• Trina Davidson: Personal care aide, Bellefonte Elementary School

    trina davidson When Trina Davidson first started working at Bellefonte Area Middle School, she was mistaken for a student. It’s one of the funniest stories she said she has during the past five years working as a personal care aide at Bellefonte Area School District.

    It came when she went to use the faculty and staff bathroom, but was told by a teacher monitoring the hallway not to, because the “girls’ bathroom” for students was down the hall. Davidson was only at the middle school for one year following a year at Bellefonte Elementary School working with a fifth-grade student who moved to the life skills classroom in junior high. When that student left the district due to his father serving in the military, it provided Davidson the chance to go back to Bellefonte Elementary where she said her heart lies.

    “I love it – I love what I do,” she said. “When I graduated college, I knew this would be a long-term job for me. A lot of the girls from college I kept in touch with have already gone through three jobs, but I knew this is where I can be for many years. It’s just something I’m passionate about and love.”

    For the past three years, Davidson has worked with autistic support teacher Ashley Sterbank and a group of other PCAs and students assigned to that classroom. Together they work to support the five students in need of special services.

    “I think some of my qualities are patience and understanding, and I think a lot of it goes back to my mom,” she said. Her mother, Brenda, is a first-grade paraeducator at BES. “She’s worked here for 20 years and we both just love what we do. My brain never stops for this kind of work, so I’m willing to take on the challenge, because I feel like I’m helping them.”

    After high school, Davidson began college at Mount Aloysius with a sign language interpreting background. She later transferred to Lock Haven University, and graduated in 2016 with a degree in disability and community services, which allowed her the knowledge of learning about special education and social work.

    Just a week before earning her degree, Davidson accepted a position at BASD, which she’s been at ever since. And it was something she always wanted to do after also participating in the National Autism Conference since she was 12 years old and spending time during her senior year at Bald Eagle Area High School shadowing a former speech pathologist at the school she now works at.

    But her passions don’t settle there. Davidson said she enjoys baking; cheerleading; spending time with family, especially her 4-year-old nephew; and going on walks with her puppy, named Toast. She also aspires to one day continue her education in the special ed field.

    *By Brit Milazzo, public relations director, BASD