Debra Egan, a first-grade teacher at Holy Family Catholic School, has spent 24 years dedicated to her students. This school year, she received the prestigious Distinguished Teacher Award from the Diocese of Orlando in honor of her passion for education, deep faith, and love of children. Get to know her story and her journey to working at HFCS:
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago, IL.
Tell us about your journey to becoming a teacher.
I have always enjoyed being around children. I spent a lot of years babysitting, and when I was in high school, I spent some time working in a third-grade class. I felt a real connection with being in a classroom. I was fortunate enough to attend a college that concentrated on really preparing you to be in the classroom.
I started my career teaching at the American School in Guadalajara, Mexico for four years. I relocated back to Illinois and taught in a small Catholic school there for four years. At the end of those four years, I moved to Naples, FL to join a family business and spent 18 years away from the classroom. When I moved to Orlando and enrolled my daughter in Holy Family, Sr. Dorothy discovered that I had previous teaching experience and strongly encouraged me to come back into the teaching field. It was the best decision I’ve ever made! I thank Sister and God for getting back to where I belong.
How does your past experience affect your approach to teaching now?
Teaching continues to evolve as the years go on, and I feel it’s imperative to continue to evolve as a teacher. I always look for new ways to present subjects and new ways to engage the students. We never quit learning as teachers; I learn new things from my students and parents each day.
What’s your favorite thing about teaching first grade?
I love to watch the students grow in their ability to read! Teaching reading is my passion; it opens so many doors for them.
What do you enjoy about teaching at Holy Family?
The family community! I still hear from students that have now graduated from college.
What is the most rewarding thing about your job?
The most rewarding thing is to watch the students grow in their faith and knowledge.
What do you hope your students take away from being in your classroom?
A love of reading and learning.
Get to Know Debra Egan
Q: What did you want to be when you were little?
A: At first I wanted to be an architect, and then later on an attorney.
Q: What do you like to do for fun?
A: I love to read, cook, and garden.
Q: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Q: Do you have a favorite movie or TV show?
A: I enjoy all types of movies, and I especially enjoy mystery shows.
Q: Do you have a favorite you’ve traveled?
A: My favorite place I have traveled is Colorado. I love to travel to California; my daughter lives there. My dream is to visit Ireland and Italy someday!
For more than 50 years, Orlando private schools have been helping children grow to their fullest potential and become leaders within their communities. We offer unique and dynamic learning environments that engage students and encourage them to become confident and responsible adults. To learn more about what makes us different, contact us today.