LIMA - Carin Doseck came to Lima schools 33 years ago to teach English. So she thought.
With just one position open, teaching girls in an occupational work experience program, Doseck took it. And she would never do anything else but career and technical education.
"I thought this all makes sense to me," she said. "I really thought the program was worthwhile and I saw the need, especially in an urban district."
Doseck retires this month from Lima schools, where she has headed its career and technical program since 1990. It will end a 36-year career in education. She's ready to go, yet tears up just thinking about her final days.
"I love Lima city schools," she said. "I hate it when people talk about it. I just wish people understood what a dedicated bunch of people are here."
Coming from a small town in Nebraska, with fewer people than Lima Senior High School at the time, Doseck had never heard of career technical education. She quickly saw how it changes lives.
"There is nothing more heartwarming than seeing kids who hated school or hated what they did come to life in the classroom," she said. "You see kids going off in directions that they never thought were possible."
After teaching for eight years, Doseck did job placement for two. She was supervisor for five before becoming director.
Sixty percent of Lima Senior juniors and seniors are in the career and technical program, a number that has remained constant. Funding for career and technical education has improved, something Doseck is excited about.
Doseck is most proud of a collaboration to establish the Opportunity for Parenting Teens (OPT) program 10 years ago. It works with up to 25 pregnant or parenting students each year.
"There is no greater project I have ever been a part of," she said. "To see what kinds of life changing things have happened for some of those students out there, it is amazing."
In her final days, Doseck remains busy, including interviewing teacher candidates. She looks for personality, believing that building relationships with students is crucial, coming in second only to having a passion for the work.
"I want people to get into teaching not because it's a job, but because it is their mission," she said.
Superintendent Karel Oxley called Doseck a wonderful asset to the district, especially her help with developing the three small schools at the high school. No one has been named to the position yet, she said.
Doseck has no immediate plans, looking forward to not having to make big decisions daily or rushing anywhere in the mornings. She's also had children's book in her head for years that she might put down on paper.
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Doseck found home in career technical education; Lima school's director retiring after 33 years