Jessica Davis awarded Teacher of the Year

Rachel Baschnagel, Copy Editor

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Grading into the wee hours of the night, going over material (and over and over it), and supporting many students- all a day in the life of a high school teacher. All week, teachers are loaded with the task of educating the rising generation.

Each year, Bowie faculty is given the chance to vote on one teacher that they believe has made outstanding contributions to the school and its community. On Friday, Jan. 25, Biology teacher Jessica Davis was announced Teacher of the Year for the 2018-19 school year.

“It’s a huge honor, huge,” Davis said. “Just knowing the quality of teachers here, it’s super humbling that I would be [in this position]. I’m inspired every day by the rest of the faculty, so to think that I have some small part in inspiring others means the world to me.”

According to senior Rebekah Garza, Davis has valuable experience in the classroom that allows her to teach students in the most effective ways possible.

“She’s super smart, first of all, and she also understands what it’s like for the student to be learning- she’s done it for a long time,” Garza said. “I think her understanding of what it’s like for the student helps make her a good teacher, because she knows how to teach the material. Also, she’s always willing to tutor and put in extra time to make sure students understand the material that she’s teaching.”

From her years teaching in the classroom next door to Davis, AP Environmental Science teacher Ashley Spiro has also gained insight into Davis’ teaching methods.

“She has an intuitive way of knowing how students will learn, and also is very patient,” Spiro said. “Rather than get frustrated if something doesn’t go right, she is constantly problem-solving on how to get what she’s trying to teach across.”

“She should be Teacher of the Year. She’s the best teacher I’ve ever known.””

— Ashley Spiro

For Spiro, Davis is more than just a talented coworker.

“My second year of teaching, I was teaching AP Environmental Science and I had no idea what I was doing,” Spiro said. “She basically took me under her wing and she helped me, and kind of helped me become the teacher that I am today. She was a really important mentor to me, and she also became a really good friend.”

Beyond being an understanding instructor and caring coworker, junior Julia Remeny said that students love Davis for her glowing personality and positive demeanor.

“She’s just always in a good mood,” Remeny said. “If I’ve had the worst day, I come into her class [and] she’s just got a bright smile and she’s always welcoming every one of her students with a hug. She makes it feel like when you walk into her room, she’s got open arms. I think that’s just who she is as a person, that’s her character.”

Garza seconded Remeny’s statement and commended Davis for her dedication to her students and her job.

“Mrs. Davis is super nice; she always cares about all of her students,” Garza said. “No matter how hard it is on her, she always puts her students first. She puts her heart and soul into teaching.”

When asked how she maintains her enthusiasm and diligence, Davis tied it all back to the students that she works so hard for.

“[Teaching is] my second career, and I enjoyed biotech while I was in it,” Davis said. “But being around young people all day … their sense of humor, their enthusiasm, their energy- it just lights me up, so it makes it really easy. And the kids here are just wonderful people, so to be surrounded by that, I don’t know how anybody couldn’t be really happy.”

Now, Davis has the chance to compete for the recognition of Austin ISD Teacher of the Year. If she is awarded that title, she can work toward becoming the Teacher of the Year for the state of Texas.

“This is really, really well deserved,” Spiro said. “She should be Teacher of the Year. She’s the best teacher I’ve ever known.”

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