photo of Debra Peppers, PhD


  • Motivation
  • Education
  • Inspirational
  • Wellness
  • Humor
  • Stress
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Debra Peppers, PhD

From high school dropout to Emmy award winning Hall of Famer, 30 year-educator/radio/TV host brings audiences to their feet with inspiration, humor, and motivation.

Contact Information

Travels From

  • Missouri, United States


  • chapter: none listed
  • PEG: none listed
member of NSAUS member of TOAST member of IFFPS

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"Troubled Teen to Teacher of the Year" read a headline when Dr. Debra Peppers, upon retirement from teaching high school in St. Louis, was one of only five inducted into the National Teachers' Hall of Fame. This honor was presented to her in Washington DC by the Secretary of Education, where she also appeared on CNN, C-Span and Fox News. An author, university instructor and current host of a TV talk show, "Outreach Connection", Debra also hosted a weekly TV segment called "Shakin' the Salt with Dr. Peppers" and for ten years hosted a daily 3-hour radio program, "Talk From The Heart With Dr Debra Peppers". She interviewed celebrities from the President of the U.S. to rock stars. Debra has also written a monthly column for a St. Louis newspaper and has been featured in numerous books and publications, including five versions of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Best Classroom Practices, Embrace of a Father, A Cup of Comfort, Living Your Dreams, The Master's Hand and her own It's Your Turn Now! As keynote presenter at the Crystal Cathedral's International Women's Conference, her speech won a national award with the National Federation of Press Women. A member of the National Speaker's Association with a BA in English/Speech, an MA in Education and a Ph.D. in Communication, Dr. Peppers has been speaking professionally for over 25 years and has amassed over 100 honors and awards. Dr. Peppers grew up in a traditional family but at sixteen, weighing 250 pounds, she dropped out of high school, experimented with alcohol and drugs, ran away from home and could have "fallen through the cracks". But with her parents' love, the encouragement of a teacher, and her eventual faith, her life turned around. Having lost over 100 pounds and earning a PhD., Debra motivates and inspires audiences all over the world by sharing tools and strategies from research, successful programs, and personal application. She leaves the audience laughing, crying and standing in ovation for Dr. Peppers is the "Real Deal!"

Having traveled to every state and 60 foreign countries, some of her clients include:


  • North America Securities Administrators Association
  • Family, Career and Community Leaders of America
  • Mid America Association of Personnel and Staffing Services
  • Community Development Resources of Ventura County, CA
  • National Federation of Press Women
  • Missouri Association of Professional Staffing Services
  • Board of Probation and Parole
  • Young Presidents Association
  • National Teachers Hall of Fame
  • Crystal Cathedral, Los Angeles, CA
  • National Youth Leaders Convention
  • Darlington County Mental Health Association, S. Carolina
  • Pennsylvania Board of Education Association
  • Council for the Advancement of Education
  • E-Women Professional Network
  • International Association of Administrative Professionals
  • General American Life Insurance
  • Rotary International
  • Nursing Spectrum
  • Southwestern Bell Telephone
  • Illinois Association of School Boards
  • Kiwanis International
  • League of Women Voters
  • North Dakota Office of the Securities Commissioner
  • Governor's Task Force on Mental Health
  • American Red Cross
  • Missouri Writers Association
  • Center for School Reform
  • Arizona School Board Association
  • American Association of University Women
  • Florida State Mathematics Convention
  • Webster University Professional Development
  • Arkansas State Association of Superintendents
  • Gifted and Talented Training Programs
  • Community Action Associations
  • Arizona Superintendents and Dept. of Education
  • Pasadena California Mayor's Prayer Breakfast
  • Zonta Service Organization of Executives and Professionals
  • Monsanto Corporation
  • Numerous Hospital, Nursing and Medical Associations
  • Hundreds of Schools, Universities, Professional Educators Associations

Sample Program Titles:

Leadership is Not a Luxury

Dealing with Difficult People...examining profiles and strategies to resolve conflict

Caregivers Can Giveout Too

Stumbling Blocks to Steppingstones: Using Trials to Produce Triumphs

If It Takes a Village, Where are the Village People (Teambuilding)

Under Construction: Building all over again!

Motivating the Unmotivated

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired: Health and Wellness

Life is a Banquet; Don't Settle for Crumbs...Humor and Inspiration

It's What You Say AND How You Say It: Communication styles and strategies

Stress Management: Learning from the Professionals how to live life with joy!

