HUBBARD, Ohio (WYTV) – This week’s Hometown Hero is a little different than any of the heroes that have been showcased in the past.
Our hero, Lori Davis, passed away in July after losing a long battle with cancer. But while she was here, she certainly left a mark, dedicating herself to helping children with special needs.
Relentless, special, passionate and amazing — those are words that friends and acquaintances used to describe Davis, who served as special education director for Hubbard Schools. She also spent much of her life battling breast cancer — a battle that she eventually lost.
Still, Davis’s father, Anthony Colt, said she never complained.
“She just took every day as it came and did whatever she could for anybody,” he said.
MaryAnn Smiley, a co-worker of Davis’s who was also featured as a Hometown Hero, said Davis really cared about others.
“When she wasn’t feeling well, you would never know because she was more concerned with what was going on with you, and what she could do to help you and what she could do to help the kids, than worry about herself,” she said.
Helping kids with special needs was her passion and will also be her legacy at the Hubbard Schools.
“She has been instrumental in some of the new classrooms we have this year and some additional staff we have to help students who do have special needs,” said co-worker Alexandra Naples.
Staff said Davis is largely responsible for the addition of three staff members who specialize in behavioral and special needs. She helped bring additional classrooms this year, which have items designed to help calm and soothe special needs students by stimulating their senses.
Davis is also responsible for bringing several students with special needs back into their home district by securing what was needed to accommodate them. One of the ways she did that was by bringing a state of the art program to the district, partnering the school with behavioral specialists.
“We provide behavioral support in the classroom setting. We provide one-on-one individual counseling on site so they don’t have to leave school to go to a different site for counseling, and then we provide home community services as well,” Cory Strozier said.
Those who worked with Davis said they are aware of three other local school districts who were seeking info on the programs and services Davis helped bring to Hubbard, wanting to know how to implement similar ones in their district.
While she worked with Hubbard Schools for only a short period of time, the work she did is still helping students after her passing and will continue to do so for years to come.
Friends and co-workers say they miss Davis dearly.