Debbie grew up in the East Lake community of Palm Harbor. After attending local public schools for her secondary education, Debbie graduated from St. Petersburg College with her Associate in Arts Degree. From there, she attended Stetson University in DeLand, Florida on a Presidential Scholarship.
At 19, Debbie graduated from Stetson cum laude and earned the distinction of being Stetson's youngest graduate since its founding in 1883.
After graduating, Debbie worked full-time as assistant to the CEO of a local 400+ employee company. She was responsible for locating international investment properties for company expansion, organizing and participating in team-building and morale development meetings for key employees, and providing customer service to corporate clients. She worked closely with management to streamline activities, increase productivity, and effectuate change in the office atmosphere to promote employee development and growth. Through her experience Debbie became intimately familiar with the challenges and demands of running a small business including accounts receivable, accounts payable, mail solutions, invoicing, responding to customer demands, morale boosting, budgeting, and file & client management.
Early in her career, Debbie became interested in law. She attended Cornell Law School - one of the five Ivy League law schools - and became the first person in her family to obtain a graduate-level education. While at Cornell, Debbie served as an Associate Editor for the Legal Information Institute's liiBulletin, an online subscription service comprised of articles discussing current and pending Supreme Court cases. Debbie was also elevated to Moot Court Board.
Upon graduating, Debbie accepted an appellate clerkship with the Court of Appeals of Virginia. After spending a few years working closely with two appellate judges, Debbie returned home to Florida and became an Assistant State Attorney for the 6th Judicial Circuit, serving Pasco and Pinellas counties. There, she investigated and prosecuted various crimes including sexual battery, DUI, assault, domestic violence, battery, and robbery. She litigated several cases to jury verdict and settled over a thousand more prior to trial.
In 2012, Debbie returned to school and obtained a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from Washington University in St. Louis. In the Taxation program, Debbie focused her coursework on sophisticated personal estate and tax planning.