“Debbie brings intensity, compassion, empathy and a strong work ethic to everything she does,” said Tim Flood, interim Grossmont College president.
The President’s Leadership Award is among Grossmont College’s highest honors and is designed to recognize leadership in service to students, faculty and staff. Extraordinary professionalism, exceptional positive personal characteristics, and stellar communications and interpersonal skills are among the qualities that recipients must exhibit.
“I’m very humbled by this award, it really means a lot to me, especially in light of the fact that the nomination came from colleagues here at the college,” Yaddow said.
In many ways, Yaddow is Grossmont College.
Yaddow earned her associate degree in nursing from Grossmont College in 1983 and began teaching part-time at the El Cajon campus the following year. She went on to earn both her bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing from the University of San Diego, and she began teaching full-time at Grossmont College in 1991. Yaddow was named Assistant Director of Nursing in 2003 and Director of Nursing in 2006.
Yaddow also has worked as a nurse at Sharp Grossmont, Rady Children’s and Kaiser hospitals. As dean of Allied Health and Nursing, Yaddow was instrumental in the School of Nursing securing its accreditation from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.
Grossmont College has one of the highest passing rates in the state for students who take the National Council Licensure Examination at nearly 96 percent.
“I’m extremely honored and phenomenally proud to work at Grossmont College and be a part of an exceptional institution with such dedicated students, faculty and staff,” Yaddow said.
Yaddow has been critical in building the growing reputation of Grossmont College’s Allied Health and Nursing programs, securing millions of dollars in grants and donations, forging an articulation agreement with Grand Canyon University’s nursing program, along with a new compact that enables graduates of the Grossmont College nursing program to seamlessly continue their education and receive their bachelor’s in nursing from Point Loma Nazarene University in just 15 months without ever leaving the community college campus.
She is no stranger to awards, either, earning a Grossmont College Teaching Excellence Award in 1993 and the Distinguished Faculty Award in 2008.
“Debbie is very in touch with the staff on campus, and when the division secretary, Beth Lebkeucher fell ill and passed away, Debbie rallied the Nursing Department to create an Osher Scholarship in her memory,” states the President’s Leadership Award nominating form.
“Her background in nursing really shows in her care and dedication to everyone she works with,” Flood said.
Above all, she is devoted to her students and building upon the legacy of the nursing profession. At the Grossmont College nurse pinning ceremony in the spring of 2014, Yaddow praised the latest crop of graduates for knowing what it means to be a nurse.
“It means being able to touch lives without saying a word, just simply by being there and lending support,” Yaddow said. “It means being proud of what you do each and every morning that you look in the mirror. And it truly means making a difference.”