If anyone can empathize with kids who feel apprehensive about visiting the dentist, our dental assistant Ashley can. Long before she discovered a passion for working in oral health, she feared the dentist’s chair.

She’s quick to point out that those childhood fears help her to be more understanding of the kids she works with now. And she laughs about the irony of her career choice—and workplace—because she learned to overcome her wariness of “the dentist” under Dr. Dennis’ care at Dentistry for Children.

In 2008, when Ashley graduated from Central Lakes Community College as a dental assistant, she returned to Dentistry for Children—this time, as part of the team. She interned for the summer and then moved on to work at a general dental practice in Rogers, Minnesota. In 2014, when her husband Dusty was hired as an art teacher in the Sauk Rapids school district, they relocated to the St. Cloud area, and Ashley found her way back to Dentistry for Children once again.

Although she sometimes misses the adult conversations she had as part of a general practice, she enjoys how easygoing and fun it is to work with kids—even when they need a little extra comforting.

At the end of a busy work day, Ashley looks forward to time with family. She and Dusty have two little ones, Leo and Margo. During the winter, Ashley moonlights as a figure skating coach for the Winter Wonderland Figure Skating Club in Little Falls. She’s been gliding across the ice since she was six years old.