Gulden retires from Rainbow after diverse career

Debbie Gulden is retiring as gifted specialist at Rainbow Elementary School. (CONTRIBUTED)
Debbie Gulden is retiring as gifted specialist at Rainbow Elementary School. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Debbie Gulden’s greatest honor during her 24-year career was selection as 2010 Teacher of the Year at Rainbow Elementary School.

“There are so many great teachers at Rainbow and to be nominated by one of them is truly an honor,” Gulden said. Since 2005, she has been Rainbow’s gifted specialist.

Gulden recommends for her replacement “to buy a pair of running shoes. Your 100-plus students will keep you on the move all day. Judy Warmath, our fabulous gifted coordinator, and other gifted specialists are always there to help. You’ll love Rainbow.”

Gulden will always remember her first-grade teacher, Josephine Wagner, who taught her to read. “I’m proud to say I passed that passion on to my own children. As Jacqueline Kennedy said, ‘There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.'”

She earned a bachelor’s degree in English at Eastern Kentucky University, master’s degree in guidance/counseling at Western Kentucky University and master’s degree in gifted education at Samford University.

Gulden taught at Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Vilseck, Germany; Geilenkirchen, Germany; Waldorf, Md.; a junior college in Fort Knox, Ky.; and a private school in New Jersey. Starting in 1998, she worked in Madison as a homebound teacher, job coach at Bob Jones High School and with secondary English Language Learners (ELL) students.

Gulden said the Retirement Systems of Alabama suggest planning a list of 25 activities. Although she hasn’t prepared a list, spending more time with her children and grandchildren will be top priority.

Her husband Jack works for the Missile Defense Agency. The Guldens have four children. Jason works as a civil engineer for General Electric in Cincinnati, Ohio. Kyle is a master sergeant in the Marine Corps Special Operations Command at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Brian is a captain in the U.S. Army at Fort Carson, Colo. Kristen works as an athletic trainer at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The Guldens’ grandchildren are Emmie, Cecilia, Jackson and Ella.

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