Debbie Diestler was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area until college, where she graduated from Sacramento State University with a B.A. in Social Science and an Elementary Teaching Credential in the early 70’s. In 1972 she married her high school sweetheart, Dennis and they raised two wonderful sons, Adam and Brian mostly in Redding, CA.
Along with her younger sister and brother who are professional artists and musicians, she was influenced greatly by her mother and father. Her mother was a talented multi- media artist, with a flair for clothing fashion, home interior design and classic style. Her father, a Holocaust survivor who became a very successful business man in the Levi Strauss clothing industry, also had an eye for color and design, as well as a love of music and dance. Exposed to a variety of art forms at an early age, she developed a passion for The ARTS and incorporated them in her main stream elementary teaching for twenty-six years. She discovered that many children could internalize their learning experience and increase their curriculum skills as well as their confidence through, music, drama, dance/movement and art.
Debbie had a strong desire to expose all kindergarten through eighth grade students in her school district to the visual and performing arts. She either involved students and faculty in whole district events or brought in academic assemblies to entertain, inspire or encourage students to express themselves in creative ways. In addition to full time teaching , she became the Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for her district in 1998 through 2009 until funding was cut back significantly. Initially working with a limited budget that slowly grew substantially with the approval of the district faculty and parents, she was able to bring a variety of professional academic assemblies to many students. The subjects included music, dance, drama, writing, history, math, science and visual art.
It wasn’t until high school that Debbie discovered her voice and has developed it throughout the years. Whether singing in a college folk group, participating in a choir, directing concert productions at her elementary school, sharing her voice for special celebrations with friends and family, the joy of music and rhythm runs through her and takes on many forms.
When Debbie retired from teaching full time in 2010, the door was left open to develop her love of painting more seriously with mentoring from her sister, Julie Cohn and her friend, Barbara Enochian. She finds complete and utter joy working with color in watercolor, acrylic, ink and beautiful papers. There are always unexpected creations and gratifying surprises in every artistic endeavor. She also loves to share the history of famous artists with students of all ages. Using these lessons, she follows up with painting projects. In addition to painting she has stayed connected with children by volunteering with POPS, which is a drama and musical group including fourth through eighth grade students. It is Debbie’s desire to connect with people through various art forms. Her involvement in the north state community has inspired her to start a business called HEARTSPECTRUM .
Debbie thrives on learning new techniques and is always striving to grow and attain new goals in all areas of her life. She uses photography to capture the beauty around her and to help open her mind to the limitless possibilities in the world of art.
In 2002 she and her husband decided to move to the small mountain community of Shingletown, near Mt. Lassen. They love the quiet, tranquil beauty, but still find it close enough to commute into Redding to stay involved in the community. She also has more time to travel and visit her expanding family of now two amazing daughter-in laws and five precious grandsons. She feels incredibly blessed and grateful to have the time to be creative and share her joy with others.