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Natalie Amaya

Natalie Amaya

Teacher of Dental Chairside Assisting

A good teacher inspires students and this is exactly how Natalie Amaya hit the ground running after high school to pursue her goal of becoming a dental hygienist and eventually return to teach at the Academy.

Amaya attended the Academy’s Dental Chairside Assisting Program as a high school junior. Carol Donohue, now an Academy work experience coordinator, was her teacher and proved to be an enormous source of positive influence for her. She encouraged Amaya to further her education, which she did by enrolling at SUNY Farmingdale to become a dental hygienist.

“I fell in love with dentistry,” Amaya said. “I began dental assisting as soon as I graduated from the program. We were required to complete an internship, and I was hired from that opportunity. I worked in that dental office as an assistant for four years while I was simultaneously going to college.”

Amaya earned her Associate Degree and worked in a pediatric dentist’s office for several years before returning to the Academy. Interestingly, Donohue was one of her teachers at SUNY Farmingdale, as she also teaches at the college.

Amaya learned about the teaching opportunity at the Academy through Donohue and didn’t hesitate to broaden her career. “I wanted to come back and inspire others the way Mrs. Donohue inspired me,” she said. “I have brought the skills she taught me with me throughout my journey.”

Teaching proved to be just as rewarding as working in a dentist’s office for Amaya. “I love this job, she said. “I tell my students all the time that I sat in this classroom just like they are and that this is where I learned about the profession.”

Click here to read about our Dental Chairside Assisting Program