Deborah Brett has been a dedicated member of the Therapeutic Emotional Support program at CIU 20 for 29 years. She started as an Associate Teacher, then as a Mental Health Worker, and has been serving as a Teacher at Easton High School since 2006.
When asked about her approach to connecting with students, Ms. Brett says "It all starts with respect. Respecting them and expecting them to respect themselves and others. I have always had high expectations for my students both academically and behaviorally. Unless you develop a trusting and supportive relationship with them your efforts might be futile."
Over her extended career at CIU 20, Ms. Brett shares that "It is very impressive to observe such dedication and commitment from our staff. I do believe that the IU continually tries to improve their services to their staff and to the students that they teach everyday." Even after nearly three decades in the classroom, she still has a positive outlook on the daily struggles, "I take everyday as it comes and emphasize the positive rather than ruminating on the negative. I believe that every challenge can be met with creativity and resilience."
Her advice to an IU employee just starting out is "Be patient. It takes time to develop relationships with your students to make a difference. They need to trust you and feel that you have their best interests at heart."
Mr. Lee Van Fleet, Supervisor of the Therapeutic Emotional Support program says, "I have received numerous compliments from parents about how well Ms. Brett communicates with them. In addition I've read letters of students about her and the impact she has had on their lives. Students that have struggled in multiple locations have found success in her classroom. I've always said she deserves a statue out in front of Easton High School for all of her efforts and work over the years!"