HOUSTON — We all have that person. Not necessarily a teacher, but a grownup we connected with in elementary school. For me, it was the custodian. It could have been an assistant or a lunch lady, maybe.
For many of the students -- past and present -- at Travis Elementary in Houston, it’s Mr. Davis.
"Beloved is the first word that comes to my mind," says Andrea French, the school's PTA president.
For years, Mr. Davis worked as a crossing guard at Travis. Every day before and after lessons in here, students often learned here.
"His words of encouragement have transformed students hope and dreams for going to school," French said.
She said when Mr. Davis suffered a medical emergency earlier this month, the Travis community immediately wondered, "What can we do?" The school held a spirit day in his honor. Students made him cards, and French helped set up a GoFundMe.
"Assistance with medical needs and all the expenses that come with that, we know that’s a way we can help Mr. Davis and his family," she says.
Donations came in from more than 300 people, even students.
Mom Karen wrote, “Isabel gave some money from her savings - she wanted me to tell you that we like you very much and that you are very nice to us.”
Others mentioned “the many caring conversations with Mr. Davis,” “his smile and his kind words" and that “no matter what your day was like, he made it better.”
To sum it up: “Mr. Davis is a part of Travis’ heart and we are so grateful for him.”
"I don’t know that he knows the impact he’s had on some of our families. I would want him to know that," French said. "I would want him to really feel the love that he has spread, I want him to feel that back again."
Mr. Davis serves as a reminder that while teachers teach, not all lessons come from them. Sometimes they’re taught by that one person in the lunch line, in the office or in the crosswalk.