Dear Davis Friends,
My Davis story began in the summer of 2007 when I was hired as the lower school media specialist. I came on board prior to the official post-summer “return to campus” date in order to familiarize myself with the school’s library collection. While the building was quiet, I worked as my daughter, a baby at the time and now a Davis alumni, slept in a Pack n’ Play behind the circulation desk. From that very first day, Davis proved to be a warm community that exuded generosity. I vividly remember third grade teacher Stacy Schleicher tutoring a student at one of the tables in the library offering for me to use her employee badge so that I could access the equipment in the teacher workroom. Evident in the faces of my colleagues I encountered at Davis during those initial days, there was an obvious shared passion for teaching and learning. Those early days would plant the seeds for what has grown into a fruitful Davis journey.
In the years that have since followed, Davis has nurtured me professionally, personally, and spiritually.
As a result of significant support from administration, I have been able to grow our library program into a dynamic, innovative learning hub for our entire community: students, faculty, staff, grandparents, and guests. I remember the very first time that my supervisor, Drew Frank, “voluntold” me to present to the faculty for the very first time on the topic of divergent thinking. I was scared but encouraged by his confidence. The rest, as they say, is history. More than fifteen years later, I have been inspired to present at numerous national conferences, write a professional text book for aspiring school librarians interested in technology integration, teach at the graduate level, build courses for continuing education, and most importantly create a vibrant team devoted to furthering The Davis Academy mission of engaging learners to positively impact the world.
Personally, Davis has been a home away from home for my family. My daughter Sylvie Bella, and my son Judd both benefited from the gift of the Mechina: Kindergarten Prep program. I am so grateful. Each of their teachers through the years since have proved to be invested in their social and academic growth as though they were their own children. All four of us, my husband Kevin included, have created lifelong friendships with other Davis families. I have had the added benefit of creating meaningful bonds with my colleagues. It is no easy task to raise a child and yet, I feel like I have had an army of faculty and staff members supporting me and my husband through the challenges and the joys. We learn together and we grow together- as parents, as educators, and as citizens.
While the personal and the professional Davis experience continues to create meaningful opportunities, I am continuously reminded of how we are better together. When I run into Davis alumni around town, the shimmer in their eyes as the initial recognition sets in and the enthusiasm that radiates from their hellos sets an amazing example for my own kids. My children get to see first hand what lovely, intelligent, articulate individuals the students that came before them have turned out to be. I am always grateful for the personal impact these Davis experiences have on me and my family.
In my current role as 21st Century Learning Coordinator, I have the benefit of traveling to other area schools to form professional partnerships from which we can all learn. When I speak of our innovative practices, experiential learning opportunities, our talented faculty, and how we ensure progress for our students, it is often that I get a request from educators from other schools to visit and learn from us here at Davis. I have hosted educators from renown area private schools, large public schools, and educators from other states. They are always dazzled by our “innovative school”, as one visitor described us. I take pride in getting a front row seat for all the ways in which we, as a collective, have put The Davis Academy on the map as a leading academic community rooted in spiritual and cultural growth. I can’t wait to see what the next thirty years bring. Happy birthday Davis Academy!