A fireball of enthusiasm and dedication, Chief Master Sergeant Mary Ann Gamache came to R-MA after serving in the Air National Guard (ANG) for over 26 years, with all but six months of that being active duty. After serving as an Air Force JROTC instructor for two years, the Richmond native moved to the position of college counselor, taking her energy, enthusiasm, and optimism with her.
While in the ANG, Gamache advised and provided technical expertise to the Air Surgeon’s staff and guidance to ANG medical units on staffing, training, education, and organizational development. So when it came time to think about retirement and a second career, Gamache already knew she loved to teach.
In the transition program for retiring military members, Gamache remembers the concept of teaching Air Force JROTC was sort of glossed over. Fortunately for her, she knew two chiefs who were already involved in it, and she decided to look into it, and that path brought her to Randolph-Macon Academy to teach Aerospace I.
While she enjoyed teaching JROTC for the two years in which she held the position, Gamache held a secret desire—to be a guidance counselor. It was a long-ago career goal that had been put aside. Throughout her ANG career, however, she had gotten as close to being a guidance counselor as she could—her master’s degree was in human resources, training and development, and she spent a significant amount of time doing career counseling in the Air Force.
Now, as the college counselor, Gamache has found a niche that combines a long-ago dream with a well-developed talent: counseling students in regards to their college choices and future careers. She immediately impressed the seniors with her interest in helping them and her ability to focus them not just on their college choices, but on their career goals.
“This is a joy,” Gamache said. “I love listening to the students’ dreams and helping them figure out how to reach those dreams, or helping a directionless student figure out what careers might fit his or her interests and abilities.”
- M.S., National Louis University
- B.S., Bluefield College
- A.A.S., Community College of the Air Force
- Other activities: Mentor