Karyn Gray - Dental Assisting Instructor

Meet The Teacher – Karyn Gray

Dental Assisting is among the many careers in healthcare that are steadily growing and it doesn’t require endless years of school to become a professional.  In fact, you could be considered a professional right out of high school.  Sno-Isle TECH has a program geared toward starting a career in dental assisting, and you’ll be on your way to a rewarding career by the time you graduate from high school.

Meet the Instructor

Karyn Gray has joined Sno-Isle TECH as the instructor for the Dental Assisting program in 2020.  She has currently been in the dental field for over 20 years. She grew up in Everett, went to Mariner High School, and received her bachelor’s degree from Western Washington University. She has worked in many different positions in dentistry, from starting as a Sterilization Technician when she was 16 years old, later on working many years as a Lead Dental Assistant, a Dental Office Manager, a Dental Assisting Instructor, and a Territory Manager for dental products sales and education.

‘Miss Karyn’ as she’s affectionately known, strives to create an environment where students feel confident to challenge themselves, step out of their comfort zones, and inspire each other with being vulnerable to ask questions no one else is asking. “My goal is always to model a warm and inviting response of kindness and patience to encourage a safe place to make mistakes. There are times to be serious, and there are times to laugh, and I like a balance of both. Smiling in the world of dentistry goes a long way, and there are never a shortage of smiles in my classroom!” she says.

This year will bring some challenges with virtual classrooms.  Is she worried about virtual teaching?  No.  She says, “There is plenty of information that can be taught through distance learning prior to ever stepping foot into a dental operatory. However, the soul of the skills come from direct patient interaction and care. Finding ways to deliver that in an alternative way will be a challenge for sure!”

We asked why she is joining Sno-Isle to teach Dental Assisting.  Her answer should win you over and inspire you to get into Dental Assisting.  “I grew up here, and recently moved back to Mukilteo, so my heart is connected to this community in so many ways. There is such a unique opportunity for these students at Sno-Isle, and I am so proud to be part of the bigger picture in their lives and future! I attended Mariner High School, and at that time didn’t have a clear path of what I wanted to do after I graduated. I wish I could go back in time and give my teen self some advice. I’d tell her ‘Don’t miss this chance to soar ahead at Sno-Isle!’ I find it serendipitous that now I am part of the team who helps students discover talents and passions for something they never knew they had.”

Karyn’s hobbies include photographing pets, drawing, writing, acting, and creating Tic-Toc videos! She and her husband enjoy taking their boat out onto the Sound and crabbing! They have 4 cat-children, and 3 fish. She also loves relaxing on their deck, gardening, travel and The Mupppets!

About the Dental Assisting Course

The Dental Assisting course is a great starting point to begin a long career in healthcare.  In this course, you’ll learn to be part of a team, to communicate well, and gain the technical skills to successfully transition into the dental professions.  This full course includes a complete curriculum with pre-clinical and clinical sciences, OSHA safety standards, and a 7 hour HIV/AIDS training to help you qualify for state registration as a dental assistant.  The program also teaches people skills, psychology, ethics, HIPAA regulations, radiology (x-ray), and healthcare provider CPR.

Students in this course will have the opportunity to complete an internship during second semester working in a local dental clinic in your community.  Students must maintain an A-B average to remain in the program after the first semester.  Students should complete a high school health class and biology class before attending this program, and also declare proof of insurance for an internship.

Program Background

The Dental Assisting course is designed to offer students hands-on experience and a head-start on a career in healthcare.  Beyond the knowledge gained through the course, these additional benefits are available:

  • Course Credits – High School Credits: 3.0

The course will be offered at two different times during the day from September to June:

First Session: Monday – Friday 7:55-10:25 am

Second Session: Monday – Friday 11:10 am -1:40 pm

Course Requirements

  • Prerequisites – Successful completion of biology and health in high school
  • Textbooks – Modern Dental Assisting 13th Addition Hard Cover (Bird/Robinson) and Dental Instruments Pocket Guide 7th Addition Paper bound (Boyd)
  • Required Uniform – Navy or Black scrubs preferred. Lab jacket with cuffed elastic sleeves. Shoes: Leather, rubber, or plastic toed athletic shoe or medical/nursing style. Does not have to be white. (*no soft or fabric toe athletic shoe, as this is a risk when handling sharp instruments)
  • Lab Fee: A fee of $50 will be required for the Healthcare Professional CPR. Students will receive a CPR/First Aid card valid for 2 years after completion of certification.

If your favorite student has wanted to learn from an exceptional instructor and earn credits for later study in healthcare, the Dental Assisting program at Sno-Isle TECH is exactly what they are looking for.

For more information on the Dental Assisting program, visit the class page on our website.