This year’s retreat award recipient is Laura Davis. Congratulations Laura!

We have all heard the statistics related to how many teachers will leave the profession within their first five years of teaching. This is Laura’s fifth year teaching, and she was close to becoming part of that statistic this year. As a Head Start teacher, all of the children in her classroom come from low-income families. Their life circumstances are difficult, which motivates Laura to be the best teacher that she can be. However, this year she began to question her ability to make on impact on these little lives. Sadly, on Halloween, as her students were preparing to go trick-or-treating with friends and families, a former student of Laura’s passed away in one of the most tragic ways imaginable- her mother was charged with her death.

Laura understandably had a difficult year, not only coping with the loss of a student, but helping the other young children process this inconceivable situation. Laura shared, “Although this student is no longer here, I can say that her time in my classroom was wonderful. I find peace knowing that she was happy, loved and cared for in my classroom. I may have taught her colors, shapes and how to write her name, but the most important thing she learned from me is that she was loved. This realization has confirmed my dedication to the field and the fact that the work we do every day is critical. “As a Head Start teacher at a year-round center, I don’t get a summer break. I don’t have two months off to reflect and plan for the next year. Receiving the opportunity to attend this retreat would not only be a much-needed treat after a painful year, but would help lay the foundation for many more years of successful teaching.

It is not an exaggeration to say that a great teacher can change a student’s life. Teachers need our support- consider sponsoring another educator to attend the Practicing Presence Summer Retreat. Simply contact Lisa at

Laura is currently the Child Development Specialist for Head Start. Laura teaches in the classroom daily and is also responsible for overseeing two Early Head Start classrooms. Laura has been working in the field of Early Childhood Education for 5 years. She received her Bachelor’s degree in ECE in 2013 and earned a Master’s Degree in ECE with Director Credentials in 2018. Laura strives to provide high quality care and education to all children, but is especially passionate about working with low-income children and their families. Outside of the classroom, Laura enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, and relaxing with friends and family.

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