Elizabeth City State University recently welcomed area Teachers of the Year to the
campus for the American Education Week Assembly. Dr. Joe Davis, superintendent of
the Washington County Schools, was the guest speaker for the assembly. He congratulated
the teachers, principals and superintendents who attended the assembly for their dedication
Davis reflected on the theme for the weeklong observance, "Great Public Schools-a
Basic Right and our Responsibility: learning matters around the world!" Davis declared
a great education is also a civil right. As a result, Davis said the state is continuously
challenged to ensure all students have access to a free appropriate public education.
Public schools must prepare students for the challenges they will face after graduation.
That goal must be met, he said, despite limited resources, changes in legislation
and the location of public schools.
Davis advised the educators in the audience to become equity warriors-competent and
effective leaders who work daily to create powerful, professional learning systems.
Davis described effective teachers as smart and people who know their content deeply
yet are prepared to meet the needs of various students.
"Effective classroom teachers teach their content in different and innovative ways
because not all students learn the same way. Great teachers know when their students
"got it" and when they haven't. Most importantly, they know what to do next in both
instances," Davis said.
"Teachers, know the power you hold in your hands is sacred. You have a Moses responsibility,
to lead all your people black, white, red or brown, to the promised land. Teach as
if your life depends on it."
He closed the speech by congratulating the ECSU Department of Education and Psychology
and the international week committee for celebrating education. Later, he shook hands
with teachers of the year who received awards on stage of the Floyd L Robinson Auditorium
in recognition of teacher excellence.
Standing left to right on the front row: Dr. Margaret Young, an ECSU Departmental
Teacher of the Year; India Martin from N. Hampton County; Dr. Kimberly Fitchett-Bazemore,
ECSU; Dr. Eyualem Abebe, ECSU; Dr. Krishna Kulkarni, ECSU, Angela Mizelle, Bertie
County; Debra Rook of Edenton-Chowan Schools, Rae Ann Daughtry, Martin County Schools;
Jennifer Friend, Halifax County Schools.