Debbie Rounds

Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence
Oklahoma Mentor Day

Debbie Rounds

Believe In Some One Now (B.I.S.O.N.) Mentors, Leedey Public Schools

It is fitting that Debbie Rounds was selected as this year’s outstanding mentor for Leedey’s school-based mentor program, Believe in Some One Now. Rounds has spent the past three years believing in her mentee Rylee and encouraging her to pursue her dream to become a veterinarian.

Kris Gore, director of B.I.S.O.N Mentors, said Rylee, now a sophomore, was a good student before she was matched with Rounds three years ago, but has blossomed even more academically with her mentor’s support.

“Debbie has had a very positive impact on Rylee, especially in regard to motivating her to do her best academically and helping her accomplish personal goals, as well as gain confidence in social areas,” Gore said. “They both share a special love for animals, and this connection has helped them create a unique bond.”

When Rounds learned Rylee hoped to one day attend Oklahoma State University to pursue a degree in veterinary medicine, she began helping Rylee learn about the skills she would need to pursue her goal and prepare her for the college application process. Rounds is a self-described die-hard fan of OSU, where both of her children and many family members attended college.

Rounds and Rylee like to Google different animals on the Internet and discuss what it would be like to provide veterinary care for them. They also enjoy cooking together, doing arts and crafts, and playing Monopoly.

“The love they share for animals and OSU is really special to see,” Gore said. “It is ironically cool that Debbie was selected for this honor, and then we found out the event was to be held at OSU!”

Rounds, a sales associate for Smith and Co. Auction and Realty, has been a B.I.S.O.N. volunteer for seven years and was praised by Gore for her “stellar weekly attendance” and for serving as a positive example to fellow mentors.

“She works outside of Leedey and leads a very busy life between her job, helping her husband with their ranch, and occasionally babysitting for their grandson,” Gore added. “However, she always makes time to come and see Rylee and usually has a cool activity planned to share.”

About the Program
: B.I.S.O.N. Mentors is a school-based program that serves pre-K through 12th grade students in Leedey, a small community of 435 residents. Leedey Superintendent Rusty Puffinbarger and Mentor Coordinator Kris Gore started the program and, with the help of six board members, rallied the support of their town. In a short time, the program has had a great impact on the school’s entire student body.