Name: Kara Scheller
Where were you born and raised?
“I was born and raised here in Gadsden!”
What is your occupation?
“I am a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, also known as a BCBA, and owner of Coosa Behavioral Services.”
What made you decide to work in your field?
“I became interested in disabilities, specifically autism, after one summer at Camp Sumatanga where I was a volunteer counselor. One of our campers had Asperger’s and required some extra supports that week of camp. I was in awe of his growth over the week of camp. He struggled the first couple of days with all of the changes, and at the very last lunch he lead the entire camp in “When We Wish Upon A Star.” It was amazing!”
Tell us about your family and pets.
“I am married to Zachary Scheller from Hickory, N.C. We’ve been married for almost three years. We have two dogs. Della is a long haired dachshund and Penny is a pitbull mix. They rule the roost and are both lap dogs, all 16 and 70 pounds of them!”
Describe an average day in your life.
“An average day for me consists of either working in the clinic with a client or staff, consulting in one of the local schools with teachers and students or doing administrative work for the business.”
What school or schools have you attended?
“I was the lucky enough to be in the very last graduating class of Gadsden High School (Go Tigers!). I went to Auburn University, where I majored in Psychology and minored in Spanish. Finally, I went to Florida State University at the Panama City campus, where I received my Master’s Degree in Psychology with a focus in Applied Behavior Analysis.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“I love to do nothing when I have free time. I may watch Netflix, listen to some music and play with my pups. If I have ‘lots’ of free time, I love to travel! Seaside, Fla. is my all-time favorite getaway town.”
What would you say is your greatest accomplishment?
“I am very proud to say that I own the only Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) clinic in Etowah County and within almost 50 miles. I have dreamed of opening a clinic for very long time, and it finally came true a few years ago. We just moved to a brand new location that is much larger facility, and I am excited to continue to serve our community in the best way I can.”
Name the one person that has been the most influential in your life. Why?
“I cannot pick one. I have two. My parents, Anthony and Beth Wilson, have and always will be my inspiration. They have always taught me that if you try, and do it with passion and kindness, you are making a difference. My mom and dad are my biggest supporters and they continue to help me make the best decisions for my family and my business.”
To what do you credit your success?
“I have always been a driven person, and was voted Most Likely to Succeed in high school so that must be it (wink wink)! I have had the ability to be involved in some wonderful organizations throughout my life. In college, I was in a sorority and also an athletic recruitment hostess. Both of those organizations taught me how to conversate with people from all walks of life, how to make others feel welcome and loved and how to be great collaborative professional.”
Are you involved in any service organizations?
“I am currently a member of the 2019 Leadership Etowah class and the Assistant Secretary of the Gadsden Service Guild. I also serve on the Advancing Women to the Top Conference committee and have re-cently been asked to serve on the Special Olympics co-mmittee.”
What is your favorite thing about this community?
“Gadsden is home. There is never a day where someone is not supporting you. It may not be with shining lights, but someone out there believes in you and in our community. We are a gem and are slowly being polished to show our real charm.”
What would you like to see change in the community?
“I want to see more involvement of young adults in leadership within our community. Gadsden is central to so many big cities and surrounding small cities, so our potential is endless. I am really hopeful that some of our new young leaders will propel a wave of others to voice their concerns, and more importantly bring their knowledge to our community. Young adults are powerful in our world today, with their technological knowledge and passion driven focuses. We have to bring in jobs, entertainment and education that will attract young leaders to come here and stay here.”
What are three words that describe you?
“Loyal, compassionate and ambitious.”
What is something surprising that many do not know about you?
“I used to have a major obsession with WCW…or World Championship Wrestling. I ordered every paper view available and cried horrible tears when one of my favorite wrestlers (Ric Flair) had to be ‘taken to the hospital.’ That was also the night my parents told me it wasn’t real.”
What is your favorite quote?
“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
What is on your bucket list?
“I want to go to Wimbledon, see Paul McCartney and Jack Johnson and go to Santorini, Greece.”
What is your hidden talent?
“I am a pretty good artist. I am not the ‘creative’ type, but if you give me a picture to replicate, I can do it and I enjoy it!”
If a movie were made about your life, who would you want to play you?
“I love Reese Witherspoon, but she is blonde so that wouldn’t work. I guess I would say Alexis Bledel (Rory from Gilmore Girls), she is my closest doppleganger.”
What advice would you give yourself as a child?
“Don’t wish away your days, you’ll never get them back.”
To nominate someone for the People of Etowah column, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 256-547-1049.