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Meet Debra Johnson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Debra Johnson.

Hi Debra, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My two daughters were my first students. When they entered school, I became an assistant in their classrooms. It was then that my mentor Doreen Tichenor saw my passion for teaching and encouraged me to get my master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. After teaching 2nd grade and kindergarten in the public school system, I became frustrated with the lack of literacy foundation that my students had. I jokingly told my husband that I needed to get them from the womb and teach them. He took that statement literally and the Caterpillar Clubhouse Academy & Daycare was formed on August 10th, 2009 as an in-home school. In 2014 we moved to our brick and mortar in Powder Springs. We provide children ages 18 months to 5 years old a highly competitive education as well as a stimulating early care and educational experience which promotes each child’s ability to learn and read. We strives to shape their social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development by structuring our program and curriculum around a strong parental partnership. The sky is the limit for each individual who passes through on their journey to becoming a lifelong learner. We are very proud of our alumni students who completed the program. They are ALL in the gifted and target classes at their schools.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Actually, it has been a smooth journey as far as the students enrolling. We have maintained capacity even through the pandemic. The challenge in the past had been to find skilled teachers who love children and love to teach. Our children need educators who are patient as well as creative in the classroom. With the help of the pandemic funding, we now have highly qualified teachers who have decided to leave the public sector (partly due to covid) and teach in our school.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
In addition to being the founder and CEO of the Caterpillar Clubhouse Academy, I am also the author of the Caterpillar Creations series:

The Counting Caterpillar book
The Counting Caterpillar animated book
The Counting caterpillar audio book
The Traveling Caterpillar Presents: A book of shapes
A coloring book
Custom crayons

We also have a non-profit called “The Traveling Caterpillar” that will be up and running again this summer. We will tutor students in the community who have been affected by the struggles of virtual school. Essentially, we would serve as the support team to “catch kids up”.

Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
First and foremost, I am a woman of faith and a worshipper of God. Without Him, I would not be who or where I am today. The bible is the ultimate guide for my path in this life.

Bible app
NRC app for fitness
Pandora for music
Chick Fil a (who doesn’t love them)
Panda pop

I LOVE to read and learn so in my library I have a variety of authors:

Bishop TD Jakes – Drop the Mic
Sarah Jakes Roberts – Woman Evolve
Six Figure Spa Chick – Candace Holyfield Parker
Superfans – Pat Flynn
Secrets of Six Figure Women – Barbara Stanny
Her Secret Vault – Patrice Jordan
David Never Sleeps – David Shands
Anything James Patterson for leisure reading

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Zuri Johnson – Photographer

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