Friday, September 14, 2018

Teacher and Coach of the week: Cory DiDonato by Matt Pascarella

Cory DiDonato is the varsity girls field hockey coach as well as an English Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher at Windham Middle School. DiDonato got her degree in Therapeutic Recreation but wasn’t sure that’s what she wanted to do forever, so she started coaching.

“Once I started working with students, there was no turning back for me,” reflected DiDonato. “I fell in love immediately and decided to go back to school to get my Master’s in Education so I could become a teacher and continue to work with kids.”

Cory DiDonato
DiDonato began student teaching at Windham Primary School. She then began teaching in Gray in 2008 as a second-grade teacher. During her teaching years in Gray she and her family moved to Windham in 2009, making it their home. After a few years teaching in Gray, DiDonato taught third grade in South Portland for seven years.

She always wanted to return to the Windham school system to teach, so when there was an opening at the Middle School in 2016, she jumped at the opportunity. Teaching English Language Arts and Social Studies was a no brainer, she said, because she is an avid reader/writer and is interested in history.

In high school, DiDonato was a gymnast, played field hockey and ran track. She played field hockey in college all four years and also ran indoor track two seasons. “I am extremely competitive and when my playing days were over it was only natural to try...coaching,” she says.

In 2001, she became Bonny Eagle High School’s freshman field hockey coach, She coached there for two years until the Windham athletic director at the time offered her the opportunity to coach the varsity field hockey team in Windham.

DiDonato has also been the girls’ basketball coach at Windham Middle School, the freshman girls’ basketball coach at Gorham High School as well as the boys/girls’ outdoor track coach at Windham High School. She was also a field hockey coach at the University of Southern Maine.  

Her number one goal every year is to help the girls she coaches to become confident, self-advocating, hard-working young ladies. She believes life lessons are taught through sports and she works hard to install values in her athletes.

The girls’ varsity field hockey team is looking strong this year. They are a young team but have a higher skill level than DiDonato has seen in years. They are willing to work hard for what they want, and she believes it will pay off in the long run.

DiDonato lives with her husband, son and two pets in Windham. She enjoys spending time with her family, hiking and reading. But most of all, she enjoys living in the same district in which she works.

“I love the community and to be a part of it. We moved to Windham so our son would have the chance to go through the school system. It has so much to offer all kids.”

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