CHILLICOTHE – As a child, Debbie Rossman “played school” – a lot. She taught her siblings “if they were willing.” If not, she taught her dolls.
“I dreamed about being a teacher from the time I was about five years old,” she said.
Today, she’s director of the Walnut Street Children’s School.
“After getting my principal’s license,” she added, “I tried for a couple principal jobs, but did not get them. God had other plans for me, and after several years he opened the door for me to become the director of Walnut Street Children’s School. God knew I would be happier working in a Christian preschool where I could share my beliefs and faith, than in the two jobs I didn’t get.”
“I love the Lord,” she continued, “and want to share him with the students, parents, staff and community of Walnut Street Children’s School. Being a Christian preschool makes this sharing of the Lord possible on a daily basis. It’s definitely something I do from the heart.”
Debbie (Miner) Rossman grew up in Chillicothe and went to Unioto through the 12th grade. She graduated in 1978, then from OU-C in 1980 with a degree in elementary education. She earned two master’s from Ohio University, in elementary education as well as educational administration.
“After high school, I decided to get a summer job,” she recalled. “A daycare was around the corner from where I lived. I stopped in and explained I had just graduated and was going to college to be a teacher. I was hired on the spot and started the next day. The lady in charge had me collect tuition from parents and had me do some other extra things when she was not going to be able to be at the school.”
“Eventually she decided to close the daycare,” Rossman continued. “I would love to have bought it and had my own daycare at that time. However, I didn’t have the finances or the college education to do that. I kind of feel like I’ve come full-circle now that I’m back working with preschoolers.”
Her first job after the daycare job was subbing, followed by teaching high school learning disabilities at Unioto for three years, and then 4th grade for three years, before moving to 5th grade for the remainder of her years at Unioto.
“I taught at Unioto for 34 years before retiring June 1, 2015,” she said. “I then took the preschool director’s job July 1, 2015, so I had a whole month of being retired.”
“About a year before I retired,” she noted, “my daughter told me I should try to be the director at Walnut Street Children’s School whenever I retired from Unioto. Shortly after I retired, I saw an announcement the preschool at Walnut Street Church was looking for a director. I prayed about whether I should apply, and felt God was opening that door for me. So I applied, and I got the job.”
“I think Debbie and her staff make our school a welcoming and fun place for kids to laugh, play and learn,” assessed Walnut Street Children’s School Board President Jhan Corzine. “Like most preschools, the COVID pandemic has affected the school’s enrollment and operation, but Debbie has provided a steady, guiding hand.”
“I’m the administrator,” Rossman summed, “secretary, handler of tuition and fees collections, the IT/computer person, copy machine handler, the one the kiddos stay with if sick and waiting on their parent to pick them up, staff recruiter, handler of registration and tours for new students, fill-in for staff if needed, etc. My title is director of Walnut Street Children’s School.”
Walnut Street Children’s School is located at 16 South Walnut, in Walnut Street United Methodist Church, in Chillicothe. For more information, call 740-775-2525 or log on www.walnutstreetpreschool.com.
About the Series
Aces of Trades is a weekly series focusing on people and their jobs – whether they’re unusual jobs, fun jobs or people who take ordinary jobs and make them extraordinary. If you have a suggestion for a future profile, let us know at email@example.com or 740-349-1110.