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Daily Inspiration: Meet Louise Sattler

Today we’d like to introduce you to Louise Sattler.

Hi Louise, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I am a person who is a “born educator”. Some people have also described me as an “accidental entrepreneur”. I was born in Lake Ronkonkoma, New York to educators. I lived my formative years shuffled between the joys of Long Island to visiting family in Brooklyn. During the year of my 11th birthday, my father announced we were moving to Western New York where he accepted a position as a School Superintendent of Wellsville Central Schools.

As we drove into this tiny area compared to where we had been living, I thought he had watched too many episodes of Green Acres – from the city to the county we go! But, it was those tween and teen years in this small hamlet that taught me a lot about the value of picking your career wisely. I also learned that you don’t just live in a community – you become involved and invested in your community. You volunteer, you help, and you are an integral part of your neighborhood. I left for the University of Delaware in 1977 where I thought I was going to be a pre-med major. Dang that organic chemistry! I just couldn’t muster enough guts to put that class on my schedule. But, I did make room for all the American Sign Language courses they offered. (Languages are kinda my “thing”). Little did I know that the decision to take the sign language courses was going to be a strong influence in shaping my decision for graduate school and my career. In 1984 I graduated Penn State with a degree in School Psychology and returned to Delaware to become one of two School Psychologists at the Delaware School For the Deaf.

During those years, I met and married my husband, had two amazing children, and then moved to Columbia, Maryland. It was there that my trajectory from school-based psychology to a more global experience started to take shape. I developed a sign language program to teach families who needed to learn the basics of sign and started speaking to families, groups of caregivers, educators about the value of sign language with children with special needs. My story was chronicled a few years ago in SLATE MAGAZINE. The podcast (a cooperative program with HISCOX insurance and SLATE) also can be found here: https://www.hiscox.com/blog/points-courage-podcast-series Backstory: It was the events of 9/11, the experiences of loved ones and those of my Deaf friends that were the catalyst for my SIGN LANGUAGE FOR EMERGENCY SITUATIONS program. Here I learned how to truly use social media to market on a much bigger scale than ever before. I spoke to thousands of first responders, educators and government officials on how to help our children and adults with special needs during an emergency – including giving access to the basics of sign language or nonverbal communication. Little did I know that marketing my own projects would set the stage for me helping others to promote their projects and business.

As life would have it, cancer hit with a vengeance in 2011. I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of thyroid cancer (Stage 3). I am now living every day – optimally and healthy. I also appreciate the value of sharing my story with others. So, once again I took to social media and created some videos and wrote at length about this experience. I always made sure my video content was either captioned or signed. In 2011 my hubby also got the green light to move us to California. We decided on the San Pedro area as we wanted a little semblance of that small-town living I missed from my youth and walkability. I didn’t want to have to hop in my car to get eggs and coffee. Living in San Pedro has been a blessing. It is a little gem of a town. We have made very good friends, enjoy the cultural aspects, and the views are amazing. Since 2011 I have worked in education and media. I have met and enjoyed getting to know many people via both of these verticals.

From consulting in education and working as a school psychologist, I have met extraordinary educators. And, creativity is boundless in the world of social media. Plus, I have spent a lot of time exploring our new “coast” through travel and local/ regional events! Plus… No matter what I do – I focus on a phrase that has been passed on to me from my family and has helped guide my life- TIKKUN OLAM. This is Hebrew for To Repair the World. My family believes in this wholeheartedly. (Another side note: Our daughter, Natasha (who also lives in LA as a producer) has worked on many projects that are about TIKKUN OLAM -including for Sandy Hook Promise.) In closing – When asked how to describe my life, I use one word – charmed. I have an amazing family and overall – it has been a very good life, well-lived.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I have lived more than 6 decades. I don’t mind “outing” that fact. Those years of experience have seen lots of highs and lows. What I have learned however, is that personal challenges are a “blip” in my professional journey. No matter what obstacle has happened, I have learned to that the result usually has made me stronger, more resilient, and taught me an invaluable lesson. During 2020 I learned what pivoting really means! I went from a world of education and media consulting to a situation where I was jumping back into the trenches as a virtual School Psychologist. I am grateful for this opportunity, but very sad how it came to be – no one wants to change careers due to a pandemic!

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I have been blessed with more than one professional career. I guess I am known for being a person who likes to help. I am most proud of my role as Mom and raising two amazing (now grown) kids. But, professionally I believe what I am most proud is the impact I have made on individual lives. From the child who now can read because I helped to identify their learning “glitch” as dyslexia, to the First Responder who helped a Deaf person during an emergency because I taught them how to use basic sign language, or the entrepreneur who has grown their business because of my assistance with their media marketing. What sets me apart from others is a tough question. Maybe best asked of others who know or who have worked with me? I believe that knowing sign language has opened many doors. I also believe that needing limited hours of sleep has bode well for me, too! I also love to travel and blog about lessons learned from all the places I have been – local and across the globe. I have attended many travel and international-themed events. I also am a frequent contributor to Trip Advisor – where I hope that others will enjoy my reviews and learn from them, as well.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
I belong to an amazing women’s mentoring/ networking/ leads group in the South Bay called the Beach Cities Breakfast Club. I joined shortly after we moved to San Pedro and have made so many friends, expanded my businesses and learned so much from being part of this group. I would highly recommend that people who are looking to professionally grow by learning from others and also sharing their knowledge with others – should seek a networking / mentoring group. Also, mentoring youth is so important. That is something I have done in the past and have found very rewarding. I hope to get back to mentoring post the Covid pandemic.

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