Life's Balancing Act: The Whole Person, the Whole Child, the WholeEnchilada

Drop-out Prevention: Building on Personalization and the Entire Community

Character Education for Adults: Ethics in the Workplace


Todd Akin, United States Congressman

"Dr. Peppers' presentation at our annual patriotic event was outstanding! We've asked her to come back again next year."


Claire McCaskill, United States Senator

"It is my distinct pleasure to commend Dr. Peppers on her accomplishments. Her devotion underscores the importance of civic participation and the shared goal of improving our state and our country."


Richard Riley,Secretary of Education

"Our nation is fortunate to have someone like you, whose commitment and creativity can help us meet our most important challenge: teaching our children. We are counting on experienced educators to offer leadership and guidance to others as we continue our effort to provide America's students with the best education in the world."


Mary Lou Retton, Olympic Gold Medalist/Author

" Debra's personal story is incredible and her style and energy level are unequaled."


Bob Costas, Sportscaster and television personality

"Dr. Debra Peppers, of the National Teachers Hall of Fame, overcame setbacks to become a huge success. She now inspires others to better themselves for real life success as well."




The Honorable Catherine S.Enz, State Representative 99th District:

"I was honored to introduce a Missouri House Resolution to the Missouri General Assembly recognizing Debra's life work and appreciation for her outstanding contribution to youth and the educational community."





Dr. Gene Engelhardt, Past President, Kiwanis International

"Dr. Peppers will leave your audience laughing, crying and ready to take on the world"


Diane M. Beedy, Director of Professional Development

"Adjectives used to describe Dr. Peppers presentation were "Excellent", "Wonderful", "Great". We would recommend Dr. Peppers as a speaker for any educational organization."

William T. Konzal, Superintendent, Tuscarora Schools

"Dr. Peppers did an excellent job! Her high energy level and commitment to excellence is highly contagious. Thanks for a great day!"


Larry W. Williams, Superintendent, Allen County Schools

"Dr. Peppers fills her speeches with insight, wisdom, and warmth. She speaks about the philosophy that helped her meet life's obstacles and overcome them. Dr. Peppers is a real person that speaks from the heart."


Pam P. Sansbury, Director of Finance, City of Hartsville

"Debra is one of the most personable people I have ever known! Her message was an inspiration to all. She is wonderful! She sings, she dances and she tells wonderful stories!"


Cecil Boothe, Asst. Executive Director, Arkansas Assoc. of Ed. Administrators

"Debra did an excellent job! Very well prepared and personable. Would love to have her again.


Jack R. Whaley, Principal, Gibraltar High School

"I congratulate you on your ability to generate so much enthusiasm! If you can bottle it, then I can sell it and we both will be millionaires."


Alesia Skinner, President, Basket of Ideas

" Dr. Peppers was wonderful! The light beams from her and pulls all those around her in close. We thank her so much."


Diane Kambeitz, Investor Education Coordinator, ND Securities Dept.

"Dr. Peppers received a 100% "very good to excellent" rating for her presentation. That is why we have had her back every year for the past six years."


David Migliorino, Principal, OSF

"I have attended numerous talks and seminars over the past thirty years and I can say with absolute certainty that this was THE BEST I have ever attended! Dr. Peppers is amazing"


Dr. J.M. Galloway, Cumberland University, Lebanon, TN

"Debra Peppers is living proof that all of us can overcome obstacles. I guarantee you will leave inspired!"


Lee Canter, Lee Canter and Assoc., Santa Monica, CA:

"You will leave not only inspired and motivated but equipped with real tools to make changes."


Marva Lloyd Redd, Ph.D.,Dept. of Human Resources:

"Innovative, creative, realistic and to the point..."


Floyd Shockley, General American Life:

"I wish we could have Debra train every sales person in our company!"


Shirley Brown, Partnership Program:

"I will never look at my job, my family-my life-in the same way again. Thank you, Debra Peppers and God Bless you!"


Carol Reisinger, Director, VICC Coordinating Council:

"Wow! I wish we could clone you since you are in such demand. We were completely booked one hour after we opened the phone lines!"



Most Requested Programs
  • Motivation/Humor/Keynote

    inspirational / life-changing humorous / funny

  • Stress Management

    educational / informative inspirational / life-changing audience activity

  • Health/Wellness

    educational / informative inspirational / life-changing audience activity

  • Leadership

    educational / informative inspirational / life-changing audience activity

  • Stumbling Blocks to Stepping Stones

    educational / informative inspirational / life-changing audience activity

  • Communication

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(information provided by the presenter via eSpeakers)

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