Jeanine Dorsey feels like she's come home.
In her first year as guidance counselor at North Columbia Elementary School, Dorsey is part of three generations of her family with ties to the school.
"My mother taught here. She retired from Columbia County after 31 years," Dorsey said of her mother, Velma Ethridge. "She just loved it here."
Dorsey's son, James, attends kindergarten at the school. His teacher, Lisa Bolton, taught at the school when Ethridge taught there. Education was not the road Dorsey had planned on taking.
"I wanted to be a speech therapist, but that's not my calling," she said.
As a resident assistant at the University of Georgia and after several summers working as a counselor at Girl Scout Camp Tanglewood in Martinez, she realized that she had a gift for listening and helping others.
"Everything pointed to here," she said.
Plus, her mother's influence on her life was greater than Dorsey imagined. She had spent weeks during the summer helping her mother with bulletin boards at North Columbia. They even worked at Girl Scout camp together. Her mother worked as the camp nurse.
"She is the ultimate for me as a role model," she said.
Dorsey has worked as a guidance counselor for more than a decade in McDuffie County, Barrow County and now at North Columbia. She even spent a year in North Carolina working at the same school her mother attended. But she said that North Columbia is special to her.
"It's a small community school," she said. "Generations come through it."
One thing that Dorsey missed though, was being at the school at the same time as her mother. At the time, Dorsey was attending elementary school; children were segregated by gender.
Her mother taught the boys while Dorsey attended school with the girls in another building.
Dorsey said she enjoys being able to see James during the school day.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.