Margy Nicholson to Retire

We are writing to share the important news that after over 35 years with COMPASS, Margy Nicholson, Director of Community Services, will retire at the end of May 2024.  During the past three decades, COMPASS has evolved and grown, expanding its mission to give more youth and families the opportunity to succeed.  Margy has been an integral part of this work.

Margy attended Boston College in the 3/2 program, completing her undergraduate degree in Sociology and her Master of Social Work in five yearsIt was evident early on that Margy was dedicated and passionate about the fields of social work and child welfare.

Margy started her career at COMPASS as a Foster Care Coordinator.  In this role, she monitored and supervised DYS-involved youth in foster homes and provided support as needed.  After a short time in this role, Margy moved on to work with the Department of Youth Services (DYS) as an aftercare caseworker.  After nine months with DYS, Margy’s career led her back to COMPASS, developing the Emergency Elementary Program within the COMPASS school, which expanded to include both emergency and long-term students.  She worked as the Clinical Coordinator of the Elementary Program for the next six years, adding Assistant Principal to her role for the last two years.

With family in Northern Ireland, Margy dreamed of living and working there.  In the early 90s, this dream almost became a reality as she accepted a job at a children’s home in Belfast, but a few challenges kept her in the Boston area.

On July 5, 1993, Margy began as Director of Community Services at COMPASS.  Over the years, Margy has overseen the day-to-day functions of COMPASS’ contracts with DYS, DCF, DMH and DDS.  As the leader of the program, Margy has provided programmatic and clinical supervision to the Community Services staff, remained in constant contact with the state agencies and collaterals, and supported countless youth and families.

In 2008, during the recession, COMPASS was in a dark place and leadership made the hard decision to lay off 20 of the 29 Community Services Staff.  Margy worked tirelessly through these years to ensure the program survived.  Now, 15 years later, the program has grown to over 100 staff, working with 22 DCF Area Offices, 5 DDS Area Offices, and almost 400 families each month.

COMPASS is one of Massachusetts’ leading providers of special education and human services for youth and families in need and Margy has been there every step of the way.  She has touched the lives of so many and is well known throughout Massachusetts.  To say that Margy will be missed is an understatement.

On behalf of the entire COMPASS community, we wish Margy the very best as she moves on to retirement and the next chapter of her life.  We are forever grateful for her 38 years of service.  Congratulations, Margy!

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