By Laura Beth Saaman, V/T Commercial student intern
Miriam Novotny is the Executive Director for Mosaic Learning Center, a school and consultation practice for students with neurological differences. She has worked at the Mosaic Learning Center for almost 15 years. Using a strength based approach, Mosaic Learning Center provides speech and language, behavioral and occupational therapy that orients around the students’ areas of strengths, focused on leveraging those strengths to support their areas of need. Life skills, such as cooking and laundry, are an integral part of the program as well.
With 40 staff members, Mosaic Learning Center has grown over the past several years. They have locations in Colchester and Morrisville and offer a wrap around program in public school systems that allows them to serve students across Vermont. Their newest location in Colchester has allowed the school to expand its services.
V/T Commercial helped Miriam and Mosaic Learning Center find the Colchester facility. The process for finding a new home for the school took about two years. There were limited options available to them due to their specific needs. Miriam described how working with Tony Blake and V/T Commercial helped her feel supported during the process as they navigated the challenges that come with securing a new location.
“Tony and V/T Commercial were diligent and he was very realistic about what was out there and what wasn’t out there. They were there to help us navigate the process and how we could move into a space in a way that was honoring who we were as a school and respectful of the owners of the building. They stood by our side and helped us through some challenging situations along the way. The level of collaboration and cooperation they brought was quite unique I think.”
“This location gives us the chance to be more present, and we hope to contribute to this sense of elevating the best of really wonderful things about our city, about Burlington and Colchester and our surrounding communities, that are worth honoring and celebrating. We feel like this building allows us to do that in our own unique way through our special education.”
Miriam is grateful for the partnership that was formed between Mosaic Learning Center and V/T Commercial. She described how this partnership made her feel as if V/T Commercial became part of Mosaic Learning Center’s DNA as they worked together to find a space that would be a lasting location for them.
“It’s the difference of working with people who care for the sake of a transaction and working with people who care about doing it for the sake of transformation. They came at it from “look I see this as a transformative opportunity for you”. We weren’t just pushed into a building just to be pushed into a building, and I think that’s pretty amazing.”
Miriam feels a sense of joy as she goes to work everyday. When asked to describe what made her experience working with V/T Commercial a success, Miriam praised the team’s constant care and attention as they worked through this process together.
“I think V/T Commercial clearly cared about the work that we do and care for the health of our business’ growth opportunity. We found that to be pretty unique, and it meant a lot to us. This will be a relationship that we will hopefully carry forward for the rest of our days as an organization. We feel like it was really pivotal in our own development. I think that’s what it’s about at the end of the day. When it comes to working in a community of this size, these relationships really matter. V/T Commercial had a willingness to open up possibilities while maintaining a willingness to guide and listen.”