Tracey Downey has been a teacher for the past 14 years and loves being involved at her school. She taught elementary school for her first 5 years before moving on to high school. However, her day does not stop when classes are over. “I am always on the go with a million things going on simply because…my day never stops at the bell. I am also the Varsity Cheer Coach and the Special Olympics Cheer Coach,” states Tracey. She also has three children at home, which requires even more of a time commitment. “My life is crazy and very full but I wouldn’t want it any other way,” she exclaims.
Tracey’s favorite era to teach is the WWII-Cold War Era. She is able to reference the stories that she has heard from her parents and grandparents from that time, which makes it easier to bring the period to life for her students. Her two proudest moments are when she received the “Sallie Mae First Year Teacher of the Year Award” in her county and also when she laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on behalf of her school. “It was a huge honor and beyond humbling,” she recalls.
Tracey views her biggest challenge as a teacher as the change in technology and social media, and how students interact with it. She also points to growing class sizes as another hurdle that educators face. Ultimately, Tracey hopes that she can truly help a student in their life. “I don’t think there is anything better than having a student return to tell me I made an impact on them or that I helped them in a particular way to make them a better human being,” she states.