She’s got a particular set of skills

By Elliot Barnhill

The Charter News

ACA–She can teach college math, high school math, and be an administrative assistant. Of course, as you may have guessed, this story is about ACA’s new math teacher, Mrs. Debbie Whittet. Her favorite color is blue, her favorite animal is a giraffe, and she loves to hike and cook.

“I enjoy writing…it’s an outlet for me,” she said in an interview with a Charter reporter.

She has been married to the same man for forty years, and has a daughter who recently got married. Debbie Whittet has taught MTH 20-111 at Clackamas Community College (CCC) for almost 15 years. Before that, she taught math at the high school level for another 15 years. To those who work with her, she is a thorough, well versed, and flexible person.

“I think she will be a great asset to our team… she has a ton of experience not only in a traditional high school, but also in the college level,” ACA Director Nic Chapin said when asked about her.

Mr. Chapin acknowledges coming into a new community can be hard, especially a close knit one like our student and teacher body here at ACA. But Whittet seems to be adapting well and getting along well with both students and other teachers alike. The circumstances are not ideal. Change is difficult, but Whittet is adapting well, Mr. Chapin added.

For the past two years, Whittet was a secretary. Then she received a phone call from her friend, ACA teacher Mrs. Val McCormack.

“I met Debbie I think, five, six years ago… she was the wife of the pastor of the church that we attended… I called her (about teaching at ACA) and she said she would think about it, and about a week later… they (ACA hiring staff) made contact and the rest is history,” she said.

What about Mrs. McCormack’s past with Mrs. Whittet? “(At church) She would give short little devotionals… our children were about the same age… I had a good and loyal friend in Debbie,” McCormack said.

There is one big thing that still hasn’t been addressed. The need for a new math teacher only comes after the former teacher, Mr. Trevor Dyett suddenly moved to a new school. Whittet has come to fill the void.

“It’s a hard place to be, and I don’t know anything about him, but…I like to believe that every single person brings a set of skills…I don’t feel the need to make mine (skills) match his…I don’t feel like I need to apologize for who I am. I can’t be Mr. Dyett and it would be wrong to try to be him.” she said during our interview.

So here she is, Mrs. Debbie Whittet. As far as the Charter knows, is here to stay.