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Title: Social Communications Coordinator
Office Location: Williamsburg
Started at NCSC: June 2011
Deirdre wasn’t exactly excited – huge understatement – at having to move from one state to another during her junior year of high school. Who would be? But if she didn’t, her life would have had been very different. She wouldn’t have met her husband, had her 11-year-old daughter Isabella, moved to Williamsburg and landed a job at the National Center.
You have a perky personality. What were you like as a child? I don’t know. I know I liked being the center of attention. I was the oldest, and I didn’t like my sisters getting attention. There are home movies to prove it. (Laughs.)
You moved a lot. What was it like moving from Texas to New Jersey during your junior year of high school? It wasn’t something I wanted to do. The students liked me because of my Texas accent, but I really didn’t have that many friends. Texas and New Jersey had totally different cultures. It probably scarred me. (Laughs.) My senior quote was, “Y’ll come back now, ya here?” I never moved back (to Texas), but my parents and sisters did.
You became a Jersey girl? I don’t classify myself as a Jersey girl at all. I ended up going to Monmouth University, in West Long Branch, N.J. I was going to school full time while working at Barnes & Noble full time, and George (my future husband) stalked me in the mystery section. We started hanging out after that.
What’s something interesting about you that few people know? I won a lot of singing competitions in high school. I sang classical pieces. And I got a second-place award in a talent show for playing the piano. I’ve got the ribbons in a box somewhere in my attic.
Did you ever think you might want to pursue a singing career? Not really. I think I always knew there were people who were better than me. And then I developed a weird speech impediment (spasmodic dysphonia). When I said the E or A sound, my vocal chords would close.
Bizarre! Yeah, there’s no cure for it. I receive a Botox treatment four times a year. A doctor numbs my vocal chords, fishes around with a long needle to find the right spot and gives me the shot.
How did you end up in Williamsburg? George and I took two vacations down here, and one time we were walking down Duke of Gloucester Street, and he said, “Wouldn’t it be great to move here?” I said, “Yeah,” and we did.
What do you like the most and the least about living in Williamsburg? The most, probably the people. Just about everyone is nice. The least, the tourists. If you don’t know where you’re going, pull over, so I can get around you because you’re in my way.
How did you end up at the National Center? When we were living in Williamsburg, I was laid off from a (New Jersey-based) political polling company. I knew I didn’t want to work in politics any longer, and I saw the ads for my job and I applied.
What do you like most about your job? I get to do a variety of things. I design websites. I design graphics for social media and for other marketing materials. I correspond with a lot of different people. One of my favorite parts of the job is being in charge of our Civics Education Essay Contest. The responses are cute and thought-provoking, and the contest has grown tremendously – from 400 entries in 2016 to double that in 2017. I love working in our department. We have different skill sets, and they mesh well together.