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Kathy Davis – Centerville Elementary

Dear Teacher Feature panel,
To quote Kathy Davis, “I need your eyes, ears and hearts, please.” This is how Kathy Davis respectfully gets the attention of her students at Centerville Elementary. Kathy Davis is one of the most inspirational teachers with whom I have ever been associated. Her students adore her, excel in her class and are inspired to be better members of a class, school, and community. She molds, directs and inspires children to be better in all areas of her life. She also teaches them to be flexible in life’s journey.

Her positive classroom and teaching style inspire the children, faculty and parents to all be a little better in their lives. When she corrects a child or has a criticism in their learning, she always sandwiches it between two compliments. The children immediately pick up on this, and it transfers to their interaction with each other and even at home.

Her specialty is science and her scientific brain is constantly at work in the classroom. Just as some in our community wear a white coat to indicate upcoming weather, Kathy Davis wears a white lab coat to indicate upcoming experimentation and learning. Her ability to transfer fact based education to life application are invaluable. When she teaches about fossils, the children experience being a paleontologist with career specific skills like making inferences about possible dinosaur facts. She values children’s thinking, takes it to higher levels, and as she puts it, is “celebrating their brilliance” on a daily basis.

She teaches writing in a way that children grasp. In one instance, she incorporated gratitude letters when there was a fire at the school and to express appreciation to the fire fighters and also the electricians who kindly worked all night to get power back to the school. (Always looking for a learning moment, she also scientifically explained circuitry and why there was a fire.) She encourages descriptive writing, creative writing, and technical writing. I have never seen a child come home so well prepared with their research and writing for a science fair project, national writing contest or basic homework assignment.

Her correspondence with parents is second to none. She writes a detailed weekly note of all that’s happening in the classroom, as well as a detailed student specific note each week. Her weekly evaluations are accurate, and most helpful to a parent. Her suggestions for improvement are always spot on and so appreciated. This is amazing as Kathy takes on all the challenges of public education in classroom size and each student’s special needs. Her notes always conclude and open with an open-ended dialogue for questions or “celebrations” to be shared.

Her teaching style is one of praise, positive reinforcement and celebration in learning. The children want to please her. When a parent volunteers in her classroom, she gives them most of the praise and recognition for helping the children learn. She has the student’s do a “champs cheer” for parents, faculty and those with whom the children interact. In reality, Kathy Davis deserves the ultimate “champs cheer” as she is outstanding in the way she educates all the children who are so fortunate to have been a member of her classroom.
To this end, I encourage you to recognize Kathy Davis as your Teacher Feature for KSL Newsradio. If you would like any further information on Kathy, insights and examples are plentiful and I would be happy to tell you more.

With sincerity and admiration for a truly amazing teacher,

Anne Jeppesen

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Mrs. Kathy Davis, a fourth grade teacher at Centerville Elementary, is very deserving of KSL’s Teacher Feature award. I’ve had children in the public school system for the past 12 years, and she is one of the very best teachers we have known. She has a great love and respect for the children, and that allows her enthusiasm for learning to be contagious.

My daughter, Emily, is on the autism spectrum, but her case in mild enough that she doesn’t have an IEP or any official accommodations. But sometimes, things get hard for her to understand or handle. Mrs. Davis has dealt with these issues effectively ever y time. She never makes Emily feel like she is difficult or time-consuming. Emily knows Mrs. Davis is “there for her” no matter what.

One time, Emily misunderstood an assignment and was up until past midnight trying to complete what she thought she had to do. A note came home from Mrs. Davis the next day commenting on how tired Emily had been at school. I sent back a note explaining why, and that evening I received a phone call from Mrs. Davis giving me her home phone number and permission for Emily to call anytime she had questions or concerns. Mrs. Davis cares about all aspects of the children, not just their completed assignments.

Mrs. Davis was Emily’s teacher for second grade as well. Before this school year, I was worried about which teacher Emily would have, but when I found out she would be in Mrs. Davis’s class again, all my fears ceased. Mrs. Davis is an excellent teacher, and I wish we could have many more teachers just like her.

Mrs. Davis definitely deserves the KSL Teacher Feature award.

Sherri Stringham

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Ms. Davis is the most phenominal teacher I have had the pleasure to work with. She is able to be an effective teacher because she is flexible and teaches the kids life skills as the opportunity presents itself. For example one day we were going on a class field trip and the bus was late. All of the 4th graders were standing outside waiting for the bus. Ms. Davis had the kids looking around the reading plaques about the school, studying the leaves, and just observing life in general. After about 20 minutes we found out that the bus driver had mistaken the date of the field trip, but was now on her way. Ms. Davis used this as an opportunity to teach that sometimes things don’t always turn out the way we plan them and so this was a great opportunity to be flexible. Then she took them over to the park and had them learning and studying things there.

When I am in the classroom Kathy is interactive, she is excited, and she always finds a way to incorporate things that are happening into a teaching opportunity. My daughter comes home excited to learn and singing songs that she’s learned at school. My daughter loves going to school and has grown more confident and independent.

Char Lee Behunin

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I want to join with others from Mrs. Davis’ class in nominating her for the “Teacher Feature” award. I had heard great things about Mrs. Davis before I had a child in her class, but our personal experience with her this year has been fabulous. The best thing about her is that she is always positive! She writes a personal note at the end of each week about each child to bring home to parents, up-dating them on their child and his/her progress that week. Even when she has bad news to report about behavior or missing assignments, it is done in such a way that the child never feels put down in any way! She is wonderfully supportive of each student. She is truly their cheerleader!! Mrs. Davis is also fun, creative and crazy (in a good way!) She uses many techniques to keep the children interested and curious. She reminds me of Ms. Frizzle in our favorite children’s books series, “The Magic Schoolbus”.
We would be thrilled if you would consider her to be honored.

Jane Larson