Today’s #RealLifeWonderWoman is also a #HigherEdHero!
Helen Panos is an accomplished educator/instructional specialist with over 25 years experience in a public school system. Helen began her K-12 nationwide tutoring business, Dynamis Learning Academy, 5 years ago to help children reach their potential. How does she do it? She listens to what a parent needs and matches them with the right type of tutor. This tutor then helps customize a program (virtual or in person, depending on location) that will motivate and move the child forward in their academics with ease.
Helen has acquired a BBA, Masters in Education and an Educational Specialist in Administration & Supervision from various collegiate institutions. She also holds certifications in gifted education and has several years of experience with gifted testing, curriculum design, RTI/SST, and managing Section 504 plans. This #RealLifeWonderWoman understands education and loves empowering students to succeed!
KR: Please tell us about what brings you joy and fulfillment.
HP: I am passionate about working with children and their parents because I understand the difficulty many families are encountering in today’s world. Because of my many years of experience in education, I feel confident I know what can help children depending on their situation. If for some reason I cannot help them, I direct them to the resource or person that I feel can set them on a path of success. There are many things related to academics in our society today and its become a complicated situation for families. Many times parents do not know where to turn, so I get joy in helping them find a solution to their problems so that their children can reach their fullest potential. My dream is to help hundreds of children in the next 5 years, so that we increase literacy, writing and math skills in particular.
KR: Helen, I appreciate how you recognize the parental role in helping students succeed at all stages, from elementary school to the college classroom. And I understand you are coming out with a book this month that helps students navigate test taking. Can you tell us about it?
HP: Yes, I’m currently writing a book titled Mastering Test Strategies, A Simple Successful Guide to Enhance Your Child’s Grades. This guide will provide children with important test-taking strategies in the classroom and tips for high stakes tests. The book is set to be launched by June 2021.
KR: We all have inner superpowers. What are some of yours?
HP: Some of my superpowers include being proactive, resilience, confidence, speed, building relationships and the ability to inspire excellence.
I am very good at seeing a situation ahead of when its going to happen which allows me to be able to pivot quickly to solve a problem. This comes in handy not only in my personal life but when helping children and parents with navigating the school system. I also use my other superpower which is relationship building. I tend to use this when I need to be an advocate for the students in Dynamis Learning Academy. Many times, I am asked to attend various meetings with teachers, school administrators, the parent and student. This is a huge strength of mine in that I can listen and communicate what I feel is best for our student. This is also where my confidence steps in. Having over 25 years of educational experience positions me to be very knowledgeable in programs that are offered to children and the direction a child should go if they need assistance from a school system. Therefore, I am very quick in responding to parents and/or the schools when they are requesting certain information etc. My resilience comes into play in that I easily bounce back when things seem to be very difficult or when it even appears we may not be able to help a child due to roadblocks being placed by a system. The passion fuels the resilience as I am very passionate about children pushing through to be the best that they can possibly be and never say that they can’t do something.
KR: Can you tell us about an influential woman in your life and how she inspired you?
HP: My mother was the influential woman in my life. She came to America as an immigrant and worked hard with her brother to raise their families. She came for a better life and did what she needed to in order to make that happen. She role modeled all of the superpowers I mentioned above and showed me what it takes to be successful. She became a U.S. citizen and continued to strive to have the best life for her family. She was a very strong woman and very admirable. My mom was a self-taught entrepreneur. She was always a great example all the way until her last day on this earth. She was a very special woman and would always reach out to help anyone that needed it. I was blessed to call her my mother as she taught me so much. I am happy that the qualities she left behind have stayed with me so that I can share them with others in the world.
KR: If you could have one super-human power, what would it be?
HP: The power to positively influence my environment. If I could control the elements around me to the point of persuading people so that we could work together to change the major problems of the world, that would be awesome! There are many problems in this world that need to be addressed, and the power of influence would be so reassuring that these problems could be resolved sooner than later. Having people work together to remove barriers in this world would be a huge smile to my face. One of the biggest problems we have in this world is illiteracy. If I had the power to fix this, I would have multitudes of tutors spread throughout the world helping those who couldn’t read so that we could make this a much better place.
KR: What do you do for fun? What are your hobbies?
HP: I love to dance so I thoroughly enjoy attending various cultural events such as festivals, fairs, concerts, etc. I find them to be very educational as culture is such an important aspect of this world. I also love to travel. There are so many beautiful places in America and abroad. I feel visiting places is what elevates our intelligence. I love exploring various places because you learn so much from history and people. I also love reading self-help books as they assist me with developing a positive outlook and mindset.
My hobbies include exercising (biking, hiking, weights, pilates, yoga, etc) as I believe in staying healthy so that the brain continues to function at its optimal capacity. I also enjoy gardening, particularly planting flowers as I love color in landscaping. I feel it uplifts people and brings a smile to their face.
KR: Knowing what you know at this stage of your life, what words of wisdom would you give to your 20 year-old self?
HP: What I would say to my 20 year-old self is that it’s important to save and invest your money young. I feel this is a great nest egg for a 20 year old, 50 years down the road. I would also say it’s important to learn as much as you can when young as your mind is so powerful at that time in your life. Also, choose friends and business partners carefully. Who you spend the majority of your time with is very important to your growth and stability. You may have heard the statement, “like-minded people.” It really makes a difference to be around individuals who think like you, have ambitions similar to yourself and are hard working. Being around people as such will only elevate you and encourage you to grow to the best of your ability.
KR: You are invited to attend Helen’s Lunch & Learn Summer Series on Facebook Live! Each Wednesday this summer, Helen and her guests will discuss various topics related to education. She’ll tackle the topics she hears most from parents who are striving to help their kids succeed in the classroom. It is open to you! You just have to register to attend these LIVE sessions, which are scheduled for noon EST/1pm CST each Wednesday. (And who knows? You might even recognize her guest on July 21st!)
Or contact Helen personally at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kelly Radi is an international speaker and award-winning author who helps families successfully navigate the emotional AND practical aspects of the college launch. Order your copy of Out to Sea: A Parents’ Survival Guide to the Freshman Voyage today!