Remarkable Women 2021 Finalist: Tracy Basford

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Tracy Basford lives for her students. She has had a 24-year career in education and currently works as a reading and inclusion teacher at Altha Public School. Basford says the key to being a good teacher is having “mercy and grace,” with each and every student. While she has given a lot to her students, she feels they have given a lot to her, especially after she lost her husband to cancer in a matter of months. See her story below.

Tracy Basford said she has a secret to her 24 year career in education.

“I don’t come to work. I don’t look at it as work, I enjoy it, it’s almost who I am. They’re my babies,” Basford said.

Basford teaches reading and inclusion to 8-12th grade students at Altha Public School.

Basford said the inclusion curriculum is designed to target the student who may need more help in the classroom.

“Maybe a student may need one-on-one instruction versus whole group instructions, it eliminates the little gaps the child misses,” Basford said.

She adds that giving that extra support at times is not an easy task, but one that’s worthwhile. 

“It just makes a big difference,” Basford said.

While Basford works to make a difference in the lives of her students, she says they have also done the same for her.

“You walk in and one of them has bought you a drink or a ‘Good Morning Mrs.Basford’ and that smile on their face, they help me too,” she said.

Hear the stories of all finalist for the Remarkable Women of the Panhandle

Especially this past school year, when Basford lost her husband of 33 years to esophageal cancer in a matter of months. Her husband, Glenn took his last breaths on Christmas day.

“He was my biggest encourager, and he was a big influence on pushing me to get my degree,” she said.

Basford said it was a struggle to get back into the classroom, but she did it for her students. 

“The students are a big part of my world just like I try to be a big part of theirs,” she said.

Basford also has a philosophy for teaching, one she hopes to show every student she encounters.

“The world could stand a lot of grace and mercy, but if you come at a kid with a lot of grace and mercy and love that changes their whole world,” she said.

Those words also go beyond the classroom for Basford.

“I would laugh because Glenn would hear me pray every morning for me to show him grace when he just did not feel well at all,” she said.

As for being remarkable, Basford says she’s just doing her job.

“I just do what I do, ” she said.

Last Year’s Remarkable Women Winners Across the Country

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