Drumming Debbie

Do you know Debbie Garrett, that nice lady who makes your delicious sandwich, or serves you your hot food, or checks out your food in the cafeteria? But would you be surprised if you saw her flying a kite in Fairmount Park? Probably. Well, then, I’ve got news for you; you’re missing out. You bet I, as a sixth grader, only on my third year of eating in the cafeteria and buying food, never knew these things about her. After reading this, you’ll be able to say “I knew her when….” after Debbie’s gardening group with the Philadelphia Horticultural Society’s garden ties it up with the Unitarian Church. And of course, on the sidelines, cheering the loudest, are these familiar GFS faces that are Debbie’s proud relatives. Heather, Howard Jr., and Howard Sr. McKelvey are smiling big, her brother-in-law, niece and nephew. On her break from her job in the Music Department, Danielle Garrett hugs her mother.

Debbie is a native of Philadelphia and supports the Phillies. She will often see an early spring game, when it is “very cold” in Debbie’s words. She has been a friendly face at GFS for a fun 9 years after coming to work here in 2004. She says of the difference between GFS and her school, “It was very different. I went to a public school. But I shared closeness with the teachers in elementary school, you always knew they were looking out for you.”On a vacation, the first place you’ll find Debbie is the shore. “I like flying my kite on the shore, and looking at the ocean.” She says of her favorite vacation place.

A specific memory that has survived since childhood was “my mother’s cooking on Christmas. We’d wake up to the smell of turkey in the oven and the lights on the tree.”

A book she enjoyed as a child was Little House on the Prairie, because she “really connects” with the characters and the family. One important life lesson that stayed with Debbie was patience. She says “everything you want doesn’t happen at once, you have to pace yourself.

One unbelievable thing about Debbie that you probably didn’t know is that she plays the drums.

Well, now that you’ve read this, you can ask Debbie about her garden the next time she makes you a sandwich.