Deb is a Huntington native and now resides in Markle, Indiana. She graduated from HNHS in 1977 and Ball State in 1981 with a B.S. degree in Elementary Education. She earned her master’s degree in education in 1985 from BSU and continued post-graduate work in early literacy, receiving her training in Reading Recovery from Purdue.
After teaching two years in Connersville, Indiana, Deb returned to her hometown Huntington to continue teaching for a total of 27 years. She taught first, second and fourth grades and also served as a Title 1 teacher. As a classroom teacher, it was a privilege to experience all of the programming provided by the LAC and witness firsthand how much young children enjoy the arts. Deb loved providing hands-on projects involving creativity for her students as well as playing guitar and singing songs around the classroom campfire. A favorite end-of-the-year project involved the students in collaboratively writing their own play, creating costumes and scenery, and then performing for other classrooms.
In Deb’s classroom, students often heard the term “lifelong learner.” It was a goal to foster a joy for learning and encourage the thinking that this enthusiasm should last a lifetime. So in keeping with this philosophy, Deb is currently discovering the art of ceramics! Throwing a pot on a potter’s wheel was a “bucket list” item for retirement and it turned into a small business. Deb and her husband, Hal, now own Oak Road Studio where Deb creates pottery and Hal paints. She thanks fellow LAC board member, Josh Heim of JH Pottery Works, for helping her get started. Deb also enjoys doll making and has learned to sculpt and construct Waldorf-style dolls by felting wool. Her influences for creativity and lifelong learning also spilled over to her sons. Her oldest son, Zac, has a degree in videography and enjoys soap making as a hobby. He has a master’s degree in family ministries and is currently serving BORN Church in Marion. Her youngest son, Rob, has a degree in visual communications and earned his MFA in glass art. He currently lives in Australia and is a glassblower, working under the name Schwartz Glass. He is also a metal artist working for Fink Design.
Deb began serving as a board member on the LaFontaine Arts Council in 2022 and she looks forward to getting involved to help ensure that the Arts in Education program will continue strong for years to come. It is also her desire to bring creative experiences to members in our community so that together we not only observe but become active participants and patrons of the arts.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” ~ Pablo Picasso