Position: Supervisor, Student Services
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School: School Board Office
School District: Shenandoah County Public Schools
City, State: Woodstock, VA
Deborah Litten was nominated by her superintendent, Mark Johnston.
Ms. Litten is the Supervisor of Student Services. However, her title does not begin to encompass all of her areas of responsibility. She is the liaison to school nurses, where she supports and advocates for them so they can focus on the students they serve. She also works with the coordinator of her district's Student Information System to help organize "PowerGirls," a group of administrative assistants across the district who maintain the accuracy of the student records management system. From completing and submitting reports for the State, to handling routine phone calls from staff, parents, and students, she performs all functions of her job with total competence.
Ms. Litten is the point of contact for students who, because of disciplinary or other issues, are not able to attend school. She also manages an online course management tool where she reaches out to students and their families to ensure they are as successful as possible. On top of all of her responsibilities, Ms. Litten voluntarily created and maintains the administrator handbook, nursing forms, division emergency management plans, school management plans, safety reviews, security keys, and a whole host of other responsibilities.
"In my thirty three plus years of public education, I have yet to meet a more dedicated, capable, conscientious, caring, and visionary individual," Johnston said. "The students, staff, and citizens of Shenandoah County owe her a debt of gratitude!"
Deborah Litten in The News:
Student Supervisor Up For LifeChanger Award
Educator Nominated for Award
I have had the privilege of working with Deb in many different facets. Deb is a true leader in any task that is put before her. She works diligently to ensure students and staff are successful in SCPS. Deb has high expectations, compassion, and grit to get the job done. She is a leader by example. She is a life changer to the student population that she works with. She ensures that they are able to meet the requirements to get a diploma and graduate from SCPS. Without her perseverance and dedication to the students, I feel certain these students would fall through the cracks. She ensures these students are not forgotten about and makes sure they understand they are important people and can make a future for themselves. Deb is a not afraid to get her hands dirty. She would never ask anyone to do something that she herself would not do, and most likely will be doing right alongside you! Over the years I have been able to call on Deb for assitance and no matter how small or big she assists and ensures I have what I need at the end of the day to be successful. She is a life changer in many ways
There is an old saying that goes, "Jack of all trades, master of none". Deb defies that adage as she is a "jack of all trades" and a master of all of them. There are untold numbers of students who have been touched by her unflinching drive to help students succeed, her willingness to go the extra mile for students, and her ability to find resources that students need to be successful. Whenever I don't know an answer (to just about any question)...Deb is my first call.
I have known Debbie Litten for a number of years. She was an excellent teacher and administrator, but is superb at her present job. As Supervisor of Student Services she coordinates a huge number of tasks -- Alternative Schools, Attendance, Nursing, School Safety, Home school, and many more. Her previous experiences have given her the skills to accomplish everything she does, but it is her attention to detail and her perseverance that make her stand out as an excellent member of our division. However, the most important thing about Debbie is her very real concern for students. She always treats students as important individuals but will never let them get away with thinking that they can do less that what she expects from them. Her ability to connect with students and parents builds trust and commitment. Debbie is the reason for the success of many of our at-risk students. She is definitely a life changer.
For many years now, Ms. Litten has been a student advocate across our school division. Her ability to balance “tough love” with just the right amount of compassion is what sets her apart. Students and parents who interact with her know that she is being open and honest with them while at the same time being fair and consistent. Ms. Litten’s dedication to the students and families she works with has helped them see that just because a mistake was made does not mean you cannot “pick yourself up” and make it right. Her ability to coach people through these times has resulted in many students ultimately being successful. Well deserved, Deb!
Ms. Litten has a profound impact on the students and staff in Shenandoah County Public Schools because of her high expectations, compassion, and dedication. She is incredibly well-respected in our community, and she has contributed to the growth of our students, staff, and community through the relationships she builds, the expertise she brings to the table, and the programs she has fostered that help nurture students and their families.
I cannot think of anyone more deserving for this award than Ms. Litten.
Deb and I began working together five years ago when she assumed the position of Supervisor of Student Services and I became the Nurse Coordinator for our division. During these five years, we've forged a very strong, close working relationship which has brought about many improvements and innovations in our School Nurses Department. She taught me about technology, which I knew nothing about, and I taught her about school nursing, which she knew nothing about.
School nurses have always taken care of the health needs of our students, but providing data to show others what we do was cumbersome and narrow in scope. Once we started working with Deb, it became very evident that we needed to improve our technology skills and she was just the person to help us. Slowly but surely, our nurses have been pulled into 21st century technology and we are all the better for it.
School nurses provide healthcare services that are grounded in evidence-based practice. Data is always needed to support current practice or implement new protocols. When Deb combines her technology skills with her superb organizational skills, wonderful results occur. She can hear an idea or a concern and transform it into a form, spreadsheet, rubric, or report. Not only has she developed this framework , she has taught us how to use technology to our advantage. When data is requested by various agencies, our nurses are now able to access it quickly and are confident that it is accurate, current, and appropriate in scope. This has not been an easy task on her end; she tells us we are like "herding cats." Eventually, she gets us to the end point but it takes a lot of patience.
