Caldwell Extension Welcomes 4-H Part-Time Youth Program Assistant

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Debbie Burns is a North Carolina native, originally from Bryson City in Swain County. She grew up in the tobacco country of Alamance County, and spent many years in Alleghany County teaching as the sole art teacher to over 1000 students weekly.

Burns attended Western Carolina University and received two degrees: a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Education. She was an ROTC Distinguished Military graduate and received a US Army commission with a transportation/logistics specialization. She was stationed in Frankfurt, Germany before returning stateside and spending 14 years in US Army Reserves.

Burns has lived in Caldwell County for over 30 years, most of it on a small farm north of Lenoir. Her varied background includes US Army Officer, public school and private art teacher, dance teacher, and most recently retiring after 26 years as a Packaging Engineer for Sealed Air Corporation.

Burns also has experience as a 4-H leader for the Caldwell County 4-H Saddle Club, where she volunteered for several years in that capacity while her children, Tommy and Rae Lynn, were involved.

Her time these days is divided between creating and teaching art, caring for two senior horses and assorted other animals at her home, helping manage a downtown restaurant, and now assisting with the Caldwell County Extension office’s work in agriculture, horticulture and 4-H efforts. Expect to see a lot of her! She is eager to help and excited to meet more members of the community.