Mrs. Deborah Kriebel retires from North Penn

After 34 years in the district, Mrs. Deborah Kriebel will be retiring from North Penn this year.

Jillian Phillips

After 34 years in the district, Mrs. Deborah Kriebel will be retiring from North Penn this year.

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TOWAMENCIN- North Penn High School’s B-pod is the language department hallway where students go to class eager to learn about a new language and culture. After 34 years in the North Penn School District, Spanish and French teacher Mrs. Deborah Kriebel is taking her next step into retirement.

“The first year out of college I was at Boyertown Middle School the whole year filling in for a maternity leave and I was looking for a full-time job. I saw North Penn and I knew of the district because of where I went to school. I applied and got the job, and I’ve been here since ‘85,” reflected Kriebel.

While Kriebel always knew she wanted to become a teacher, she was not exactly sure which grade level would be the best match for her.

“Originally I thought I wanted to be just a straight elementary school teacher, but I loved languages so I had multiple majors in college. My first student teaching experience was elementary fourth grade. The kids were wonderful, but you needed to be an ‘actress teacher’ and you had the same kids all day long, and I didn’t like that. My second student teaching experience was with the spanish and french and it was middle school and I loved it. Then I knew I wanted to do languages. I knew I wanted to do middle school or high school,” explained Kriebel.

After graduating from Cedar Crest College, Kriebel started out at Penndale Middle School. In 1993 she transferred to Pennfield Middle School, and even taught both Pennfield and North Penn High School simultaneously. Finally, she found her perfect home in the high school.

“It was really cool coming up here because for the first couple years I saw the kids that I had in eighth and ninth grade, and how they matured through the years. Now I really like it because of the excitement. I’ve seen kids apply to college, get accepted into college, or get their jobs. That’s really neat,” exclaimed Kriebel.

While Kriebel loves everything about her job, her favorite part about teaching is the students.

“My favorite part about teaching is that every day is different, getting to know the kids inside and outside the classroom, and when the lightbulb goes on. For some of them you can just see it. All of a sudden they get the concept and that is just so cool,” shared Kriebel.

While Kriebel teaches all about languages and cultures, she also finds fulfillment educating her students about the world and being aware of their surroundings.

“In today’s world you really need to know another language, or just be aware of other cultures. I always say to my students ‘you need to take out that American brain’ and ‘not everyone does things the American way, its not to say one is right or wrong its just different’. Hopefully the kids travel and broaden their horizons,,” said Kriebel.

Growing up in a small town, Kriebel has been impacted by the North Penn School District’s large, diverse population.

“It has really opened my eyes to different cultures and ethnicities, the availability of the classes here that you can take. Where I grew up and went to school and where my kids went to school, the courses that are offered here, they couldn’t get till college. It’s really opened my eyes to a lot of things and I’ve really enjoyed it,” reflected Kriebel.

While Kriebel is looking forward to sleeping in, she is also looking forward to the lots of changes on the horizon for her family after retirement.

“My youngest is graduating from Temple University. My oldest is getting married in July. My daughter who graduated two years ago and has been living with us just got a new job, so she’ll probably move out of the house now. I’m looking forward to doing nothing for a while, but then traveling. I have some travel plans,” said Kriebel.

Now that she will finally have the free time, Kriebel can fully dive in head-on to her passion for fostering and adopting dogs.

“I volunteer for a dog rescue and haven’t been able to do too much other than foster here and there, but I just ended up adopting our latest foster which is wonderful. I’m going to do more work with them. I own three dogs, but with teaching I foster one at a time. It has to be a dog that can fit the schedule of being out of the house most of the day. When I retire maybe I can take mothers with puppies or take multiple dogs, do the rescue pickups and things,” said Kriebel.

At the end of the day Kriebel is going to miss the memories, conversations, and connections that fill her classroom in B-pod.

“I will miss the students. They make me laugh every day. If I’m having a bad day I let them know and somebody just cheers me up. I will also miss my colleagues here in B-pod. They’re the best!”

All of Mrs. Deborah Kriebel’s students and colleagues thank her for impacting their lives here at North Penn, and wish her the best in her future endeavors.