Interview: Retired Teacher, Debby Glassner

Guest Blogger: Melissa Barnosky, Class of 2019

This is an interview conducted, written and submitted by Melissa Barnosky.  Melissa is a Senior at Albion High School.  Her mother, Amy Dermondy Barnosky, is a Class of 1991 Albion Alum.  Melissa won the NYS Oratorical Contest this past spring and represented NY at the National contest. Melissa is currently working with Sue Starkweather Miller as an intern and one of her current projects is interviewing a few retired teachers and writing about them. Melissa wants to ultimately become a political correspondent.

This is the second in the series of interviews with retired teachers by Miss Barnosky!  

Here is the result of her interview with Debby Glassner:


Hand puppets, plastic food, a sandbox.  These are about the only things that I vividly remember from my time in kindergarten—but an individual forgetting material items from early elementary school is no big deal when one had a teacher as memorable as Mrs. Glassner.

Debby (Kaminski) Glassner is a 1970 graduate of Albion High School.  She attended college at SUNY Brockport where she obtained her degrees in music and education in 1974, saying that it was her aunt who encouraged her the most.  “My aunt was a big support,” said Glassner.  “She wanted me to go to college and wanted me to be a teacher.” 

After marrying her high school sweetheart in June of 74’ and working as a substitute teacher in Albion for several years, Glassner got a job in social services in 1985.  She worked as an adult and child protective caseworker, before beginning her career as an Albion elementary educator in 1991.  She taught third grade for one year but was a kindergarten teacher during her last fifteen years at Albion.

“I loved working with five-year-olds,” Glassner said about her career.  “They are so nice, funny, and innocent—so open, so friendly, and interested in trying new things.”  

Glassner recalls a time in the classroom when a young boy forgot to bring in an item for show and tell.  He then pretended that he had an invisible computer, and he brought it around the room, showing it off to the other students.  Glassner said it was moments like this one when she really enjoyed her job; she simply loved “watching the students play.” 

Glassner retired in 2007 but still volunteers regularly in classrooms at the elementary school.  She tries to walk every morning and enjoys crocheting, an activity that she has engaged in since she was “a little girl.”  

She also spends a lot of time with her family.  Glassner has three children and four grandchildren, all of whom she takes pleasure in babysitting.  Her son lives in Georgia and is a Sheriff’s Deputy, her daughter is a teacher residing in Virginia, and her other daughter works in the mortgage industry and remains in the western New York area.  

As a past student, what stuck out to me most about Mrs. Glassner was her dedication.  Even as a child, I, and many other students, recognized her diligence in all that she did for us.  She spent hours working on bulletin boards, scrapbooking our work, and planning activities to try and make school a fun, yet meaningful experience for all of her students.  

Mrs. Glassner is a prime example of what makes a teacher a genuine educator—she truly did and still does care about the development and future success of children.

Glassner wants the youth to understand how important it is to live life to its fullest.  “You look at things so differently when you’re older,” she explained.  “Always enjoy life; get out and participate in things.”

Wise advice from an admirable educator.