BY MEANNA SMITH
This year, the Citrus Valley High School staff have had many new additions within different departments and Sheena Debose was one new addition to the math department. In addition to teaching math, Debose is the girls basketball assistant coach and the Black Student Union advisor on campus. Debose will be answering questions about her first year at Citrus Valley High School and teaching in general.
Debose was at an event for BSU, the Black Girl Magic Summit and photographed by one of her BSU students. (Photo courtesy of Jazz Daughtrey)
If you could describe your first year at Citrus Valley High School in one word, what would it be and why?
One word I would use to describe my first year here at CV is “eventful” because there have been several momentous events that I have been a part of, being an Assistant Varsity girls basketball coach and BSU advisor.
What has been the highlight of your year here at Citrus Valley High School?
I have two highlights:
- Girls Basketball Senior Night, where we defeated our newly acclaimed rivals RHS with a packed house.
- The “Black History Living Wax Museum”, where BSU put together a hugely appreciated contribution to prominent African American figures throughout American history.
How have you or how do you plan on making a positive change on campus?
I can only hope to have made a positive change to Citrus Valley, as I often feel I am not doing enough. However, I would like to help formulate a support system that gives a voice to, that is a light for, and gives resources to all students who are underrepresented, underperforming, overlooked, and/or misunderstood. Basically I want to help positively promote and enhance the underdog at Citrus Valley High School.
What led you to be a teacher?
I started working as a Paraprofessional in the classroom shortly after receiving my Bachelor’s degree, where I discovered my passion for teaching and being a role model for students who needed a strong support system in the classroom.
Why is being a teacher important to you?
Being a teacher is important to me because I believe the youth are the future of this world, and you all need effective guidance from a passionate community of educated people.
What has helped you become comfortable here at CV?
Being the BSU club advisor and Assistant Varsity Girls Basketball has helped me to be more comfortable at CV. These roles allowed me to build connections with students and staff in a way that I feel grounded as a staff member on campus.
Can you see yourself having a lengthy career at CV?
I can see myself having a lengthy career at CV, due to the fact that I see my role being needed and significant to the culture of Citrus Valley High School.
What drew you to teach at CV?
Principal McCue drew me to Citrus. She hired me initially to work at Moore Middle school, and I’ve always had a great respect for her, and thought it would be cool to work with her at CV.
What are you most excited for in upcoming years at CV?
I’m excited for the growth in all of the students I’ve met, as well as the growth in the Girls Basketball program and the Black Student Union. All will be epic to watch grow under my support.
How long have you been teaching?
I’ve been teaching for a total of 11 years, and have been working in education for about 15 years.
Do you love teaching and if so, why?
I absolutely love teaching. Teaching gives me an opportunity to spark minds that can potentially positively change the world.
Have you always loved teaching or was it more of a rocky start?
Teaching for me has had a rocky start and can still be rocky. There is always some adjusting that is needed in education. Just think about it, Distance Learning had 20 year veterans feeling like first year teachers. So rockiness just comes with the job!
What are some trials and tribulations you have overcome as a teacher?
I have overcome the trials of being overworked and underpaid. I take work home with me, I work during the breaks, and feel like I could use another $500 a month for out of contract hours I spend working.
What is your favorite thing about teaching at CV?
My favorite thing about working at CV has definitely been working with all of my students this year.
What separates CV from the other schools you have worked at?
What separates CV from other schools is the prodigious school pride and the remarkable student unity. I strongly felt the Blackhawk love/pride when I first stepped on campus. The students here are the most intelligent, charismatic, and unified young people I have yet to meet.
If you could tell students at Citrus one thing/piece of advice, what would it be?
Self-Love when you are young yields healing for others when you are old. Knowing your worth right now is the key to making the world a better place later. I love you all for real – Coach D. (Debose).