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Traveling Teacher Pens a Personal Tale

When Helen Davis arrived at PreEminent Charter School, she was asked if she had a preference of where to teach. Her answer was a selfless one, but reflective of her story.
 
“I said I want to be where you need me the most because I feel I have 14 years of experience and I feel that I also have the skillset to be able to set up and run any classroom,” she said. “That’s how I approached coming here – I want to be where you need me the most. That’s the way I am and that’s what I would prefer – to be where I’m needed.”
 
Davis is a teach force teacher, meaning she can go to different schools depending on the area of need. This school year she is teaching special education in a second to fourth grade classroom at PreEminent, and also has taught at other National Heritage Academies (NHA) schools such as Rolesville Charter Academy and Wake Forest Charter Academy.

Students raising hand in classroom.

Before coming to NHA, Davis also was a traveling teacher in Statesville, North Carolina. Moving to NHA schools allowed her to be closer to her grandchildren while still giving her the flexibility she enjoys.
 
“I’m excited to interact and be able to touch more students’ lives instead of being in one little box,” she said. “Some teachers like to be in their classroom and they want to just fix it up and doll it up, stay there forever. That’s not really what I like to do.”
 
Davis’ penchant for helping others extends outside the classroom. She has written one book, “Dano Saves the Day: The Helpful Hero,” and has another, “Matters of the Heart,” coming out in early 2024. “Dano Saves the Day” tells the story of a boy named Daniel and shares strategies that can be used in and out of the classroom to help teachers and families manage “silent disabilities” such as ADHD, ADD, autism, learning disabilities, and behavior disorders.

Dano Saves the Day book.
 
Davis wrote the book to tell the story of her son’s intellectual disability and having almost died twice when he was born. Her experience as a mother of five boys, as well as being a teacher, compelled her to share their story with others.
 
“He is now 23 and a pretty amazing young man in spite of his inability to read or write,” she said. “His ability to communicate and articulate with huge vocabulary is amazing. Giving him a life of rich experiences communication, therapy, all those things really made him a great young man.”

Teaching is Davis’ passion, but not until later in life. She previously was a corporate trainer developer with Sprint and had other life experiences before going back to school to become a teacher and earn two master’s degrees. Her teaching experience has helped her raise her son, and she is passing those lessons along with her book.

Two students coloring.

“I kept going to school I think because I wanted to learn more as he grew older,” she said. “As (my son) grew older I wanted to understand how I could help him in life, being able to tackle his inability to learn and to navigate it because he will always have to be taking care of it, because he can’t read. I just wanted to know more and then as a teacher I wanted to be able to share that with other parents and teachers.”

Keep up the excellent work, Ms. Davis!

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About PreEminent Charter School:
PreEminent Charter School is a tuition-free, public charter school in Raleigh, North Carolina, serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit nhaschools.com.


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