the PTA. It was challenging having a full plate, but talking with principal, we were able to get the kids to be able to utilize the computer lab and I even got them to agree to our preschool to use the library once a month.
The biggest challenge is that it is a small center and with that can come staffing challenges. When people are sick, have vacations or appointments, we have to ensure schedules and ratios are covered and handle any staffing changes and challenges.
What does a typical day look like in the role as a Site Supervisor?
Every day is so different. Some days I’m in ratio and other days I’m trying to do orders. Sometimes we’re problem solving because of challenging behaviors. You’re trying to get ready for staff meetings and budgets. It’s an unpredictable environment and no day is the same. You just have to put a smile on, take things with a grain of salt and try to get through things the best you can.
Tell me something that you think makes our organization unique.
Our philosophy, partnerships and the relationships we make and create. Not just with community, families and kids, but also within the organization and professional development in classes. The organization is constantly striving to be a family of educators. We’re always trying to learn and grow and be the best we can be. While it can be challenging to keep with all the changes, we know that change is for the better even if it’s uncomfortable.