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My Story

From the time she was five years old, Debra knew she wanted to be a teacher. After graduating college with a major in Humanities and a minor in English Literature, Debra went on to earn both an Education Specialist and an English teaching credential. Debra loved teaching from the start, and she wanted to learn more about how to support her students academically and socially.


That’s why Debra went on to earn a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and conduct doctoral research on teaching that supports student’s psychological needs and increases their motivation.  


Debra has taught students from kindergarten through college level. Her students have spanned the spectrum from students with special needs to those who participate in gifted and talented education. Along with her passion for teaching academic subjects, such as language arts and history, Debra loves to teach drama. She currently teaches students circus skills at Prescott Circus Theatre in Oakland. Debra loves teaching students (no matter their age or skill level) because she continuously learns so much from


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My Mission

At Hopeful Tribe, we are creating a more hopeful world. We help people thrive by helping them build and sustain loving and kind relationships with themselves and others.

“If hurt people hurt people and create systems that hurt people, then healing people are healing people and create systems that heal people.”  –Dr. SooJin Pate

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