Growing up, Donna White, 1984 Haywood Community College Medical Office Assisting graduate always wanted to be a teacher. “I lined up rows of dolls as students, writing precisely on the blackboard, and grading assignments with my all-powerful red pen,” she explains.

But as high school rolled around, she also started thinking about the medical field and how much she enjoyed science and technology. White crafted a career out of marrying the two fields of teaching and healthcare. She is an instructor at HCC in Medical Office Administration and Medical Assisting.

After finishing high school, White started a four-year school. Completing one year at the school, she decided to come back home and enroll at HCC. “The classes were small and the instructors were caring,” she says. “It was tough. The instructor demanded nothing less than excellence.”

As part of the program requirements, White was assigned a practicum. Her first job after finishing HCC was in the medical office where she completed her practicum. She held both clinical and administrative positions from receptionist to office management. While working, White finished a Bachelor’s degree from WCU in Health Information Management.

“For me, it was a ‘full circle’ experience when I was hired to teach in one of the programs I had graduated in. Returning to campus each day through the tree-lined drive gives me a sense of history and home. I feel blessed to work in a beautiful setting and with so many great people who are here for our students.”

White says she hopes her students learn the importance of professionalism, realize their potential, and never stop learning.

“In order to maintain my credentials and to prepare students to work in the health care field, I have to meet continuing education credits,” White explains. “I have to keep up with the health care environment as it continues to change, including compliance issues, new technology, and regulatory changes that affect medical practices.”

For fun, White enjoys spending time with her husband Grady, son Siler, and Labradoodle Koal. They enjoy going to the lake.

Photo by Aaron Mabry. Donna White, 1984 HCC Medical Office Assisting graduate, now teaches in the Medical Office Administration and Medical Assisting programs at the college. She crafted a career out of marrying the two fields of teaching and healthcare.