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Deborah Fournier, ’95 | At-Large Trustee

Class of 1995, Bachelors of Arts, History

Why I Serve

From childhood into adulthood, I was a competitive baton twirler. I enjoyed it as an outlet for artistic expression, the friendships I formed and for how much overall fun I had. Growing up in the Northwest, some of my coaches were former UW twirlers and it felt natural to follow that path. Tryouts were held at Husky Stadium with family watching from the stands. When I was selected as the featured twirler, it was the first time in my life I cried tears of joy.

UW offers an invaluable sense of community. The Husky Marching Band became family to me, but there were other support systems that contributed to my university success. I benefited from the writing center and attending professors’ office hours. I’ve always loved history and was inspired by professors who demonstrated that teaching is the art of storytelling. I was an elementary school teacher for 14 years before transitioning into being a librarian. Education is often the art of matching the person to their passion.

To me, history isn’t about facing backward, but learning how better to move forward. One way is contributing to an inclusive and diverse educational environment. As a trustee, I want to contribute to honoring student experiences, recognizing differences and encouraging sharing and learning from one another. Education is not about fitting square pegs into round holes. It’s about finding the best fit for students as individuals.


Deborah Fournier grew up in Des Moines, Washington. During her time as a UW student, she was a baton twirler with the Husky Marching Band and worked on campus in the library system, food services and at the KEXP radio station then known as KCMU.

She has been an educator for over 20 years and is currently an elementary school teacher-librarian in the Edmonds School District. She is passionate about anti-racism education and feels fortunate to have a position where she can teach future generations.