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July 25-26, 2017

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November 1-3, 2017


           June 2017
   Member of t
he Month
       Debbie Troehler

     Administrator of Early Learning,
Expanded Learning and Coordinated
     Family Support Services Unit,
Orange County Department of Education

CCDAA is proud to announce the June 2017 Member of the Month is Debbie Troehler. She is currently the Administrator of Early Learning, Expanded Learning and Coordinated Family Support Services Unit at the Orange County Department of Education. She has administrative oversight for the many programs at the OCDOE. She is an experienced teacher, director of early learning programs and after school programs in private, faith-based and state subsidized settings. She continues to support programs and partnerships that provide opportunities for the development of the whole child. Mostly recently, Debbie was elected Member-at-Large for the Southern Section. Congratulations Debbie and thank you for taking a few minutes out of your hectic section to answer our questions. 

What has been most rewarding about your career in early education so far?
I have had a long career in the early learning field and many roles; teacher, director, coach and supervisor and all of it has been rewarding. Working with others who contribute to a child’s learning is rewarding. I feel fortunate that I get to work with amazing people who are passionate about children, life-long learning and building relationships. I chose this field because it is meaningful and has provided me with satisfaction knowing I am making a difference for all learners, adults and children. If your work is something you love, it will give clarity, drive, and happiness to all aspects of your life.

If you could give advice to someone who is new in the administrative role, what would it be?
When I would struggle with decisions one of my mentors always told me to trust my gut and I would always be on the right track. Another piece of advice would be to make relationships a priority and when possible make sure staff know the whys to your decisions.

What is your proudest accomplishment in your career?
I am proud to be where I am in my career, starting out as a teacher in an early learning program 30 some years ago (I know I am aging myself) I never realized back then the potential in this field. Teaching is very rewarding and teaching does not happen just in the classroom. The times where I feel I have made a huge impact is when I have had a part in someone developing their full potential in either their personal journey, educational journey or professional journey.

Recently an employee that I worked with a few years ago sent me an email informing me that he is leaving the Orange County Department of Education (OCDOE) to work at a local school district in the Human Resource department. This employee started at OCDOE in the Alternative Payment Program as a family technician doing enrollment and case management of family files. He was laid off when CDE made cuts to the Alternative Payment Program funding, but I re-hired him as my Administrative Assistant. Later he was promoted in other positions at OCDOE. In his email, he thanked me for taking a chance on him and giving him an opportunity to develop new skills and knowledge and believing in him. He stated that without my help he would not have the skills or confidence to take on new opportunities. These are the stories and accomplishments I am most proud of in my career. Developing people’s potential and having grit and perseverance when times are tough is what satisfies me.