Setting an example for her son drives On Track senior

Setting an example for her son drives On Track senior

Wed., May 31, 2017

A telephone conversation with On Track Academy senior Billyann Davis also includes her 2-year-old son, Zander, whom she credits with providing her the motivation not only to complete her high school graduation requirements, but to accelerate her academic program.

Davis attended Ferris High School during her freshman year, but when she discovered that she was pregnant, decided to transfer to On Track at the beginning of 10th grade. On Track’s goal is to provide a customized educational approach for each of its students in a more personalized environment than large, traditional schools can offer.

For the last two years, she has been enrolled in the SOTAP program, a partnership between Spokane Falls Community College and OTA that offers students the opportunity to earn college credits while they are still in high school. Billyann will graduate this spring with a high -school diploma and 30 credits from SFCC, and plans to stay there next year as she works toward her Associate of Arts degree.

It hasn’t been easy. In addition to her academic responsibilities, she’s working full time and caring for Zander, who is enrolled in day care when Davis is at school or work. She’s not currently living at home, but says she and her mom are rebuilding their relationship.

“This whole experience has taught me a lot about myself,” she said recently. “I’ve learned that I’m more determined and more motivated than I thought, and I don’t let little things interfere with my successes.

“I was never tempted to quit school. Even before Zander was born, I knew that I wanted to always set an example for him. When he’s older, how could I expect him not to give up when things get tough if that’s what I did?”

Her teacher-adviser at On Track, Rick Havermann, is quick to sing Billyann’s praises.

“As much as any student at On Track, she represents what our school is about. She’s an awesome mother and, perhaps because she now has a child, is intrinsically motivated to provide a quality life in the future.

“The SOTAP partnership has been great for her. It’s our version of Advanced Placement. There are rigorous requirements to get in, and Billyann has a 3.7 GPA in her college classes. But besides that, she’s committed, humble and never complains. She’s always in class, on time, modeling things she doesn’t even know that she’s modeling.”

Davis credits On Track and its teachers and fellow students for much of her success.

“From the beginning, it was a safe place for me,” she said. “Everybody there was so understanding, and I got nothing but praise for staying in school. I had Zander with me, and everybody loved having a baby in the classroom. Someone would even watch him for me when I had tests, so I was always able to get my work done.

“He’s a typical toddler, who loves mud and animals, and messes things up as soon as I clean. I know that lots of teen moms drop out and don’t set a good example. But I also know that I never want to let excuses get in my way.”