Thanks to Deb, we have made some tremendous advances in the area of communication. Our Nursing Handbook is now fully electronic.. Revisions and updates can be made as needed throughout the school year. Medical practices can access certain forms which increases health service efficiency. Deb helped us develop an electronic nursing documentation program which is fully utilized by the nurses. And most recently, she created an excellent school nurse website which includes not only our handbook, but many other helpful school nurse resources. These were all big projects, requiring a considerable time commitment to get off the ground. Deb worked on each project with her usual excitement and determination and we ended up with some great operational tools.
Above all, Deb has been a true advocate for school nursing. As she has listened to our concerns over the years and learned about the positive impact we have on student academic progress, she has become our voice at division level budget meetings. She recognized the need to have a school nurse in every school and consistently lobbied for it. In 2011, we had seven school nurses covering eleven schools; by 2016, we had eleven nurses covering eleven schools. This is quite an accomplishment! She has also been successful in finding funding sources to provide our nurses with the necessary equipment to do our work.
I speak for all of our nurses when I say that we are so grateful to have Deb as our supervisor, our cohort, our teacher, our sounding board, and our friend. She is the best!
Congratulations to Deb! She provides encouragement and strong leadership, whenever I work with her. Her experiences as a community member and as a building administrator provide unique perspective into her current position. This perspective allows her to understand the needs of students, while maintaining the policies of Shenandoah County Public Schools. Deb is ever dependable and always available, whether making time to answer a quick question or to help in a student in crisis. She exhibits a Life Changer example through her dedication to her job and by showing up when it counts. I am grateful for every opportunity to work with her.
When Deb taught at Woodstock Middle school, I worked with her and we created interdisciplinary all school units together. Those units required LOTS of planning and follow through. Obviously Deb was "practicing" for her current job over 30 years ago.
Her ability to wear many hats is incredible. When I encounter Deb at the various schools talking or meeting with someone I ask what job title are you working under today. Her reply most often is that it does not matter as long as the job gets done. And I have never heard from anyone that the job did NOT get done.
When someone asks me something about students, no matter the question, I tell them to call Mrs. Litten she will know or tell you who can help you.
Deb Litten is a wonderful person to work with. She's always very positive and a real cheerleader for students. So great to see her nominated!
Deb Litten is a wonderful person that has helped so many of us in SCPS. I enjoyed working with her at SJHS.
Congratulations! I enjoy working with Deb. She provides assistance to me by keeping me within the school's established policies and procedures. In projects on which we have worked together, Deb shows up to encourage and to assist with whatever might be needed, from providing sound leadership to helping fold flyers. Deb brings her integrity, experience, and practical approach to all of her endeavors. I appreciate her being a positive LifeChanger in my day!
I will never forget when Mrs. Litten was Assistant Principal at Strasburg High School. One summer day she came to work dressed in her "work clothes" and said she was going to work with the custodians and she did. She worked very hard that day cleaning, moving furniture and getting the school ready for a new year. She has such a "down to earth" personality. When our school was being added on to and renovated, Mrs. Litten attended all of the weekly construction meetings, she helped pick out colors of carpet and walls and counter tops and was just so involved in that process. Mrs. Litten is very well deserving of this nomination.
Deb Litten is the absolute best! She is so wonderful with students and staff. Deb is one of the first people to arrive at work in the mornings and one of the last to leave in the evenings. She is totally dedicated to putting her best effort into everything she does. I have often commented to people about how wonderful Deb is with parents and students. She always makes them feel welcome and when they leave her office, they know she will do everything she can to help them - but they also know she has high expectations for them also. What a role model she is - for everyone!
Congratulations for a job well done!
Debbie is a joy to work with and always does her best. "Good enough" is not in her vocabulary! You know she will always give her best and that inspires everyone working with her to do their best. She has done so many things to help the students in our school division. She is a positive "life-changer" for many students that do not have someone else to believe in them and show them a way to survive and excel! She is very deserving of this award!
Debbie Litten is a critical component of the administrative staff of Shenandoah County Public Schools. Her numerous duties have been listed by Dr. Johnston. What makes Debbie such a "Life Changer" is the interaction and guidance provided to the students she serves in the ACCESS program. These students have been restricted from attending school due to disciplinary actions of our School Board. They take their classes online. I have experienced Deb's interactions with these students. She never belittles or disrespects them. She helps them to acknowledge their bad decisions, but never makes them feel as a bad person. She receives respect from these students because she offers them respect and sets high expectations for them. She monitors their progress and "reminds" them to complete their coursework when necessary. Several students have told her that she is the only reason they have stayed in school! I am certain that most of these students would classify Deb as their "Life Changer!" She is most worthy of this nomination!
Congratulations Deb! You are a blessing to Shenandoah County schools.
I've known Debbie for over 25 years. There is no one more deserving of this award than she is!