The Bishop’s community would like to welcome Debbie Stokol (left) who joined the English department in the fall 2010. She currently teaches eighth and tenth grade English, and serves as a seventh grade advisor.
Debbie is a native Californian who grew up in Los Angeles. She developed an interest in writing and music while attending Harvard-Westlake School. As an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, Debbie earned a double major in music (music composition, piano and singing) and English and graduated Magna Cum Laude in music with a B.A. in English. Harnessing her love for and strength in essay writing, she embarked on a career as a journalist for the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Magazine. Along the way, Debbie attended the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, where she earned a master’s in journalism, finishing first in her class with the director’s award for excellence, and founding the school’s only news web site, Neon Tommy. She continued to write online and in print, in English and Spanish, for many news media organizations, including the Huffington Post, News 21, La Opinion and The Sacramento Bee.
QUICK FACTS and FAVORITES
Born: Los Angeles, CA
Family: Parents, sister
Past Times: Writing short stories, playing piano, singing jazz, exploring San Diego on foot
Books: Arthurian legends
Authors: Ray Bradbury, Stefan Zweig, Joan Didion, Franz Kafka (short stories)
Movie/Actor: Monty Python films; Film Noir; Three Colors Trilogy: Blue, White, Red; Peter Sellars
Food: Coffee and pastries; tomoatoes and olive oil
Vacation: Barcelona, Vienna, Scotland
Life Heroes: J.S. Bach, Mark Twain, Gene Wilder
What is your idea of perfect happiness? To have a sense of fulfillment, and reaching a perfect balance between professional and personal lives.
While working as a journalist, Debbie began teaching for the USC Summer Journalism Program and Urban Media Foundation. She is eager to share her passion for creative writing and the expression of ideas using a variety of writing styles. “Through teaching, I can nurture the students’ love of expressive writing while supporting their development of this important life skill.”
Debbie enjoys the forum provided by the classroom setting to freely exchange ideas with her students and colleagues, whether it is in depth literature analysis or the exploration of different writing styles, since such opportunities are limited in journalism. The influence of Debbie’s own high school experience on her life’s passion for writing and music, and ultimately her choice of career, is a testament to the profound inspiration teachers may have on a student.
Since her arrival on the Bishop’s campus, Debbie has found that the School community is welcoming and supportive, and the environment for the students sound and wholesome. “I am impressed by the emphasis placed on writing skills and literature analysis as well as the high level of cultural awareness amongst the students and staff.”
Debbie hopes her students will gain confidence in expressing their ideas by harnessing the fundamentals of and developing a love for creative writing.