Editor’s Note: Yukon Public Schools’ 11 “Teacher of the Year” finalists are being profiled in The Yukon Progress. Finalists were selected by peers to represent their school sites. A committee of past YPS winners and professional development site representatives will select Yukon’s Teacher of the Year with the winner announced at a March 26 banquet.
Kayce Davis has been named the 2019-20 Teacher of the Year for Ranchwood Elementary School. This is Davis’ sixth year as an educator at Ranchwood. She has served four years teaching in a first-grade classroom and is into her second year of teaching third grade.
Prior to working in Yukon Public Schools, Davis started her teaching career with Putnam City Public Schools where she served two years as a second-grade teacher, and one year as a third-grade teacher at Rollingwood Elementary School.
Davis is a proud graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Education degree. She holds certificates in both Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education.
One of Davis’ fondest memories of her career thus far was as she was setting up her second-grade classroom her very first year of teaching.
While in the midst of all the excitement and anticipation of creating the perfect learning environment for her students, Davis’ own second grade teacher walked through her classroom door offering an abundance of guidance and support as she began her own career.
It was mentors and relationships such as this that inspired Davis, sparked her love for education, and her desire to make a positive impact in children’s lives.
As a young child, Davis spent many days creating file folder games and lesson plans with her mom at her kitchen counter.
“The time and the love that she put into her job was like none other,” she said. “As one of my greatest inspirations, I watched my mother build relationships with her students, make sure that the needs of her students were met, and worked to provide them with the necessary tools that they needed to be successful each and every day.”
For Davis, teaching is not only an occupation – it is her passion and she truly feels that each one of her students has the potential to do amazing things.
Davis believes that education should be student-centered, hands on, and that students should feel as though they have a sense of ownership within the classroom.
She also believes education should extend beyond the walls of her classroom, and that there should always be a connection between the classroom and real-world experiences.
Davis’ philosophy of education is simple: “The best thing that you can do for a child is believe in them and provide a safe environment for them to grow and explore.”
Davis makes it a point each day to welcome each of her students into her classroom where they know, more than anything, that their teacher cares for them, supports them, and will do anything it takes to help them reach their full potential.
“It’s amazing to see what kids can do – if only you believe in them!” she said. “Sometimes a simple high-five or a hug is all that a student needs to get them through the day.”
The move to Yukon was an easy one for Davis.
“We made the transition to Yukon prior to our kids starting elementary school simply because of the amazing school system, and sense of community that Yukon has to offer,” she said.
Davis and her husband, Kris, have two children, Nevin, who attends The University of Central Oklahoma; and Ashlynn, who is a sophomore at Yukon High School.