Bill Sparks - Director of Residential Services
Director of Residential Services

Bill Sparks, as the Director of Residential Services, focuses on developing and providing residential opportunities to individuals so they may live as independently as possible in a variety of community-based settings. He works diligently to ensure the program promotes the health, happiness, and safety of each individual based on their specific needs and interests. He has developed this approach over more than 20 years in the field.

Bill started his academic career with the intention of pursuing a degree in Engineering. In this pursuit, it became clear to him that he wanted to focus his career energy to positively impact the lives of others. He switched his focus and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology.

While completing his degree, Bill started working with young children in a supportive school setting. He gained additional direct care experience with diverse populations, including adolescents and adults in various residential settings. He also supported individuals with career development as a job coach. After completing his degree, Bill shifted his focus to Service Management and Program Development. He developed a very person-centered approach, ensuring participants are closely involved with support planning, to both encourage choice and promote them to be the best them that they can be. Upon returning to Pittsburgh, he held a number of Director-level roles within several social service agencies.

Just prior to joining CLASS, Bill worked with a small team to launch CARES of Western PA. For seven years, as Director of IDD Services and Quality Management Specialist, he worked to develop and maintain the highest level of community-based day programming for the adult population throughout the greater Pittsburgh area. Under his leadership, CARES also implemented LifeSharing as a residential model, and began to offer employment opportunities. When he stepped away from that role, CARES had grown to support more than 125 participants with a team of more than 50 staff. In that short time, they opened eight additional hubs and grew to support participants from seven local counties.

While not supporting his team at CLASS, Bill will be found spending time with his wife (Michelle), their daughter (Leah), and their three dogs (Brillo, Dobby, and Charlie). Together, they enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including pontoon boating, kayaking, biking, hiking, downhill skiing, and relaxing around a campfire. He is supportive of Michelle’s career as a Podiatrist, with her own private practice, and he encourages Leah in both her academic pursuits and extracurricular activities, most notably competitive gymnastics and playing the saxophone.