More than 25 years ago, Debra (Deb) J. Clemens started her career as an educator. While some careers are planned, Deb’s happened by following her passion for service to others. She was intending to become a business major, but after spending a few summers working with high school students as a youth counselor in Wisconsin, Deb realized she wanted to become a teacher.
Deb’s first teaching position was teaching middle and high school students computer applications and other business courses. She developed an expertise in instructional technology and quickly became a “go-to” tech person for her colleagues, many of whom were learning to integrate technology into their classroom instruction. Several learning opportunities later led her to become an instructional technology specialist for a school district in Minnesota. She enjoyed devoting her time and energy to training teachers and support staff on the latest technologies.
Due to family moves, Deb taught in Wisconsin, Washington, and Minnesota; returning to Washington to complete her Doctorate at Gonzaga University. She is loyal to many collegiate colors and mascots. In addition to a Bachelor’s from Viterbo University in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, Deb has an MBA from Gonzaga University and administrative credentials as a principal and superintendent from Washington State University.
Today, Deb’s experiences include nearly all areas of district operations as she has delighted in the challenge of supervising a variety of programs, PK-12. She loves developing community partnerships that support all children and is an advocate for strengthening programs and partnerships that support the whole child. In Cheney Public Schools, Deb spearheaded parent early education programs, including Ready for Kindergarten and Love and Logic. Her work around college and career readiness programming resulted in expanding Career and Technical Education and Advanced Placement opportunities at the secondary level. She also led a World Language program expansion to provide all children with exposure to a second language. A member of the Governor’s Council on the Healthiest Next Generation, Deb led efforts to keep kids healthy and active by supporting both nutritious school meal and physical education emphasis. She believes deeply that modeling a desire for learning is important for the leader of an educational organization; therefore, she embraces new opportunities and leads with a bright and courageous spirit.
Deb and her husband, Jeff, recently relocated to the area and are thrilled to have their two daughters attend North Thurston Public Schools. In her spare time, Deb enjoys watching her children run on the soccer field or flip at the gym; understanding the importance of healthy living she practices yoga, running and gardening in her daily life.
Education and Experiences
Deb earned her Superintendent Credential from Washington State University after completing her Doctorate of Philosophy in Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University. Her Principal Credential was earned from Washington State University; she previously completed her Master in Business Administration at Gonzaga University. Her Bachelor of Science degree was completed at Viterbo University.
Deb has four years of experience as a superintendent in the Cheney Public Schools; previous positions held include associate superintendent, human services director, high school principal, K-12 Instructional Technology Specialist, and teacher.
Professional and Community Engagement
Deb has participated and served as a board member on many community-based organizations including Kiwanis, United Way, Chamber of Commerce, University Committees, and is connecting with local leaders to ensure strong partnerships with North Thurston Public Schools are maintained. She has also engaged with various military branches and holds an honorary commander designation.
Last Modified on Thursday at 1:31 PM