In partnership with AdventHealth for Women, we’re recognizing some of the women in our community who are selflessly giving to others while raising families, supporting their loved ones and building their careers. Whether they know it or not, their stories inspire other women in their shoes.
During the school day, Deborah DiPrato becomes DJ Debbie D, as she puts on a fun song over the intercom for students and staff to bop to as they enter campus. An Orange County Public Schools teacher for the last 16 years, she is truly dedicated to her students, consistently shopping for classroom goodies and investing hours into her lesson plans. She also juggles her career with motherhood, making sure her two daughters always feel happy and loved.
What is your WHY?
For children to achieve academic, as well as social and emotional success, they must be happy in school and motivated to learn.
On your toughest of days, what motivates you to put one foot in front of the other?
I teach third grade. Children at this grade level are given a reading test at the end of the year. They must pass the test or show proof that they are at grade level to advance to fourth grade. They may attend summer school, but the goal is to support their reading and ensure they are able to advance to fourth grade. It motivates me on my toughest days.
Have you drawn inspiration from other women? Tell us about someone who has inspired you.
The individual that has inspired me most is E.B. White, the author of Charlotte’s Web. White was an amazing author. He spoke to the children through the characters in his story. He teaches children to retain the magic and never “hurry and worry” when they grow up.
What is the one word that perfectly explains who you are?
The word that would describe me most is determined.
Would you change anything about how you have handled challenges or successes thus far in your life?
Maya Angelou said, “There’s a reason the windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror. Where you’re going is so much better than where you’ve been.” I would agree with that!
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my two daughters, Lynne and Amanda, and the women they have become.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced and what did you learn from it?
My biggest challenge was reinventing myself when our family decided to move from Connecticut to Orlando in 2000. I was a financial manager of an executive suite business. I had taken many education classes in college. I started substituting in my daughters’ elementary school. The substituting led to teaching full time. The career in fact found me, but I do believe that this is what I was supposed to do with my life.