Twenty-six years ago, I walked into the hallways of this amazing school as a new teacher - “hallways” that consisted of one floor of classrooms and a lunchroom in a trailer. There was no playground, however, the spirit and energy of The Davis Academy were then, as they are today, alive and palpable. I remember the Head of School, Mollie Aczel, hiring me and welcoming me with open arms. She guided me, supported my professional and personal growth, and made Davis my second home. That warm embrace continued throughout the years.
These hallways and this community have given me the opportunity to fulfill my life’s purpose - teaching young children to love being knowledgeable Jewish people. For that I am forever grateful.
Over the years, students, families and colleagues came and went, but one thing remained the same - the sense of a caring community. The community became bigger, and the hallways became grander. And the playground… I think you know!
So much of my life has unfolded in these hallways. Can you imagine 26 years of students, growing from little ones to preteens and eventually adult alumni? 26 years of families who grew alongside their children? And 26 years of professional colleagues who evolved from co-workers to friends and extended family? Every person in this community has touched me and impacted me, made me who I am today. Eventually, my soul was so full of stories that I had to start writing them down. And what better format than in children’s books. Today those stories are known as the Shira’s Series. My legacy, my creative passion and joy, of which I am so proud, is deeply intertwined with my journey at Davis. Please check this out at shirasseries.com.
Alongside my own journey, I must also mention that of my daughter, Danielle. She walked these hallways with me during her elementary and middle school years. It was such a blessing to witness her academic, spiritual and emotional journey. My many colleagues who have been not only Davis Academy teachers, but also Davis Academy parents, can understand the unique and holy experience of working at your child’s school. Today she is a thriving young adult, thanks to the foundations she obtained here at Davis. And my story wouldn't be complete if I didn't mention that my husband still fondly remembers the time he volunteered to make pita bread on Yom Ha’atzmaut. I’ve been told that the pita that year was the best we ever had, and I believe it! Our family has been so blessed to be an integral part of the Davis experience.
Mazel Tov to The Davis Academy on its 30th Anniversary!