Fostering Connections: Meet Middle School Teacher Mrs. Debbie Gibson

Posted by Pine Crest School on May 6, 2024 at 1:34 PM

Fostering connections is what Middle School English Teacher Mrs. Debbie Gibson enjoys most about working students. 


However, Mrs. Gibson did not always see herself in the classroom. The daughter of a serial entrepreneur and a former business student, the joy of teaching and working with students was unexpected.


Originally from Long Island, New York, Mrs. Gibson first learned about Pine Crest while living in Singapore. 


“My husband was working for an aviation company and was stationed in Singapore,” Mrs. Gibson said. “I wasn’t allowed to work, so I volunteered with a group that offered different therapies to children with physical disabilities at an equestrian center. Children could go there and ride the horses and care for them. I met a family from Boca Raton who told me about Pine Crest and shared that they were returning there for their children to attend the school. We lived in Singapore for five years before we moved to South Florida. Once we were here, Nurse Cathy Hartney, another Long Island transport, told me that she had been looking at Pine Crest for her children, and then we did too!”


Once Mrs. Gibson’s children were at Pine Crest, she began working as a substitute teacher. “My husband traveled a lot,” she said, “I needed something flexible while he traveled, and then once my kids got here, I never left!” 

Gibson Siblings alumniMrs. Gibson's three children, Hayden ’19, Hannah ’14, and Amanda ’17.

“In Singapore, I tutored at the American school,” Mrs. Gibson continued. “I think teaching was always in the back of my mind. I always liked school. I just love the people and the community—even more than the education part, I love always learning something new.”


When she joined the faculty 18 years ago, Mrs. Gibson taught third grade, then moved to fifth grade, and now is enjoying year two of teaching seventh grade English.


“I love reading and writing—connecting through books,” said Mrs. Gibson. “I especially love to foster a love for reading without telling students they have to read. I like them to make connections to their civic duty, pay it forward, help their community, and be there for someone in their community. I make it a point to bring in books about being kind and humble without thinking about it.”

Gibson in action_outside

What she enjoys most about working with Middle School students is the depth of conversations and connections you make. “This is a time when students get more independence and become more of who they are—there is a discovery aspect in Middle School that is fun to see and be a part of.”


Reflecting on what has kept her at Pine Crest over the past 18 years, Mrs. Gibson says the community and bonds she has made are irreplaceable. “I also appreciate the academic freedom to design my curriculum and teach what I feel is important or can make a difference in someone's life.”


Outside of the classroom, Mrs. Gibson is an avid traveler. “England is one of my favorite places to go—I love to walk among history.” 

Gibson_FamilyThe Gibson Family: Hannah ’14, Debbie, Amanda ’17, Henry, and Hayden ’19.

Sharing what her students would be surprised to know, she says that she used to operate heavy machinery! “My parents owned an excavation and recycling business. My father was the first person on Long Island to recycle, so I used to help him run the business. I would do office work, but I would also run the equipment.”


When sharing advice to new faculty, Mrs. Gibson said, “Get to know everyone. Take advantage of the community and the bonds you can make. There is always something to learn from each person on campus.”

Topics: Faculty, Middle School, 2024