Debbie DeRoss is retiring after 13 years of teaching at Weed High School.

Debbie DeRoss is retiring after 13 years of teaching at Weed High School.

She began as the Title 1 reading teacher, but after the implementation of the California High School Exit Exam, she began teaching intervention classes for students who did not pass the test.

DeRoss said John Soletti, who was principal at the time, assigned her to those classes because “he knew I had a heart for those kids.”

“It was rewarding to see them work hard and pass the test,” she said. She knew there was a dedication to learn because the test is a graduation requirement. It was satisfying for her to see them commit to achieve that.

DeRoss said she will miss being in a direct encouraging and supporting role with her students in the classroom, but plans to come back as a substitute teacher every now and then. She appreciates the opportunity to “touch a kid’s life in a special way every once in a while.”

What WHS faculty members appreciate about Mrs. DeRoss  
“... her cookies,” said Mikey Mulvihill.
“... wonderful surprises on Secretaries Day,” said Bonnie Rogers.
“She is my role model, a great neighbor and friend,” said Debbie Goltz.
“She was a really great mentor to me my first year here. She shared her classroom (and) every favor was paid in cookies,” said Damon Zeller.
“...how much she truly loves and cares for the success of WHS students,” said Nancy Longworth.

Students will miss her, too.
“She kissed me on the cheek when I passed my senior project,” said Kristina Busby.
“She gives us candy,” said Stacey Simpson.
“Her voice is so lively,” said Jeff Gardner.
“(She is the) bestest best teacher ever,” said Carlos Nava.

Highlights from her teaching career at WHS
DeRoss had tears in her eyes when she recalled a time when there was a student who didn’t pass the CAHSEE math portion until the fifth time. “We cried together when he passed,” she said. She also noted how fun it was after graduating from WHS to return as a teacher and share in the strong Cougar spirit. “It’s been rewarding and I’m really glad I made the move,” said DeRoss.

Retirement plans
DeRoss said she has always cherished her role as a Christian wife and mother, and now grandmother. She has been married for 36 years to Mike DeRoss, the Siskiyou County Assistant Superintendent of Schools. They have two sons, two granddaughters and are looking forward to a new grandchild in the fall. She is excited to spend more time with her family and also has hobbies to keep her busy, such as working in her garden, knitting and sewing.