Debbie Abel is a seventh-grade science teacher at Clark-Pleasant Middle School.
Reporter Magen Kritsch recently asked her the following questions.
How did you get into education?
I used to not really like kids except to coach, so my original education did not involve children. My bachelor’s degree is from Purdue University in agricultural communications. I worked for the Commissioner of Agriculture’s Office for about four years. As I was working there, my husband was asked to step in as our church’s youth minister until we hired a new one. I was not real excited about this, but God had a little surprise for me. Through the full year of working by my husband’s side, I fell in love with kids. I found my true passion.
After that year of ministry, we started our own family, which fed my desire even more to work with children. I was blessed with the opportunity to stay home with my own kids, Ellie and Tim. Once Tim started school, I pursued my teaching certification via IUPUI and Indiana University. In a two-year period of time, I obtained my certification and accepted my first teaching job at Shelbyville Middle School. I am now in my fourth year at Clark-Pleasant Middle School.
If you weren’t teaching what would you be doing?
I would probably be working in youth ministry somehow.
What is your favorite science concept to teach? Why?
I love teaching about life science and especially cell biology. Cells are probably the most amazing concept in living things. They are microscopic yet can control your whole body in so many intricate ways.
Name one thing a student has taught you.
They teach me new things every day, but one thing that I have learned about middle school kids is that no matter how cool they think they are, they still really want you to care for them.
If you won a million dollars, what is the first thing you would buy?
I would first give 10 percent to my church. I would then probably hire a contractor to finish my fireplace and tile my bathroom.