Feature Teacher



Debbie Eldredge

What is your college degree and education?

I am a Registered Nurse and got my B.A. in health care management.

Why do you teach?

I loved being a nurse and taking care of people. I especially love being able to teach others how to take care of patients and residents. I tell my students that when they are done with this course they are ready to take care of me or my family — and some have!

Personal Motto/Words of Wisdom?

The Golden Rule — “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.”

Please tell us about your family:

I have been married to my wonderful husband Woody for 39 years. He is the police chief in Pinetop-Lakeside. He is currently working toward his Ph.D. and also teaches part time at NAU. I have two great children. Todd and his wife Chris live in Ohio. Todd is an IT manager. My daughter Tricia is in the Coast Guard and is currently stationed in Philadelphia. She works in search and rescue. I also have three awesome grandchildren, Todd Jr., Rylan and Ashlyn.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

People who park in handicapped parking spaces that aren’t entitled to that privilege.

What is your favorite holiday or leisure activity?

I enjoy reading and visiting my children and grandchildren whenever I am not teaching!

Why did you choose to teach in Payson?

We built our house in Payson in 1999 as a final retirement destination. I saw an advertisement for a CNA instructor in the paper after we moved here full time and thought this would be an opportunity I would truly enjoy.

In school who was your favorite teacher and why?

Mrs. Ethel Mellinger. She was my high school guidance counselor. I wanted to be a flight attendant in high school. Back then airlines wanted their attendants to be RNs. She told me I should probably think about going to nursing school first. I did and never looked back. Thank you, Mrs. Mellinger.

What was your favorite subject in school and why?

I was fond of all my subjects except for maybe math. I really admire math teachers.

What was your favorite year in school and why?

The year I obtained my undergraduate degree because it took me 12 years to obtained it!

What family influences brought you to where you are today?

My parents. They supported me in my career choice. They were married for over 59 years and were excellent role models for me.


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