Visit http://debbiebookstaber.blogspot.com/2008/04/debbie-bookstabers-school-board-update.html for Debbie Bookstaber’s March 2008 School Board Update.
Visit http://debbiebookstaber.blogspot.com/2008/03/debbie-bookstabers-school-board-update.html for Debbie Bookstaber’s February 2008 School Board Update.
Visit http://debbiebookstaber.blogspot.com/2008/02/debbie-bookstabers-school-board-update.html for Debbie Bookstaber’s January 2008 School Board Update.
From the 12/13/2007 WayneSuburban.com:
Debbie’s debut: Debbie Bookstaber may be new to the school board, but she knows a thing or two about service
By Rachel Perry
At 29 years old, Debbie Bookstaber just became the T/E School Board’s youngest member, but don’t assume that young is a synonym for inexperienced. Bookstaber may not have as many years under her belt as the board members she’ll soon serve alongside, but she definitely has the wisdom and work experience necessary for the position, and she’s ready to bring some fresh perspective to the board.
But who is Debbie Bookstaber, new role aside? Well, to start, she’s a technology professional, a mama-to-be, a wife, a volunteer, a blogger — and, it seems, a natural leader.
Bookstaber, who has been actively involved with community service and educational reform since her college years, lives in Berwyn with David, her husband of seven years.
Although she grew up in Merion, the move was an easy transition for Bookstaber. “I certainly had made a lot of friends in this area,” she said of her childhood years. “I grew up going to the Upper Main Line YMCA.”
After high school, she went on to study at Yale University, where she received bachelor’s and master’s degree in history, completing her graduate studies in 2000.
But, said Bookstaber, history wasn’t her only interest.
“I was very interested in education,” she explained. “I did student teaching and a lot of volunteer work with children. I worked at the Yale Center for Disabilities, where I scanned books into Braille and took notes for hearing-impaired students in class.”
Bookstaber was also the president of her sorority and the coordinator for the Yale Women’s Center, a feminist organization seeking to improve the lives of women.
She’s still trying to improve the community; she volunteers with Girl Scouts and she’s an alumni interviewer for Yale. “I think I relate well to high-school students because I’m not that old,” she said. “I’ve done a lot of work with anti-bullying groups. I’m really passionate about violence prevention in schools.”
She can also connect with students because she’s familiar with many of the new ways they connect with each other; MySpace, Facebook and other online social networking sites are a few examples of things her generation knows well but older generations may not be as well acquainted with.
Bookstaber also works with technology in her professional life; she’s working for a new Internet startup.
In her free time, she likes to travel and often gets paid to write articles about the places she visits. She also enjoys cooking, scrapbooking, exercising and reading.
With such a busy schedule, how does someone like Bookstaber even find time for hobbies? We’re not sure, but her life is about to get even busier as she and her husband are going to take on new roles soon: parents. Five months pregnant with her first child — a boy — Bookstaber is glowing.
“It’s very exciting,” she said.
But she’s also realistic about bringing a child into the world, and part of the reason she’s joining the school board is to improve conditions for all kids.
“Expecting a child, you really want to do what you can to make the world a better, safer place,” said Bookstaber.
She’s already working on that; she currently manages a very successful blog specifically for moms — http://www.mamanista.com/. “One of my friends had a baby with a heart defect, so we started a mommy blog to raise money for the American Heart Association,” she said.
It’s not surprising, then, that Bookstaber cites her own mother as her biggest influence growing up.
“She taught for 30 years in an inner-city school,” she said. “She was the one who really emphasized volunteering and service. From fourth grade [on], she had us out there volunteering.”
That’s one of the reasons Bookstaber decided to pursue a spot on the school board, where she will be representing Tredyffrin Region 2.
“I viewed it as more of a community service, instead of a political position,” she said. “It’s unpaid, completely voluntary; a lot of people don’t know that. Education affects everybody.”
On November 6, 2007 Debbie was elected to the Tredyffrin-Easttown School Board for a term of four years.
Debbie Bookstaber is running for School Director in Tredyffrin Region 2. Recently, she served as the Vice-Chairman of the TE Tax Commission, which recommended unanimously against imposing an income tax in TE.
Debbie is currently an Executive Director at uTANGO.com, an internet startup company. Her background is in technology, online marketing and business development. Prior to uTANGO, she worked in Business Development and Strategy at Expedia.com where she managed the affiliate marketing channel and drove several hundred million dollars in annual sales. She also worked as a Senior Product Manager at Travelocity.com and as a Product Development and Operations Manager at Site59.com.
Debbie is running because she cares deeply about education and our township.
Debbie Bookstaber’s involvement in anti-bullying and relational aggression dates back to high school when she started and ran a program to teach conflict resolution skills in inner-city elementary schools. The goal of the program was to give students the tools to resolve issues without resorting to violence. That program went on to win an award at the state-level.
Debbie continued to mentor teen girls in New Haven throughout college (focusing in particular on the relational aggression issue as well as self-esteem) and ultimately was selected as a coordinator of the Yale Women’s Center, an umbrella organization serving women and children in New Haven. Since college, her involvement has only grown as she’s spent many hours working with children and teens.
As a former Gold-Award Girl Scout, Debbie mentors scouts working on Silver and Gold Awards and also speak on self-esteem and relational aggression (bullying).
In 2003, Debbie was selected as a volunteer of the year by the Junior League of Boston for her efforts as a Foster Care case reviewer, where she worked with many special needs children. Debbie Bookstaber advocated for the safety of children and was instrumental in running the annual toy drive as well as a school supply drive.
As the Chairman of the Junior League Project Research and Development Committee, and as a member of this volunteer organization, Debbie Bookstaber helped implement new literacy, cultural, and health projects for children in the greater Philadelphia area. These projects included BooksAloud! (reading techniques to parents and children), Kids in the Kitchen (teaching proper nutrition and healthy habits to kids), Cultural Clinic (arts and music education for middle-schoolers) and more.
Debbie Bookstaber has volunteered many hours in Tredyffrin as well. She is an auxiliary board member for Tredyffrin and Easttown Care (www.tecare.org). One project she worked on this summer for T&E Care ensured that students in need received computers. Debbie is on the Tredyffrin 300 Committee, where she chairs the Taste of Tredyffrin and the CafePress committees as well as working on PR and marketing of the historical DVD. The goal of Tredyffrin 300 is raise money to rebuild the Jones Log Barn.
Debbie grew up on the Main Line and attended The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude from Yale University with Bachelors and Masters Degrees in History.
Debbie Bookstaber and her husband David chose to move to Tredyffrin because of the outstanding school rankings and the fiscal responsibility of the School Board. Debbie cares so much about long-term strategic planning for our school district because she wants to ensure our schools stay top-ranked for a long time to come.
As a Yale Alumni Interviewer, a volunteer admissions reader for the PA Governor’s School for International Studies, and a focus group participant in the TE School District Strategic Planning Process, Debbie has been able to get to know many Conestoga students and can attest to the fact that TE provides a private-school quality of education at a public school price. By serving on the school board, she hopes to maintain and improve the educational excellence and fiscal responsibility of the School District.
Read more about Debbie Bookstaber at: Debbie Bookstaber For School Board