Deborah Stephenson is an educator, academic writer, author, presenter, and entrepreneur. Debbie worked in education first as a teacher, before starting her business, TWC Educational Programs, Inc. that sold and published her K-5 writing program and 1-5 intercession, a complete language arts program.
Almost immediately Debbie started developing her writing program when she first started teaching in 1991. She began by creating a rubric system because one of her professors stated that students must understand the rules by which they are to be graded in advance. As a former struggling writer herself while in college, she felt a connection with her students. After seeing the success of the first rubric, she created a series of them, so students could learn the rules incrementally. Then, over the next few years she developed daily lessons that helped students to master the drudgery of learning language arts skills. Though the students were learning the skills, they still had a difficult time writing essays that went with their required reading series. To fix this, she wrote an enhanced version of an outline that went with each story called Pre-Writes. During that time, the three parts, Language Arts by Topic, Pre-Writes, and Rubric System were not connected. What brought the program together was students had a difficult time writing fiction, which was the academic focus in the 90s. That was when she came up with the idea of using mostly science and social studies topics for the Daily Lessons. Students use the content from the Daily Lessons to write their essays. She discovered that students not only learned how to write, but they had the added benefit of learning academic vocabulary and thoroughly understanding content rich topics they were going to be studying anyway, which better prepared them for college and life. After writing three years of curriculum, she left teaching, and her programs immediately sold. She went on to write the remaining grades while doing presentations and teacher trainings across the nation.
Now with the adoption of Common Core, students are required to write more non-fiction in the content areas such as science and social students. Though it took some time, Debbie already knew that students gained more by writing in those areas. With being nearly twenty years ahead of the times, The Write Connection has been carefully fine tuned to meet the current nationwide requirements.