By: Griffin Anderson, Contributing Writer
After 22 years with the Centralia R-VI School District, Mrs. Debbie Harper is retiring after the 2021-2022 school year.
Harper spent her first six years with the district as a paraprofessional. She has spent the last 16 years at Champion Academy, the district’s high school alternative education program, where she currently serves as the Director.
Harper earned a Bachelor’s degree in Educational and Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri and a Master’s degree in School Counseling from Stephens College. She has spent her entire career in Centralia.
Harper reflected on her time in the profession. “The absolute best part of my career has been the relationships that the students have allowed me to create and build with them. I have been so positively affected by the students who have shared my journey,” said Harper.
When asked what she said she will miss most about her career, she said, “The great students that I work with!”
Harper’s retirement will allow her to spend more time with her family, enjoy her hobbies and travel. She is married to Terry Harper, and they have two sons, Zane and Chase, along with a daughter-in-law, Brittney.