Davis, who has taught music for 11 years at the Broward County public high school, had already been named top teacher in Broward County and Florida for 2011. He was named a finalist for the prestigious national award in January by the Council of Chief State School Officers.
As band director at Miramar High, Davis requires a one-hour study hall for all band members, and also pairs students with mentors to track their academic progress. Before seniors even think about performing in the band, they must show Davis proof that they’ve applied to college and have registered to take their college entrance exams.
As Florida’s Teacher of the Year, Davis also serves as the state’s Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education, visiting schools throughout Florida to speak on education issues.
Davis’s competition for the national prize includes the teachers of the year for Alabama, California, and the U.S. Department of Defense.
On Monday, Davis was honored at Vice-President Joe Biden’s residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington. Biden’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden, an educator for more than 30 years, hosted the reception.
After being selected as a finalist in January, Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson described Davis as “a competent and passionate educator who makes sure his students have every chance for success.
Mr. Davis was featured on CBS Evening News.
Watch the video here.