Dawn Gabbitas Abell, Med | Elementary and Secondary School Educator, Administrator (Retired)

With a passion for art and teaching, Dawn Gabbitas Abell, Med excelled as an educator and administrator spanning four decades. To prepare for her career, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in art education from Eastern Michigan University in 1969 and a Master of Education in administration and supervision from Winthrop University in 1982, along with numerous educational certifications. Now retired, Ms. Abell looks forward to returning to creating artwork and horseback riding. She is also writing a book on her life and hopes it will help other people realize that they can succeed and overcome obstacles if they just believe in themselves.

At the start of her career in Michigan, Ms. Abell taught at the First Grade Learning Improvement Center and was the interior designer and owner of La Maison Magnifique through 1979. Upon moving to the Carolinas, she taught art, remedial reading and writing at Clover School District 2 and was an EIA instructor between 1979 and 1985. She went on to teach the gifted program at Cherokee County School District I, was the district vocational coordinator for special populations at the Aiken County Public Schools and was assistant director at the South Carolina Council on Vocational and Technical Education until 1990.

Into the 1990s, Ms. Abell pivoted to higher education and taught as an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina. She returned to public schools and served as a vocational coordinator of the Richland County School District 1, curriculum supervisor of the Beaufort-Jasper Career Education Center and technical preparatory director and art teacher at Gaston Public Schools. In addition, Ms. Abell served as an administrative assistant and assistant principal at the Union County Schools and special advisor to vocational education at Wilson County Schools between 1996 and 1998.

Finding success in administration, Ms. Abell excelled as an assistant principal for Midwood High School, Starmount Elementary and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools between 1998 and 2003. In the mid-2000s, she offered her expertise as a substitute teacher across all grades. In the final years of her career, she served as a computer lab manager at the York School District One and as an adult education instructor at the Chester County School District through 2009. Upon commencing her retirement, Ms. Abell utilized her skills to flourish as an author, conference participant and active member of her community.

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