Faculty Focus – Mrs. Debbie Pickens
One of the most familiar faces at Shalom Christian Academy is Mrs. Debbie Pickens—she’s been teaching Kindergarten at the school since 2002. This year she’s teaching one of the every day kindergarten classes. Shalom also has an additional every day kindergarten class and an alternate day class. “I enjoy introducing children to their first year of formal education,” she said. “I have had a passion for teaching since the very beginning. Education has evolved so much since I first started, but the students are still genuine, fun and have a passion to learn and grow.”
Kindergarten students spend their days learning about the Bible, phonics, reading, math, science, and Kid writing. “At the beginning of the year they might not know their letters, but by the end of the year they are reading and writing sentences. They love to draw pictures, write stories, and share their stories with each other,” she said. “Every year it amazes me how much each child learns and grows in their first year of school.”
“When children are in an environment in which they feel safe and enjoy, they thrive very quickly. The learning is contagious. They learn from each other,” Mrs. Pickens said. “One of the most important goals for me each school year is to create an enthusiastic and fun learning environment to help each gain a positive attitude towards school.”
Mrs. Pickens says the children in her class often remind her why Jesus said we need to be like children to enter the kingdom of heaven. “Being a kindergarten teacher helps me grow as a Christian. When children learn and apply Biblical truths, they do it with transparency and integrity. They are not influenced by pride. It’s inspiring to watch them grow academically, spiritually, and socially,” she said.
Mrs. Pickens said Shalom’s faculty and staff value each child and their family. “Shalom is a strong community of teachers that believe in God, in each other, and our students. It’s important to us to help each student thrive. We support each other and our families. We are personally invested in each student in our classroom. We pray for our students, our classes, and each other. We strive to be a team of godly men and women who are constantly evaluating ourselves and finding ways to improve as a school and as Christians.”
Mrs. Pickens and her husband Joe, pastor of Christian Life Church in Chambersburg, have three married children who live in New York, Las Vegas, and Atlanta. She said the only thing more fun than teaching Kindergarten is playing with her three sweet grandchildren. When she is not at work, she enjoys traveling, going on a walk with her husband or Facetiming with her grandchildren.