A school librarian is supposed to share knowledge to students through books. But Wheelock Elementary's librarian is going above and beyond. She's teaching kids to have a voice in their community through compassion and leadership. NewsChannel 11's Suleika Acosta brings us this Teacher You Can Count On.
It's not always quiet inside the library of Wheelock Elementary. Deborah Sagebiel is more than just the keeper of books, she is also student council supervisor to fourth, fifth and sixth grade students. "To be loud and make noise, that's half the battle, that's what we do," she says. What Ms. Sagebiel means when she says 'make noise' is that she's showing students how to be heard and play an active role in their community. "Don't just stand there and complain; fix it and learn about it and then just to respect others," she says.
"We've gone to the county jail and mayor's office," says student Kelsey. Students have even visited city offices, learning first-hand what it takes to run the city. Most recently, Ms. Sagebiel's student council along with the rest of the school, raised $500 and donated it to the future Lubbock Regional Public Safety Memorial. "Each grade got to purchase a brick, student council has their own brick and we honor different branches of the city," explain the teacher.
Ms. Sagebiel credits her zest for life as a result of her own personal obstacles. Last year she was diagnosed with colon cancer. "I just thought everyday I've got to go see those kids, I can't let one go by," she says.
Today, Ms. Sagebiel is in remission and continues to inspire Wheelock students to work hard, be compassionate and show gratitude. "It just means something when you can stand there and say thanks," she adds.
Ms. Sagebiel also illustrates books and works with autistic children in her spare time.
You can help support the Lubbock Regional Public Safety Memorial. Call 775-2646 to purchase a brick.