Carol Donohue’s passion for teaching and helping others achieve their goals became apparent while she was a high school Dental Chairside Assisting student at ESBOCES. Her teacher, Ms. Muller, while serving as a role model and mentor, instilled in Carol the importance of educating others. “I wanted to teach just like Ms. Muller,” Carol said.
After graduation, Carol went on to pursue a career in dentistry and her academic studies propelled her through a Bachelor’s of Science in Dental Hygiene, a Master of Arts in Secondary Education and right into employment in the dental field. Nevertheless, her desire to teach persisted and she began seeking teaching positions. Even though a high school teaching position opened at a school district, Carol was committed to teaching at ESBOCES. Ironically, her former teacher, Ms. Muller, filled the only position at ESBOCES. “I thought I will just have to wait until she retires!” Carol remembers, but then Ms. Muller decided to change roles after 19 years of teaching and become a Workplace Coordinator. “My dreams came true,” Carol recalls, and she spent the next eight years putting her heart and soul into teaching and preparing future dental professionals.
Throughout her teaching career, Carol enjoyed helping her students get internships and jobs, and got to know a lot about employers and what they look for in new hires. This insight motivated Carol to become a Workplace Coordinator, just like Ms. Muller. She currently works for two districts who contract with ESBOCES, assisting students to gain work-study credits required to graduate, or securing internships that help them to explore their career interests. “My job is not just to place them, but to help them get valuable experience that can boost a resume or college application. I’m helping to turn that internship into a job,” Carol said, adding that she sees every bit of the time she spends with students as an opportunity for them to learn something.
Carol hasn’t left behind her love of teaching dentistry, however. She also works as an adjunct clinical instructor in the sophomore dental hygiene clinic at SUNY Farmingdale. There she teaches three of her own ESBOCES graduates, inspiring them to follow their dreams and reach their full potential, as Ms. Muller did for her.