ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque teacher is getting national attention as she details a ‘day-in-the-life’ as students and teachers return to the classroom. West Mesa High School teacher Stephanie Davy wears many hats — she’s a teacher, mom, and coach — and now, her return to school was documented by USA Today.

“The district was given the opportunity to have USA Today feature one of our schools and show how we’re coming back, what we’ve been doing,” said Davy. “The district chose West Mesa.”

Davy teaches health and child development, as well as coaches cheerleading and track at West Mesa. She says the crew followed her from sunrise to sunset.

“They showed up at my house at 6:30 in the morning and then they were with me until 7:40 at night,” said Davy. “It took a little bit to get used to but it was pretty fun. It was a great opportunity for me to represent not only my school and my district but New Mexico and teachers across the country, as a whole.”

Davy taught from home until earlier this month, while her 5-year-old attended preschool via Zoom in the next room. She says the return to in-person was long-awaited, even as it comes with its own hurdles.

“It’s been great having kids back and trying to find that normal and trying to find the stride,” said Davy. “Just bring a sense of normal in a world that’s not normal at all.”

One student involved in the USA Today feature says the experience was great and is thrilled to be back in the classroom for the end of her senior year. She plans to attend CNM in the fall and pursue a degree in teaching, saying the pandemic really gave her an appreciation for the career.

“Last semester, I had lost a lot of my motivation and I thought, should I even care about graduating at this point, but Ms. Davy helped me through it and she said, ‘let’s go back to school,’ and I was like, ‘ok, let’s do it,'” said Yusra Dean, a senior at West Mesa High School. “I’ve always appreciated teachers so much but especially this year, it opened my eyes so much more to what they do and how much they work for us.”

Davy tells us she’s had a number of students who came back to the classroom and then decided to go back to remote learning. She hopes as they wrap up the school year, families will understand it was also a tough year for teachers.

“I think for the most part we have been extending grace but especially now at the end of the year for families to extend grace to us because we’re just as tired and exhausted and burned out as everybody is,” said Davy. “I’m so glad to be back on campus. Like I said, I’m not meant to teach on a computer. I’m meant to teach face-to-face.”

Next up for Davy is the May 14 state cheer competition which was canceled last year. She says her squad started practing just before school resumed in-person.