When the bell rings on Thursday, May 16, students will excitedly leave for summer break. Fifth grade teacher, Debbie Gulley will walk out of Park Road Elementary for the last time, ending a 20 year teaching career. Debbie has spent 15 of those years in Chandler.
Q Did you have any key mentors or people who influenced who you are as an educator?
A I had wonderful teachers my whole life including elementary, high school and the university level. Two great teachers in the Chandler School district have been great mentors and friends Ann Taylor and Cindy Howard. I can truly state that I am a better educator because of their influence.
Q What led you to teaching?
A Volunteering in my own children’s classrooms and the love of teaching.
Q What would you say has motivated you to teach?
A Students and the excitement students have.
Q What are you most excited and passionate about?
A I am of course passionate about my family. As far as education is concerned, I love it when students get excited about what we are working on, and when they cannot wait to show me what they have done. I also love it when previous students come back to visit!
Q What do you find most challenging about being a teacher?
A Worrying about students and not being able to do anything thing about what is going on in their life.
Q What is the best thing that has happened to you since you have become a teacher?
A Meeting and working with the most amazing people and making great friends.
Q What profession other than your own would most like to attempt?
Q What are some things every teacher should have?
A Teacher friends, comfortable shoes, an understanding spouse, and great snacks.
Debbie says she was an Army brat, and grew up in several places to include England, Germany and Texas. Later her dad was stationed at Ft Sill, Oklahoma. Debbie graduated from Lawton High School, in Oklahoma, and attended Cameron University.
Debbie and her husband Tony live in Chandler and Tony works for NAICO. She has a son Clint and his wife Shelley with two sons who live in Lawton. A daughter Kate and her husband Kris who live in Edmond, and a daughter April who lives in Norman. She has a stepdaughter and her husband Tony who live in Yukon with their 5 daughters, and a stepson Chad and his wife Jen who live in Choctaw with 4 sons.
“In the beginning of my retirement, I plan to rest, go on lots of vacations, and catch up with friends. The sky is the limit!”
Congratulations on your retirement, Debbie!