By Charlotte Underwood

JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – Jacksboro Elementary’s Melissa Davis  teaches fourth grade math and science. This is her 19th year as an educator. She started as a pre-K teacher but was moved to fourth grade 13 years ago. 

Davis said she believes in showing her students that they are loved and belong in her classroom.

Melissa Davis was chosen as District Teacher of the year at the elementary school level.

“I feel strongly that our main goal is not test scores but to show our students someone cares about them. Your students don’t know what you know until they know you care,” Davis said.

Davis said that it was having great teachers of her own, especially her mother, that inspired her to follow in their footsteps. 

“Throughout my childhood, I was blessed with many great teachers: Mary Lou Payne, Vickie Heatherly, Louise Wood, Ann Higginbotham, Gail Douglas, Clarence Lowe, Jo Stout, Georgea Green, and “Coach” Robbie Heatherly, to name a few. They all expected you to give your best every day, and I strive to do that still to this day,” Davis said. 

Her mother, Mary Lou Payne, was her first-grade teacher and “she was a great example of what a schoolteacher was supposed to be, I even had to call her Mrs. Payne at school,” Davis said. 

The life of a teacher’s kid meant many hours at school in the evenings and summers. It was during this time that Davis realized she was meant to be a teacher. “I enjoyed helping her prepare for activities for her students. Through working with her students over the years as a teenager, I realized I wanted to become a school teacher,” Davis said.

Her favorite part of teaching is seeing a student learn a new skill and be able to put that skill to use in their work. “I love seeing my former students grow up to become productive citizens,” Davis said. 

According to Jacksboro Elementary School Principal Casey Cox, Davis “exemplifies talent and dedication.”

“When she’s not teaching, planning lessons, or collaborating with her colleagues, you can find her tutoring in our after school program, helping and/or coaching our basketball teams, planning baby showers, and helping wherever she can. Her engaging lessons, effective teaching practices, adaptability, patience, and drive to form a lifelong love of learning in her students are just a few of the many reasons that she was nominated by her peers as teacher of the year,” Cox said.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/20/2022-6AM)