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"It all fell into place," says Adelina D'Addio as she describes how she managed to become an educator with an accounting background.

D'Addio is an accounting and business teacher at Monsignor Percy Johnson Catholic Secondary School in Etobicoke, Ontario; but before taking up teaching, she was an accountant for four years.

Where it all began

Her career in accounting began after her third year at Ryerson University when she accepted a summer position at Big-Four accounting firm KPMG. After graduating, she accepted a full-time position with the company.

At KPMG, she worked as an auditor and tax consultant, but felt like there was something missing. It wasn't until she started teaching junior accountants at KPMG when a new opportunity presented itself. She gained practical teaching experience during her time at the firm, which inspired D'Addio to apply to the Teachers College for Business Studies at the University of Toronto.

She transitioned from accounting to teaching with ease, in what she describes as the best decision she's ever made. As an accountant, D'Addio wanted to do more with her career. From the moment she noticed the impact she made on junior accountants, she knew it was her calling.

D'Addio has been working for the Toronto Catholic District School Board for more than 10 years, and was recently promoted as the head of the Business Studies department.

"Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined being in a career using my passion for accounting and teaching others," she explains. "It's something I realized that I absolutely love doing."

Combining two passions into one

It was an unexpected path that D'Addio would become an educator, but she was thrilled with her decision. What she enjoys most when combining her passions for accounting and teaching is being able to help her students make educated, post-secondary decisions.

"My students and I spend hours looking and discussing universities and colleges that meet their goals," she says. "This is the teacher aspect that I love, to be able to help, advise, and guide those business students to a career in business."

You will find happiness when you're doing something you love, D'Addio explains. "Going to work will not be considered a job for you. It will be something that you enjoy doing that is a part of who you are."

Being a full-time teacher didn't stop D'Addio from working as an accountant. She continues to read about the accounting world to expand her knowledge, and she also gives free tax advice. To further help her students, D'Addio even offers to do their taxes for a reasonable cost, where all proceeds are donated to foundations like The SickKids Foundation or the Canadian Cancer Society.

Photo: Gloda/Thinkstock