Dawn Bentley

Dawn Bentley

Director of Youth & Transition Services

Dawn's story with The Ability Center began in the 80s’, as a peer camper at Camp Cricket. She still owns a picture that she drew at the summer camp in 1988!

In 2000, Dawn was hired as a camp counselor at Camp Cricket, alongside her brother. After a few years with the camp, she became the Camp Director. After graduating from Miami of Ohio with a Bachelor’s in Education, she was hired as a special education teacher in the public schools. She taught for both Toledo Public and Washington Local school districts before becoming the Youth and Transition Services Director at The Ability Center in 2008. At this time, Dawn also received her Master’s degree while also coaching basketball and teaching dance. In 2010, she was offered an opportunity to work for the Monroe County Intermediate School District (MCISD) to serve as the Principal and Special Education Supervisor for their Educational and Transition Centers.

In the summer of 2012, she traveled to Tijuana, Mexico to serve on a mission’s trip for their local orphanages. "It was after this trip that I made the decision to follow her heart and transferred to the MCISD’s Early Childhood Department and program. It was there that I worked as an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher," she shares.

In 2014, she met her husband and moved with him to Pittsburgh. Dawn continued with her passion for early intervention and worked as a Developmental Therapist and Teacher Consultant for the DART Program of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit until they welcomed their daughter, Lucy, into the world.

Dawn shares, "I was fortunate to be granted the time to stay at home with her while taking a pause in her career. Dawn's husband John’s career later transferred us to Charleston, West Virginia. It was during this time that we welcomed our second daughter, Josephine. Eight weeks after her birth, her husband accepted an opportunity that led us back Toledo, Ohio. We have since reestablished our roots and are so excited to see what unfolds for us in northwest Ohio!"