Khea Davis talks of her love for the school, its students and its principal
Sarasota County Schools Superintendent Lori White announced on March 22 that Booker High School language arts teacher Khea Davis is the Sarasota County Teacher of the Year for 2016-17.
Davis was selected from among three finalists at the annual awards ceremony honoring educators, which was held at Michael’s On East in Sarasota, a district news release notes. “The individual Teachers of the Year for each school also were honored at the luncheon,” the release notes.
The annual event is the result of a partnership of the Education Foundation of Sarasota County and the Sarasota County School District. The three finalists — Davis; Woodland Middle School teacher Kristina Beecher; and Bay Haven School of Basics Plus science teacher Rolf Hanson, the elementary school finalist — were surprised at their schools in early February, the release continues.
After White announced Davis’ name on March 22, Davis said, “Thank you, Sarasota County! Thank you, Lori White! I’d also like to thank my principal, my mentor, Dr. Rachel Shelley. I want to be like her when I grow up,” the release says.
Davis added that she has taught for 15 years — the last two at Booker High. “Booker is a special place,” she said. “You walk on the campus and you feel love.”
Although she teaches high school students, she still calls them her “babies,” she noted. She tells parents, “‘When I see your babies, I see my babies [her two sons: Kaleb, 15, and Jaylen, 10].’ I want to be the kind of teacher I want my sons to have,” she added.
“Sarasota County feels like heaven. It’s the best place to teach,” Davis continued. “I don’t want to go anywhere else.”
Davis has taught reading, writing and literature at Booker High School since she joined the Sarasota County School District in August 2014, the release points out. She is the faculty sponsor of the Black History Club, serves as a mentor to new teachers and is a member of the school’s Literacy Leaders Team.
She taught at Carlos E. Haile Middle School in Bradenton from 2012 to 2014 and at City of Pembroke Pines Charter High School in Pembroke Pines from 2001 to 2012, the release adds. She was a teacher trainer for the Broward Teachers Union and Broward County Schools for five years.
Davis has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Florida State University and a master’s degree in education curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix (Plantation), the release says.
Davis will receive a $2,500 cash award from Sunset Automotive Group, the release continues, while each of the runners-up — Beecher and Hanson — will receive $1,250 from the dealership. Davis also will represent the Sarasota County Schools in the Florida Department of Education-Macy’s Teacher of the Year program and will serve as a spokesperson for, and representative of, the teaching profession at events throughout the 2016-17 school year, the release explains.