Debbie Garrison, Hillsdale Elementary

Feb 25, 2022, 1:19 PM | Updated: Jan 30, 2024, 3:43 pm

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“Debbie Garrison has been teaching kindergarten and first grade readers at Hillsdale for 15 years. Her unending commitment to helping students and supporting her team is exceptional. She is a magician. I often arrive in the morning to laminated materials left on my desk with a note about how to use them to strategically helps specific students. Just as I think, “I wonder if we have a good activity for teaching our next phonics lesson”, Deb appears with a brilliantly crafted lesson she has made for each teacher. Watching her run a reading group is more impressive than if she had pulled a dozen white doves from a hat: she seamlessly blends humor, patience, and rigor to push students to understand and feel successful. Somehow, she finds the time to check in with each student from four first grade classes to help them practice their reading homework each week. She makes it look effortless, but there is no sleight of hand in her kindness, dedication, and creativity. Her humility and quiet, steady support for teachers and students is unmatched and I can think of no one who deserves to be honored more.”

-Kelsey Wells

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Debbie Garrison, Hillsdale Elementary