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How Dr. Zoee Bartholomew Stayed Employed While Becoming a CEO, Doctor, and Professor

Updated: May 25, 2022

Dr. Zoee Barthalomew started out as a support staff at an autism unit. She then moved back to California where she became a special education teacher and was selected to be trained to become a behavior specialist at the Solano County Office of Education. Zoee is also a professor at Dominican University of California as well as the SPED program director.

Now she does trainings, expert consultations, and works with families on how to navigate the IEP process as an educational consultant.

How Zoee's love for kids turned into a career:

From a very young age, Zoee knew she wanted to work with kids. Starting in middle school, Zoee was a recreational leader for the city of Berkeley and did this job every summer until she graduated from college.

People she worked with saw her natural talent for working with kids, especially those with special needs, and pushed her to pursue it further. One day Zoee wrote down a list of every single thing someone has asked her to do regarding her business and she looked at it with a friend and one of the things that stood out the most was a need for consultation training.

While working at the office of education, a family asked to pay her to watch their child at home and this is where Zoee entered the private practice. Zoee began getting so many clients that she had to hire other staff and her business grew and grew.

Growing her business:

Zoee realized she had built a massive network and started calling people and letting them know the business she was launching and one of her friends told her she needed this service. On the marketing level, the most business Zoee gets is still from word of mouth and she truly believes your reputation precedes you and it is important to be active and make yourself visible.

Zoee is constantly evolving her business to best fit the current needs of her clients and she is even currently pivoting to build more online platforms.

Pay inequities for teachers

Sean and Zoee discuss the pay inequities teachers face and even the differences between educators in the public v.s. private sectors. Zoee says one of the biggest challenges she has faced for years is people don’t want to invest in this work because investors are looking for a rate of return and this work isn’t always for the profit.

Zoee made around 50k a month but she was one of the few agencies that paid her employees what they were worth and so a large chunk of that went to paying staff rather than profits.

You can find Zoee at


Sean McCormick 0:00 Hey, everybody, welcome back to another episode of Earn More Tutoring. Before we get started, I need you to do one thing for me. Go to your podcast app and leave a review. It literally takes 30 seconds you can leave whatever you want. You can say you love it, you hate it. Just leave a review. Comment. Do it now. All right, let's get started. We're back with another episode of Earn More Tutoring. Today's guest is Dr. Zoee Bartholomew. This week, she shares about how she built a behavioral coaching program with over 20 staff members, how she founded the professional development and educational consulting firms EMB consulting, and how she became a doctor and college professor along the way. Zoee Bartholomew 0:42 I am happy to be here to share this with people and I'm happy to help my fellow educators out there who want to do more and want to make more I can show you have to do it and still keep your job. Because I did it. And I actually worked the schedule with my job. I knew I had a business and they knew what it looked like. And I remember leaving in different times of the day to go serve quiet in combat. Sean McCormick 1:15 So I'm super excited to have you here today. Welcome to the show. Zoee Bartholomew 1:19 Thank you excited to be here. Sean McCormick 1:22 Awesome. So first question. Tell us about your different ventures and the different kinds of hats you wear as an educator. Zoee Bartholomew 1:31 Okay, so as I started my career, I started out actually as a support staff out in Chevrolet Marilyn, I worked at a place that was called like an autism unit where they have preschool age children with autism. They trained us on how to do discrete trial training. So I was what they call a driller, so I would actually use discrete trial training to teach kids different skill sets. I later then decided to become a special education teacher. And so I came back to California to do this work. So I actually worked with the Vallejo school district as a resource specialist as well as I did what they call a severely handicapped class. That was the title at the time. And there was a special day class for K through third grade. And then I moved on, I was actually selected to become a behavior specialist. And so they sent me through a series of different trainings to become a behavior specialist. And then I actually worked with the school district Venetia school district. And then I moved on from there to work for the entire Solano County Office of Ed, as a behavior specialist. While I was doing all this tenure, of course, I work with families all the time. And so I was actually asked if I would actually watch their child at home, and they would pay me like $1,000 to do it. And I was like, What are you talking about. And they basically, were struggling with behaviors in the home. And so that's how I learned about how to do private practice in the home. So I actually got vendor eyes of work with regional center clients, which is something we have here in California. And I've basically work with families in the home with behavioral services. From there, I expanded my services. So meaning I have so many clients coming in, I have to begin to get staff so I could no longer be this one woman show, I actually had to start hiring staff because I just didn't have the capacity to do all this on my own. So I actually had a staff of like 20 staff, we actually expanded into having what we call behavioral coaches and assistants and different people working in the homes as well as we created like a pilot program to actually work with children with autism and integrating them into an existing recreational program. So from there, I then became just the face of the business. So going to different meetings and some of these meetings I went to was like community meetings for vendors and for different agencies and their we built these communities of how can we basically fill these gaps of supports and services with family so from there, I actually expanded out into doing more trainings and more expert consultation and things like that. And so basically now, I pretty much do that. I don't have this whole staff. I'm working with families now and how to navigate through the ice process which of course, was something I kind of fell into as well, because working with them in the homes, I always heard about the IP, and how frustrating it was. And because I actually was a sped teacher, I knew the behind the scenes look at how we look at IPs, how we're developing them how we should integrate our families in this process. So then, I started working with the families on that level as what I call an educational consultant, not an advocate, I feel that the parents are advocates first. And then I'm here to just support that work. And so that's the model that I use, not everyone uses that model who are helping us support the families on the school side. But for me, that's how I look at it, I want to support the...

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