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Teacher of the Year Finalist Trevino: 'This is home'

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

GRAYSON — Debbie Trevino knows her job as a teacher doesn’t just stop with the kids in her classroom at Bay Creek Middle School.

“I believe that every student is my student — every student in the building, whether they’re in my classroom or not,” said Trevino, one of the finalists for the Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year honor. “I just want to see every child succeed. I firmly believe that every child has the right — it’s a right for them — to excel.

Editor's Note

This is the third in a series of six stories highlighting the finalists for Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year.

“I’ll do whatever it takes to talk to them and help them ... to exceed (expectations).”

Trevino is an eighth-grade language arts teacher at the Grayson cluster school. This is her eighth year teaching in Gwinnett, but the Snellville native and South Gwinnett graduate started her career 15 years ago in North Carolina.

Growing up, Trevino said she played teacher with her sister, Chrissy McFadden, who teaches at nearby Starling Elementary School. As a student at Georgia Southern University, Trevino said she got involved with the Big Sisters program.

“I made a difference in one child’s life, and she made a difference in mine,” Trevino said, of why she decided to become an educator. “And I love language arts. Those were the courses I was taking. It was a pretty easy decision from there.”

Trevino has taught social studies and science, but her favorite subject is language arts. Her approach to the subject involves teaching children reading and writing together.

“Great readers make great writers, and great writers make great readers,” she said. “I think teaching them together works well.”

Trevino said she’s excited to be a finalist for Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year, but she doesn’t think it’s anything she accomplished on her own.

“It’s just an honor because what I do in my classroom (comes from) the ideas of countless numbers of teachers here in Gwinnett County,” she said. “It’s nothing on my own or of me. It’s bits of pieces of awesome teachers in Gwinnett County.”

Trevino approaches each lesson enthusiastically. She likes to have fun, something that is hinted at with her choice of classroom footwear. Each day, she dons a pair of fuzzy, hot pink slippers, because she thinks they’re more comfortable than shoes.

Above all, she really cares and wants students to do their absolute best.

As for being able to do that in the county where she grew up?

“This is home,” she said. “I’m giving back to the community that gave so much to me.”