My name is Kay Scharoun and at the present time I am the L’Arche Syracuse, Board of Directors, Co-Chair. I’ve held this position since 2015. I came to know L’Arche Syracuse through my work with the Syracuse Developmental Center (SDC). In the early 90’s when NYS was planning to close many of the larger state run institutions, SDC was chosen as one of them. I was part of a task force assigned to explore private agency residential opportunities in our local community for residents and their families to consider as we downsized and moved toward closure. I was familiar with most of the larger local agencies such as ARC and Liberty Resources and fortunately became aware of smaller more unique programs like L’Arche Syracuse. The spiritual dimension and individualized care aspect of the L’Arche Community for individuals with intellectual disabilities was truly one of a kind then and remains unequaled today in the Central N.Y. region.
My husband, Michael and I are life long residents of Central N.Y. and this is where we raised our family. We have four sons, four grandchildren and a poodle named Ernie: Patrick and our grandchildren Molly and Michael live in N. Carolina; Christopher lives in Virginia (although at the moment he is living in a tent in multiple states attempting to walk the Appalachian Trail), Ryan and Rekha and our grandchildren Taj and Niam live in Massachusetts as does our son Corey.
My undergraduate and graduate work was in Psychology and I am a NYS permanently certified School Psychologist. Most of my professional career was spent working for the NYS Office of People With Developmental Disabilities (NYS OPWDD). My husband, Michael, a trained Rehabilitation Counselor, also spent his 35+ year career with the NYS OPWDD. My husband and I both have siblings who held professional positions with this agency and a family member who is presently residing in an individual residential alternative (IRA) run by NYS. Our mutual families share a belief that all people deserve a life of dignity and respect and our varied careers in this field and our enduring advocacy reflect this strong and important position. My husband and I are both retired from NYS.
In addition to my work for NYS I served as an adjunct professor of Psychology at LeMoyne College in Syracuse, N.Y. for 24 years. I am also retired from teaching. My husband and I (and Ernie) spend summer months in the Adirondacks where our children, grandchildren and friends frequently visit us. The older we get the more we like to spend some of the winter months in N. Carolina and Florida. In the past we liked to snow shoe and now we like to wear sandals!