By Andra (Andy) Helton
Andy has had a long and varied career in both education and business. Her love for the Lord and for His people has presented opportunities to serve Him in the home, in the church body, and throughout Middle Tennessee. She is committed to a “life well lived” for self and others through devotion to God’s Word, faithfully following Jesus as Lord and Savior, and ministering to others. Her core values include Love, Truth, Integrity, Empathy, and Service.
For Andy “a life well lived” means living what you believe, not perfectly, heavens no. But it means living with intention and discipline; allowing God’s Word through His Holy Spirit to guide your life, in every role that you play. Living what you believe begins at home and ripples out to relationships with co-workers, friends, organizations where you serve and people you meet as you live your life. For Andy, a priority has always been to share her devotion to Christ with her family through Bible studies, continual prayer as a way to do life, worship, meditating on the Word and solving life’s problems by going to the Lord. Andy and husband Eddie have 3 children who are married, 9 grandchildren, and 2 great grands.
Andy began her career with a Bachelor’s degree as a Speech and Language Therapist. She taught in Grainger, Cheatham, and Rutherford Counties. She then got her master’s degree from MTSU and taught in Pre-First and First Grade at John Colemon and Smyrna Elementary for 9 years. She then taught sixth grade at Homer Pittard Campus School for 9 years. During this time, Andy completed her Educational Specialist and Doctorate degrees at MTSU and TN State University. This was followed by a year as an Assistant Principal at 3 Smyrna schools and 6 years as Principal at Thurman Francis Arts Academy. Her leadership style is as a humble servant leader. Listening, caring, and encouraging others to grow personally and professionally. Her motto is “living, loving, and learning well”.
Following her tenure in Rutherford County Schools as an administrator, Andy became certified as a Parent Coach with Parent Coaching Institute and works with families on a personal request basis. She also continued her professional career at MTSU for 6 years teaching pre-service teachers how to create a professional portfolio highlighting knowledge, skills, and reflective practices in order to grow and improve their performance and relationships as an educator; as well as to facilitate student learning.
Through the years Andy received several leadership awards and has presented professionally across the state of TN. Past achievements include Teacher of the Year, President of Delta Kappa Gamma, Christa McAuliffe Fellow, Several Grant Writing Awards, 2 years with Education Consumer Foundation Awards for TFAA high achievement and value added performance, and a founding member of Smyrna Kiwanis. Professional presentations have included: Parents as Learners, Schools for Thought, Various In-services, Biology Gateway Workshops, AEL Math/Science Workshops, and Science Standards Presenter for the TN Dept. of Education.
Andy is currently a member and Women’s Life Group Teacher at Third Baptist Church and coordinates a program called Simply Fellowship for widows in the church family. She currently participates in Leadership Rutherford, United Way’s Catalyst Program, Rutherford Cable, mentors a local business leader, and supports several community 501C3 organizations. Andy is a successful realtor with Exit Realty Bob Lamb and Associates. She now educates her clients how to build wealth through ownership of real estate. As you can see, “a life well lived” goes on and on toward eternity. That’s why she is here tonight to share with you about “Passing the Baton of Faith to Your Preteens and Teens” our future generations