Crystal Davis

Crystal Davis isn’t the type of hero who often grabs headlines. But by living and working in suburban Mooresville where she was raised, she’s exactly the hero her community needs – one who works tirelessly to ensure none of its youngest generation is forgotten.

“I feel it’s important for me to teach where I live,” Davis said. “I want to be part of helping the kids that are going to be my neighbors.”

A STEM teacher for the local public school district, Davis was recently recognized by her peers at Paul Hadley Middle School as its teacher of the year. Aside from her academic efforts, she was noted for bringing numerous community service opportunities to the building – from packing health and hygiene kits for students in need to participating in classroom poverty simulations.

Over the years, Davis has noticed how much parents can affect their children’s experience at school. “I really wish that all parents could see the ramifications of their personal choices and how they affect kids in numerous ways,” Davis said. “I see a lot of kids struggling because their parents are struggling.”

Davis tries to go above and beyond for those struggling students. After each quarter, teachers at Paul Hadley receive a list of students failing multiple courses, and Davis meets weekly with each one enrolled in her class to help put them back on track. “I’m not sure all of them know they’re capable. I don’t know that anyone’s told them they’re capable,” she mentioned.

It’s the struggling kids that need support systems like Davis in their life. “For kids that are just your average kid or a struggling kid, I don’t know that I always see opportunities spearheaded by teachers or other communities. You need to engage the kids [who] kind of hate school,” she said.

It’s no question that Davis has left a huge impact on the many young adults she teaches every year. “It’s important for kids to see their teachers as people they can connect with. It’s important for kids to have positive, safe role models. For some kids, all they need is one consistent positive role model – that has always stuck with me. I may not be that for every kid, but I can be for one kid.”