Rocco Gasparro is driven to make schools safer for students each and every day. As a Regional Sales Manager for Ohio, Missouri, and Alaska, Rocco uses the knowledge he gained while earning his degree in psychology to drive Gaggle’s mission to ensure student safety and well-being. Passionate about mental health and wellness, Rocco is proud to have the opportunity to impact students at Gaggle.
“I’ve always wanted to help kids with their mental health in some capacity,” shared Rocco, “and I’m proud to help districts protect more than 100,000 kids in my home state of Ohio.”
Start date: May 1, 2018
We asked Rocco five questions to get to know a little more about him and his time with Gaggle. Here’s what he had to say:
What are three words to describe Gaggle?
- Mission-driven: For as long as I’ve been here, every conversation with any leader or colleague has always been about kids and protecting kids with the focus of saving lives. I remember early on, my boss gave me a quota of students—how many students I wanted to protect. It wasn’t a sales number, which made me feel like the culture is really different in that sense. It’s always about delivering to school districts to help protect kids and putting those kids first.
- Student-focused: Everything we do is to benefit students and keep them safe, and I think you can see that not only in the way that we innovate but how we listen to customers when it comes to what they need and what their students are struggling with. We’re a thought leader in that sense—we’re doing webinars with experts like Dr. Drew and Dr. Lisa Strohman. I love that we’re more than a technology provider. We are a company that has a solution that protects kids, but we also invest a lot of energy in research and educating communities about the issues kids face. I think that’s pretty awesome.
- Innovative: To my knowledge, we were the first to do what we do in this space. And the history of Gaggle is super interesting to me. We started with an email and LMS solution, then shifted when districts started using Google and Microsoft. We innovated to move environments and make sure kids would still be safe in those spaces. From there, we innovated by developing a human component—nobody else does that.
What drew you to Gaggle?
I met Jeff Patterson purely by happenstance in Cleveland when I was a recent psychology graduate from Kent State. He explained what Gaggle does and shared the mission with me, and I told him I thought I could help. For about a year after that, Jeff was a great mentor to me. He recommended I get into sales—which I did—and I stayed in touch with him, knowing Gaggle was my goal. When a role opened up, Jeff gave me a shot, and I found my home at Gaggle.
What have you gained from working at Gaggle?
I’ve gained a sense of fulfillment—this is the first time I’ve had a job where I feel like I’m doing something truly important. Gaggle has given me a mission and focus in life that’s more than just a job. I’ve also gained some of the best friends I’ll ever have.
What is your proudest moment at Gaggle?
Being promoted to Regional Sales Manager in my state after two years as a Regional Sales Specialist. Being able to deliver Gaggle to my community—to the state that I was born and raised in and where I’ve lived my whole life—was probably the biggest moment for me. With this new role, I was also given the opportunity to work with larger districts, which, in turn, results in more students being protected.
What is your favorite memory at Gaggle?
There have been so many great moments! On a meaningful level, there have been a few instances when a new partner has reached out within the first few weeks to tell me they’ve been able to help save a kid because of Gaggle. When I get that immediate feedback and hear that if I hadn’t gotten them implemented, they may have missed something. Seeing the mission be carried out so quickly—those moments are always a favorite. On a more personal level, my first holiday party stands out. I had been at Gaggle for a few months and got to reconnect with my coworkers. We had matching shirts and there was this sense of unity. And I won a raffle—it’s the only raffle I’ve ever won in my life! If I could lump every party or retreat into one favorite moment, I would.
“Everything we do is to benefit students and keep them safe, and I think you can see that not only in the way that we innovate but how we listen to customers when it comes to what they need and what their students are struggling with.”
Rocco and his wife are expecting their first child this summer, further fueling his drive to make digital environments safer for kids. “Honestly, I’m terrified that my child will have technology one day,” he shared. “I feel like that’s amped up the mission for me—wanting to make this world a safer place for them.”