For FAMU alumnus Alvin Aureliano Davis, there is no greater or more honorable profession than being a teacher. Davis, a music teacher at Miramar High School in Broward County, describes education as the cornerstone of the “American Dream” and teachers have the rewarding opportunity to not only make a difference, but also change lives.
Davis’ commitment to his craft has not gone unnoticed. In July, he was named the 2012 Macy’s Florida Department of Education’s Teacher of the Year.
“It is an honor and humbling experience to be chosen by my peers and fellow educators to be their voice for the next year,” Davis said. “People forget sometimes that educators are preparing generations not to just appreciate and imbibe a liberal art, but learn how to live and be successful in whatever becomes their chosen profession. We are preparing students to be the leaders, doctors, CEOs and even presidents of tomorrow.”
Each year is a new and exciting adventure in Davis’ classroom at Miramar High School. As a music educator for the past 11 years and current director of bands at Miramar High School, he believes that it is not enough to just teach music, he believes it is his duty to reinforce the skills learned in other classes to not only to achieve in his classroom, but in life. By actively encouraging students and keeping them engaged on obtainable goals, his students find success that permeate the entire classroom, which not only creates high moral standards and quality of character, but musical and academic achievement. Davis said he makes sure that his students receive one-on-one counseling to ensure that a successful academic pathway has been set for each of his students.
“He was a great teacher and when it came to music and school, he meant business,” said James Alcine, a 2008 Miramar High School graduate and one of Davis’ former students. “Mr. Davis cares about us and really wants what’s best for the students. To this day, he continues to push us and asks, ‘How is school going?’ or ‘How are your grades?’ He really deserves this recognition.”
Davis earned his bachelor’s degree in music in 2000 from FAMU and was a member of the Marching “100” during his time at the university.
“’Excellence With Caring!’” Those simple three words describe my experience at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University,” he said. “Under the leadership of Dr. William P. Foster and Dr. Julian E. White, I had the opportunity to be a member of the incomparable Marching “100” where the simple yet important ideals that resonate through the historic walls of the Foster-Tanner Complex were imbedded into my persona.”
White, FAMU’s director of bands, said Davis was one of the finest students he has ever taught.
“Alvin was a very fine student when he was at Florida A&M University,” said White, FAMU director of bands. “He was very scholarly. I was proud to have him as a student. After he graduated, he blossomed. He really cared for the students— not just musically but academically and personally. His care and concern for the total student is why I believe he was named teacher of the year.”
Davis was selected from thousands of public school instructors for his outstanding teaching skills and will be awarded $10,000 from Macy’s and an all-expenses paid trip to New York City to attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. He will also serve as an ambassador to education, representing teachers throughout the state and conducting workshops and conference during a sabbatical year of service.
“Due to the award, I will be taken away from the classroom for a year to be the Florida Department of Educations’ ambassador for education,” Davis said. “ I am sure my students will miss me; however, I now have the opportunity to make a difference on a larger scale.”