Employee Spotlight: Stacie Nikolaus, Overnight Supervisor

Authored By: Sonja Kania, Chief Talent & Social Capital Officer

Many of the employees at Norris have worked in other roles and/or at other organizations throughout Wisconsin and even throughout the country so it’s always fun to hear about their different experiences and life perspectives.  But this Employee Spotlight was especially unique because even though I’ve known Stacie for many years through her previous experience as a Treatment Foster Parent, there was so much I didn’t know about Stacie until our meeting earlier this month.  For example, I knew Stacie had been a foster parent for many, many years but I never realized that she had been caring for youth in her home AND working with their biological families for 22 years! Such an amazing person, who inspires me, and others, to continue to do this work each and everyday and reminds us that there are good days and bad days, but these kids need us and quite frankly, we need them too!

How long have you worked at Norris and what is your favorite Norris memory?

I have worked at Norris since October 2017 and started in the role of 3rd Shift Youth Care Worker.  I have a hard time thinking of just “one” of my favorite memories! I truly enjoy every day, and every connection I make with the youth!  Stacie was recently promoted to the role of Overnight Supervisor.  Congratulations Stacie!👏

Who would play you in the Lifetime original movie of your teen years?

Everyone tells me that I look like Sandra Bullock.  And more specifically, Sandra Bullock in the Blind Side movie.  Can you see the resemblance?

What is your favorite food to prepare (or eat)?

The youth at my house have always liked my ‘pizza hot dish,’ ‘pot pies’ and my ‘white chicken chili.’  Stacie says she “can cook” but doesn’t always “enjoy” it. However, Stacie has won THREE chili cook-offs so I think it’s safe to say she’s pretty “good” at it.

When was the last time you traveled somewhere new?

In January we took a road trip through small towns in Iowa.  And in March we took a Spring Break trip to Arizona.

How do you spend your free time?

Watching t.v./movies with my family. Our favorites are ‘Hitch’ and ‘Friends.’ I also really enjoy doing Pinterest projects.

What is your most useless talent?

They’re all useful!

What is the best advice that you have been given from staff when you started working here?

How to stay awake on 3rd shift.  It was really helpful for other employees to tell me what they’ve done to adjust to the ‘overnight hours’ since that was new to me.

What would be your best advice for new staff at Norris?

Never underestimate the ability the youth in our care have to be resilient, allow them to shine despite the trauma they have gone through.

What are you most proud of? Professionally? Personally?

Anything I’ve done with the youth in the my life, including my own daughter, and the boys living at Norris.  Sometimes it’s the ‘little’ things that make the biggest difference like talking with a youth in the middle of the night when they cannot sleep or they’re feeling scared, getting them a warm glass of milk to help them feel better.  I always want these boys to do well. I always want people to recognize how truly resilient they all are.

Stay tuned for more Norris Employee Spotlights coming soon! If you are interested in joining our team, please visit our “Join Our Team” page on our website for current openings.