Students seeking to expand their knowledge and passion for the work of Game Wardens are in good hands at Washington County Community College [WCCC] as a result of the recent hiring of Wayde Carter to full-time faculty status. Carter comes to the college from a well-distinguished career based on the protection of wildlife combined with a unique teaching background.
A Maine native, Carter’s interest in law enforcement took shape in high school when he took Criminal Justice from the University of Maine at Machias. From there, he enrolled at Cedarville University in Ohio to complete additional classes. He was hired as a Patrol Deputy for the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, serving for a few years before attaining his goal: securing a position as a Game Warden.
“It was August 23rd, 1991,” Carter said. “I remember the phone call.”
For Carter, it signified nothing less than a lifelong dream as it enabled him to fill the shoes of his father and great grandfather before him. He and his wife and young family took their first position at a remote post on the Canadian border – located 90 miles on a dirt road from the nearest American town.
The provided “house” was little more than a camp, Carter joked, “There wasn’t enough room for a double bed in the bedroom.”
After 18 months, Carter was transferred to Norridgewock, and then on to the Wesley camp – a place that Carter remembered well from his youth. “When my father was a game warden, I went there, so it was neat to go back with my own children.”
Beyond his work patrolling his areas, Carter soon stepped forward as Corporal in Charge of the K-9 units in the state. After becoming adept with the Search and Rescue dogs and expanding their functionality to cold cases, Carter was among those sent to assist during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He has received national recognition for his invaluable service work on multiple occasions.
When an injury in 2015 forced his retirement a few years later, Carter found himself looking for new stimulation. He took a position teaching a Conservation Law class in the winter of 2018-19 and found it agreeable. “I enjoyed it,” Carter said. “It brought me back to life.” When the offer came to become the full-time instructor, he quickly accepted.
While his professional career provided him with many opportunities to teach – such as at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy and the Maine Warden School – his personal background also contributes significantly to his relationship with students. Carter and his wife are therapeutic foster parents, having fostered 23 children, subsequently adopting five.
“Doing the foster care and law enforcement for 30 years helps,” Carter said of working with his students. “There’s a huge difference between students, and you can see it in their faces all the time. I can use my background to relate with them. Not that I’ve been through it necessarily, but I’ve seen kids that have gone through it, and that helps.”
Washington County Community College was founded in 1969. WCCC is celebrating 50 years of serving students and the community during the 2019-2020 Academic Year. 50th Anniversary events will be held throughout the year and we welcome you to join in the celebration. Thank you for supporting our vital work.