Quinlan Independent School District

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James Davis Teacher of the Year Nominee at Ford High School

Mr. Davis has taught math at FHS for eight years and quickly became a leader among his peers. He received his MBA in Management Information Systems from the University of Dallas and BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of California. For the past three years, he has served as the chair of the FHS math department.

"I don't have a specific lesson that defines me as a teacher. Or perhaps more accurately, since there is an intentionally high amount of repetitive structure in my classroom, all of my lessons define me as a teacher," he said.

He speaks of actively addressing apathy towards math and how much it has decreased during his tenure at FHS. "The three QISD Education Foundation grants I've been awarded were used to directly improve the relevance of formative and summative assessments. A student's interest in the feedback of an assessment is often inversely related to the time it takes to provide the feedback. The sooner the feedback, the greater the interest. The apathy level in my classroom today is a small fraction of what it was when I first began teaching, largely as a result of technology I've deployed (a scanner to quickly grade summative assessments, and a TI-Navigator system to send, receive, and quickly grade formative assessments)," he said.

Mr. Davis further explains, "I often relate the value of education to the number of career choices a person will have after graduation. The better your class rank, the better your chances of getting into the college you want to attend. The better your ASVAB score, the better your chances of getting the job you want in the military. It is not always about money. I offer personal experience. My income was much higher as an engineer and manager than it is now as a teacher. The salient point is that I had a choice."

In recent interviews with the 30+ Paris Junior College students from FHS who are receiving their associate degree for free, students were asked who their favorite teacher was in high school. Repeatedly, students mentioned Mr. Davis among others. One student said, "He made math real. He made it easy to understand and I will forever be impacted by his teaching as I take higher level math classes in college." Another student said, "Mr. Davis is simply the best math teacher. I am so lucky I was able to learn from him. He is always there. He always treats everyone with respect. I went to his class every day and I learned."

Quinlan ISD is very proud and fortunate to have Mr. James Davis as a teacher at Ford High School. We want to offer our appreciation for all that he does and represents in QISD.