Past and current queens

Debra, along with her twin sister
and  three  (3)  other siblings, spent
most of their childhood living in Germany and
Italy.   
During  that  time,  Debra  became very  familiar  with  the  German  language and also  speaks  Italian  fluently.  
When Debra was in the ninth grade, her father
was assigned to Fort Dix and the family returned   to   the   United   States   and relocated   to   Burlington   County,   New Jersey.  
By age fourteen (14), Debra was enrolled  in  the  Pemberton  Township  High  School where ,  not  only  did  she  excel  at academics  and  athletics;
but she  also  developed  a  strong  passion  for  gymnastics  and cheerleading . 
For   twenty-five   years,   she shared this passion
through   coaching recreational  and  high  school  cheerleading.  Her  teams  gained  state
and  national championships and recognition in the competitive cheerleading arena.

Debra  has  always  had  a  passion  for  physical  fitness and a  strong  desire  to  make  a
positive impact on the physical and mental health of adolescent and adult populations;
with a special interest in adolescent eating disorders, anxiety, and depression.  This was
the impetus  that  propelled  her  into  a  world  of
nursing  and  nutrition.    In  1980, Debra
graduated from The  College  of  New  Jersey
with  honors  and  a B.S.  degree  in  nursing. 
While  attending  undergraduate  school,  Debra  was  a  four year  college  football  and basketball cheerleader; and competed in multiple county level Miss America Pageants, placing  in  first  and  second  runner  up  awards.   She  also  received recognition  for  Miss Congeniality and Most Talented honors. A few years after graduating college , Debra became a wife and a mother. 
However, that did  not  stop  her  from  pursuing  her  passion.  She  was  able  to  juggle  her  family
responsibilities and her education goals without
“dropping the ball.”
In 1994, Debra was certified as a school nurse (CSN-NJ) at the College of New Jersey. She 
has worked for the past twenty-five years as 
a school nurse; and, has worked part-time in an
Emergency Room setting as a Certified Land and Aqua Group Exercise Instructor Debra always desired to pursue advanced degrees in Nursing and Nutrition.
In 2008, she earned a PhD in Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health. In 2010, she earned her master’s degree in  Nursing  Education  and  Leadership  from  Walden  University.
In 2014, she began to pursue a Post -Master’s Certificate and graduated in 2018 as a Family
Nurse Practitioner and is looking forward to assessing and providing high quality care
to patients in an Urgent Care setting.
Debra has a competitive spirit which has been
encouraged and supported by her family
and her siblings who attend most of the events in which she participates. 
Debra has been blessed  with  an  identical  twin  sister  who,  not  only  choreographs  her  routines  but, continuously inspires her to achieve greater levels of athleticism.  Her sister challenges
her to continue pursuing her passion for fitness, acrobatic dance, and recently, pole sport.
Together,  they  are  pursuing  an  entrepreneurial  venture  which  includes  designing  and manufacturing  fitness  wear. They  are  planning  on  expanding  their  passion  for  fitness fashion through internet and personal business transactions.
Throughout Debra’s career, she has received many awards and recognition: Employee
of  the  Month,  Crystal  Apple  Award,  People’s  Choice  Award,  Ms.  Biceps  Title  by
Norwegian Cruise Lines, First Runner up in a Cruise Dance Contest , and the Congeniality
Award in the 2018 Ms. NJ Senior America Pageant. Recently, Debra started competing in the Senior Division of Pole Sport, and plans on finding additional competitions to prove that “people
can be in the best shape of their lives at age 60 and over!” In  2018,  Debra  was  first  runner  up  and  shared  the  Congeniality  Award  in  the
Ms.  NJ Senior  America  Pageant. 
On  June  5th,  2019,  Debra  won  the  title  of  Ms.  NJ  Senior America and Ms. Congeniality 2019. She is honored and privileged to represent
the state of New Jersey in the upcoming
national 2019 Ms. Senior America Pageant. 
Debra is a very active community member, volunteering her time to Medford Youth and
Athletic   Association;   and,   participating   in   runs/fitness   activities   benefitting   charity
organizations.
She also organized the collection of clothing, coats, and prom dresses for those in need. She 
believes in always taking personal and professional life to the next level  and  opening  every  door  of  opportunity  that  life  provides.  It  is  her  goal  to
“inspire women to embrace aging; stay active in both mind and body; and, promote their mental
and physical health by making time for themselves on a daily basis.” 
Debra is blessed to have a loving,  supportive family and friends; a husband; three children
(a speech  therapist, a lawyer, and  an occupational  therapist); two  grandchildren, a
mother-in-law; and, three siblings along with
their spouses who are in her corner 24/7.

Photo Highlights from 2019 Pageant

Congraulations to our

2019 Ms. New Jersey Senior America... Dr. Debra Canale


2018 Ms.  Senior America, Gayle Novak with                   2019 Ms.  New Jersey Senior America, Dr. Debra Canale

WELCOME  to the  home of

Ms New Jersey Senior America