As Senior Manager of Special Projects for ELSF, Debra shepherds projects through all their key phases, from initiation through planning, monitoring, execution, and evaluation. Her lifelong passion for language, teaching, and learning grew from her time as a graduate student in France; this experience launched her career as an educator centered on accelerating academic achievement for linguistically and culturally diverse learners. A former third-grade teacher, she is proud to have been named ESL Teacher of the Year for the Dallas Independent School District. After earning a M.Ed. in Reading and ESL at Texas Woman’s University, she joined the faculty of the Instituto de Estudios Norteamericanos in Barcelona, Spain, where she taught English to students of all ages.
Debra eventually left the classroom to work as a curriculum consultant, instructional designer, and editorial manager for major educational publishers, where she consulted on curriculum development and delivered keynotes and strategy-based workshops at conferences and in school districts throughout the United States. Debra currently resides in Nolensville, Tennessee, a quiet little suburb just south of Nashville.