Person of the Week: Michelle Davis
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it” (Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird).
Students who attended Quitman High School and had Michelle Davis for an English teacher their tenth grade year will easily remember reading To Kill a Mockingbird in class and the valuable lessons they learned from the story. One of the reasons students were able to learn many of the lessons that are still very valid today is because they were able to witness the lessons being shown daily by Michelle Davis.
Michelle has been a high school teacher for 28 years, and she has done everything in her power to show her students just how much she loves them and how much they mean to her, regardless of race or background. She has the amazing talent to see situations from a variety of perspectives, and it has allowed her to be able to connect with all of her students and teach them life lessons on how others should be treated.
Her love of teaching and ability to relate to her students has also caused Mrs. Davis to be a very memorable teacher for anyone who has had her.
“I could describe Mrs. Davis in many ways. She loves like no other. She treats all her students as if they were her own,” explained Taniya Davis-Holt, former student. “Mrs. Davis made learning English beyond enjoyable. We would play a game of mini “basketball,” and the object of the game of simple: every group worked on the same questions, and the groups with the correct answer were able to get a shot at shooting the ball. Whichever team had the most points at the end won! Her class kept everyone on their toes about what’s next. She’s definitely one of a kind!”
Her love for her students wasn’t limited to the classroom. In fact, growing up, her family could always witness how much she cared for her students.
“My older sister and I had a running joke growing up that we couldn’t go into a store within a 100 mile radius of Quitman without Mom bumping into someone she taught and getting stuck waiting for her while she caught up with them for 30 minutes to an hour,” remembered Katelin Davis Smith. “Now that I’m an adult, I can’t think of a better story to explain my mom. She genuinely cares about every student in her life, past and present, and stays invested in their lives.”
Her love and compassion and ability to “mother” her students have not gone unnoticed over the years. In fact, she has been selected as the QHS Teacher of the Year twice and has even won Golden Apple Teacher of the Month.
“Mrs. Davis does an outstanding job for the students of Quitman High School. She goes above and beyond the normal call of duty for her students,” stated Quitman Superintendent Dr. Toriano Holloway. “She is involved in extracurricular activities and works tirelessly to ensure the students of Quitman High School are successful.”
Michelle’s work at the school extends beyond the walls of her classroom. She is also the one behind the scenes helping make the magic happen during homecoming week and other major events at the school. She is highly involved in student activities because she is both the QHS Student Council sponsor and the QHS Homecoming co-Chair. She does everything in her power to give the students days to remember and enjoy during their time in high school.
Although she does spend most of her time at the school, Michelle does have a family that she loves with all her might: her husband of 31 years, Ken Davis; daughters Krystyn, Katelin, and Kynlee; and her grandson, Jackson.
In fact, her family is one of her favorite things.
“My favorite memories are having each of my children and being present for the birth of my grandson,” stated Michelle. “I really enjoy reading, teaching, and just being able to spend time with my family.”
Her children love the leadership, love, and support that she has always shown.
“My mama is one of the most selfless and caring people that I know. She always puts the needs of others before her own,” said Krystyn Davis. “She has supported me my entire life in everything that I’ve done, and I consider myself very lucky to have her as a mom. I don’t think that I would have accomplished half of what I have in my life without her help and support. I am so grateful to have been raised by such an amazing person.”
In fact, although she has always guided her children along, Michelle has never tried to change her daughters and instead has always offered encouragement and compassion.
“I remember when I was little, she’d take me to the public library or a bookstore and would let me pull as many books as I wanted to without questioning it,” reminisced Katelin. “She always helped point me in the right direction if I asked for help or guidance, but she always encouraged me to think for myself. I think that’s why she’s always made such a great teacher and mother. She helps you be the best version of yourself without trying to change you in any way.”
Despite having a full schedule with home and work, Michelle makes time to go to Elim Baptist Church and stays very active in the different things the church does. In fact, she is the Vacation Bible School director for the church.
No matter what she does, Michelle does everything she can with a smile, and she constantly shares joy and love to everyone she comes in contact with. Anyone who speaks with her will always remember the life lessons that she teaches through both demonstration and conversation. In fact, Michelle Davis teaches some of the most valuable life lessons that can help alleviate the animosity and hatred that many people today display.
“Take care of one another. Practice sympathy and empathy,” advised Michelle. “Put yourself in someone else’s shoes before passing judgment. Realize we all have things to learn. Life is a journey, so learn as you go.”