Debra Paulson teaches special education and students with learning disabilities at North Side Middle School in Anderson. "Improving my teaching practices and improving schools for all children has become my passion," says Mrs. Paulson. She believes that her ability to see "the best in people, especially those students who have not been successful in school," makes her a different kind of educator. "For as long as I can remember," she adds, "I felt that I was a round peg in the square world of education, and I have empathy for others who do not easily fit the status quo." Mrs. Paulson hopes that her actions will have spoken louder than her words, and that her students will remember her as a teacher who was caring and had faith in their ability to "make the world a better place for themselves and for others." For Mrs. Paulson, education is an endless project that does not limit itself to the boundaries of the classroom: "everyone and everything that touches an individual becomes part of that individual's educational process."
Iowa State University, B.A.