Heartspring Teacher Darrell Daugherty knew very early on that he wanted to make a difference. His experience with sports in high school and college and his mentors throughout his life inspired him to pursue a career where he would have an impact on children’s lives.
Darrell has years of experience working with children with special needs. His first job was at St Francis Community Services as a home paraeducator. There he worked with children impacted with autism, juvenile offenders and children with behaviors. He worked there for three years and became a lead supervisor and then returned to school to finish his bachelor’s degree at Wichita State University. He began working as a youth service worker at the Salvation Army and a paraeducator in USD 259 at Wilbur Middle School. It was there he decided he wanted to pursue a master’s in special education. He saw the impact he had on the students every day and knew he was really changing lives. He enjoyed getting to know the students and developing relationships with them. His team at Wilbur Middle School won the Good Apple Award from the district for their hard work.
When Darrell completed his master’s degree he began working at Heartspring as a special education teacher. He continued his life-long mission of impacting lives with the support of a great staff and opportunities to improve through job training. He says he is honored to be part of the team and knows that without Heartspring, many families would struggle to find the resources they need. He’s already had the chance to see some of his students transition from Heartspring into their adult placements, something he is very proud of. Darrell is on the IEP review team and academic instructional team at Heartspring. As part of the academic instructional team he helps develop curriculum for students. He is also representing Heartspring at the state level as a member of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA advisory board for the Kansas State Department of Education.
Darrell still takes advantage of new opportunities to learn and grow today. Darrell studied to be a Safe and Positive Approaches trainer and can train staff on how to keep the students and others safe. He also attended the 2015 Global Leadership Summit where he learned important leadership tools like being receptive to feedback to become a better leader.
Darrell has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in special education from Wichita State. He also has an associate degree in business management from Brown Mackie where he played basketball. He enjoys playing basketball, working in the yard and cheering on the Ohio Buckeyes.