Orlando - Following an evening of celebration, fun and the recognition of Florida's leading teachers, Alvin Davis, a teacher from Miramar High School in Broward County, was selected as the Florida Department of Education/Macy's 2012 Teacher of the Year. In addition to being named Teacher of the Year, Mr. Davis will serve as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for education during the 2011-12 school year where he will visit schools throughout Florida to share information about educational opportunities and challenges in the state.
Additionally, Davis will represent the Sunshine State in the national Teacher of the Year awards program, and will receive a cash prize of $10,000 from Macy's, a customized trophy and an all-expenses paid trip to New York City for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Davis is a Chicago native and graduate of Florida A&M University, and a former member of the Marching 100. He was Director of Bands at Crystal Lake Middle School (Pompano Beach, FL) and the Assistant Director of Bands at Blanche Ely High School (Pompano Beach, FL).
Being a regular guest conductor and instructor at the largest band camp in the country, he is also currently the Director of the Broward County All-Star Band, and the Director of Bands at Miramar High School where his students in Marching band, Concert band, Symphonic band, and Wind Ensemble, have received numerous accolades including Superior and Excellent ratings at the district and state level.
For the past three years, every student that was a regular participating member of the Miramar Band Program has been accepted to a post-secondary education institution or program - much in part to Davis' strategies. In order to do this, he established certain rules and regulations. Every student receives one-on-one counseling with a member of the band staff and he personally reviews a copy of every band member's report card and interim reports. Every after school band rehearsal includes a one-hour study hall where students participate in peer tutoring and additional tutoring is provided after rehearsal as needed. He even keeps a resource library of every textbook of every class the school offers. All Davis' students who are seniors must show proof that they have registered for the SAT or ACT in order to be allowed to perform, and by January, they must prove that they have applied to a college or university. He always strives for excellence and high student achievement.
Macy's also awarded the other four finalists - Lora McCalister-Cruel from A. Crawford Mosley High School in Bay County, Belinda Nease from Southside Elementary School in Nassau County, Stephanie Thetford from Fort Walton Beach High School in Okaloosa County, and Tracy Staley from Ponce de Leon Elementary School in Pinellas County - a $5,000 check and a $500 Macy's gift card. Each of the finalists' respective schools was also presented $1,000 to be used toward educational programs.
"Teachers generously give of themselves everyday to educate children, but elevate and empower future generations to achieve great things," said Karin Darmanin, Macy's Senior Vice President, Regional Director of Stores. "Macy's is thankful to have the opportunity to celebrate with and honor Alvin Davis for his dedication and commitment to education and to always helping students reach for the stars."
The Florida Department of Education/Macy's Teacher of the Year is chosen from district nominees by a selection committee comprised of teachers, principals, parents, and the business community. Florida's top educator is selected on the basis of demonstrating outstanding accomplishments in teaching, the ability to communicate with other educators and stakeholders, and exceptional professional and community service. The winner must also show a superior capacity to inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities.
Sources: FLDOE; Broward Schools; Miramar High School