Meet Deborah Hayes author of Happyedugator

deborah hayes, teacher

Hello and welcome to my About Me page! I am Deborah Hayes, the face behind HappyEdugator.

Originally from Orlando, Florida, I grew up in a State Department family and went to many different schools in the states as well as overseas. I lived in Spain, Venezuela, and Ghana, but returned to Florida in my junior year and graduated high school School Cum Laude from a private boarding school in Florida. From there, I went to the University of Florida.

At U.F., I was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in Education (Elementary Education) and graduated with honors. I went on to earn a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, with an add-on for Middle Grades. I left Florida after graduation, and went on to teach in Georgia.

I started teaching at the elementary level for 3 years, went to pre-K for 5 years, and from there went to middle school, where I spent 16 years. I am certified to teach elementary and middle school grades in ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies. I also have endorsements for Reading, Gifted Students, and Teacher Support Specialist.

becoming a teacher

deborah hayes & family

HappyEdugator Today

I am married to a great guy and have two children, and two grandchildren. Both my kids live in Washington state. My son is an engineer who designs parts for StarLink satellites, and he has a son going into seventh grade. My daughter is a successful chef who owns her own fine dining restaurant, and she has a son going into fourth grade.

HappyEdugator Family

I resigned my Georgia middle school teaching position in 2014, so I could be with my daughter in Seattle for the birth of my youngest grandson. In 2016, my husband and I moved to Washington state to be near both children and grandchildren.

In my new home state, I started out volunteering and then taught first grade. When the pandemic hit, I had to leave the classroom. We needed to relocate, so I could homeschool my younger grandson. Now, I am hoping a position will open in our small community on the Olympic Peninsula.


I was recently honored to find out that I was the first teacher to upload a resource to TPT! At the NYC headquarters, there is a timeline on the wall, and HappyEdugator is on it! It was fun to get my picture by it when I recently visited the New York office. 

Fast forward to today, and you’ll find over 1500 resources in my store. I just love creating resources, and I’m still not out of ideas yet!. 

First resource loaded to TPT

Let me know how I can help you

Thank you for stopping by! If I can help you in any way, please contact me. As I mentioned, I love to create resources and am always open to custom orders. I specialize in resources for upper elementary and middle school. 

Best wishes for success always, 

Deborah Hayes