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Teaching called a vocation, not a job

When Carol Dorcy, then Carol Gamble, graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania 30 years ago, she put in an application at Butler Catholic School and was thrilled to be hired.

She's still there — more than three decades later — and still thrilled to be part of the Butler Catholic family.

Although Dorcy married her husband, David, in 1992 and went on to have two children and now one grandchild, her work life has remained constant throughout the years.

“It's like a family here and I guess once I got into teaching and saw how a Catholic school is run, it's more a vocation for me than a career,” Dorcy said. “I feel like God wanted me to be here.”

She has enjoyed the parents, students and work environment over the past three decades, and always tells people she has the best job in the world.

“You come into work and it's just so satisfying,” Dorcy said. “You're able to help other people, sometimes academically and sometimes spiritually.”

She has taught math and social studies to middle school-level students since being hired by Butler Catholic, and enjoys every day of teaching.

Both of her children attended Butler Catholic, and her late mother-in-law, Rose Dorcy, worked in the kitchen at the school for many years.

The family's tie to Butler Catholic won't be cut in the future.

“My grandson just started kindergarten here,” Dorcy said.

Although she doesn't have the public school experience to compare it to, Dorcy imagines Butler Catholic and Catholic schools in general have a different vibe than their public counterparts.

“Jesus is here with us and it gives a whole different atmosphere,” she said.

Her longevity at Butler Catholic means she now is finding herself teaching the children of her first students.

“We had open house, and I now have four parents here that I taught as children,” Dorcy said. “It's neat. It's a great relationship.”

The biggest difference between her early years at Butler Catholic and now is the growth in technology used at the school.

“In the beginning, we were still running ditto machines,” Dorcy said. “I remember doing my lesson plans on a typewriter for sure.”

Now, Dorcy and her students use smartboards, laptops and electronic tablets in the classroom and beyond.

She said class sizes are also a bit smaller now than when she started her career, for many and varied reasons.

While the faces of parents and students may have changed over the years, their attitude toward the school has not.

“I feel I have the same support now as when I started,” Dorcy said. “Parents are invested here and we work as a team.”

Dorcy figures she'll continue to teach for five or 10 more years at least.

“As long as I can get up and say I still love coming to work, I'll stay,” she said.

Carol Dorcy of Butler Township has been teaching at Butler Catholic School for 30 years.