Everlene Davis, a teacher with 58 years of experience in North Carolina classrooms, doesn’t just say she believes in life-long learning, she lives it.
Davis was one of 22 teachers from around the state to take part in the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching’s “Teacher Leadership Institute” in Cullowhee June 16–20. It was the Columbus County teacher’s first trip to NCCAT after being selected Sandhills/South Central Regional Teacher of the Year.
“I’m a teacher who believes in staying up with the new trends,” said Davis, a family and consumer sciences teacher at South Columbus High School. “When I’m talking to younger teachers I always tell them to belong to professional organizations and attend meetings to learn as much as you can. I’ve always been that way. It is why I came here (NCCAT). I didn’t come through the technology age. I came through the typewriter age. So I wanted to come here and learn as much as I could to take it back to the classroom and help my students be the best they can be.”
Davis has taken that attitude of life-long learning far from her first job teaching starting in 1956 throughout her career in the Columbus County area at Douglass High School, Tabor City High School and South Tabor City High School and South Columbus High School.
Several things, including a strong religious faith, have kept her teaching, Davis said.
“You must love what you are doing,” she said. “Every day will not be happy, but if you love what you do, you will keep going. You have to have goals. You have to be determined. You have to keep going.”
Her determination and passion have inspired others into the teaching profession like Patricia Shepherd, a former student of Ms. Davis who has been teaching 27 years now herself and attended NCCAT, a national leader in professional development for teachers, last week, too.
“Ms. Davis is a leader and she inspires you to be the best you can be,” said Shepherd, a school counselor at Central Middle School in Whiteville. “She is passionate and determined and that all comes through. She taught us to reach for the stars."
Davis inspired many of the educators at the NCCAT program to reach high in education, including 2015 North Carolina Teacher of the Year James Ford of Charlotte.
“She has so much wisdom to learn from and really spreads a passion of teaching,” Ford said. “It was a privilege and joy to spend time with her.”
NCCAT Executive Director Richard Thompson said it was an honor to have Davis join the ranks of NCCAT alumni.
“We deeply appreciate the work Ms. Davis continues to do so well for the children of the state of North Carolina,” Thompson said.
Davis, a National Board Certified Teacher, says she has no plans to retire. She remains activity in church and civic affairs in her community. As she has throughout her remarkable career, Davis plans to share what she learned during her time at NCCAT with other teachers and continue learning from them, too.
“It has been a great experience,” Davis said. “I’ve enjoyed meeting teachers across the state and I’ve enjoyed all the new concepts and learning. I see ways I can improve as a teacher leader. The information here is good and I can take this right back to my students, too. The program here is excellent. I can’t wait to share what I learned here with others.”