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Sixth Grade Team

Debbie Brummit

bio_brummit.jpgEvery morning before the school day begins, Debbie reads the following quote by Haim Ginnott, which she has taped to her desk in the sixth grade classroom:

“I’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.”

Originally a nursing student, Debbie quickly realized where her true passion lies. As she endeavors to inspire Rossman’s sixth graders, Debbie is herself inspired by her students’ enthusiasm to learn and desire to make a positive difference in the world. In a grade where children are beginning to transition from concrete to more abstract thoughts, she loves to help them express their ideas through writing as they make connections with works of literature.

Debbie taught at schools in Arizona, Virginia and Pennsylvania before returning to her hometown of St. Louis. She also has traveled to South Africa to train township teachers how to use Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences and implement outcome-based education in their classrooms.

A mother of two, Debbie enjoys reading (especially young adult novels), sewing, scrapbooking, and traveling. As the founder of Layne’s Grace, she also is dedicated to helping families find hope through grief by delivering bereavement bags to hospitals for families who lose a baby in delivery.

 

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Jim Holmes

bio_holmes.jpgOriginally a biology major at Williams College, Jim was a three-sport athlete, earning nine varsity letters. He later earned an MBA from Northwestern University and began a marketing and sales career that lasted more than 20 years.

Passionate about coaching his children’s sports teams, Jim thought teaching seemed like a logical and fulfilling next step. Since joining Rossman’s faculty in 2002, he has helped to build a premier sixth grade program, grounded in high expectations, caring and fun.

Jim enjoys teaching math through entertaining lessons and challenging competitions. He also relishes exposing students to life lessons through great novels like To Kill a Mockingbird. He loves working with Rossman’s oldest students and their parents, both of whom are on the verge of significant life transitions as secondary school and adolescence approach. He especially enjoys utilizing his marketing skills and personal experience as a parent to help families navigate the secondary school admission process.

The relationships Jim builds with his students during their final year at Rossman are long lasting. Many former students communicate with him frequently throughout secondary school and college, and he supports graduates by attending sporting, musical and theatre events and by sending words of encouragement and congratulations.

 

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