Surprise presentation at Veritas
Teacher Raymond Davison was attending The King’s College in New York City when he was recruited by Erik Twist, President of Great Hearts Arizona.
What excited Davison was a particular aspect of the Great Hearts educational philosophy. He described it as, “to encourage the students towards virtue, towards not just being good producers, workers…but good citizens.”
Davison is now in his third year of teaching at Archway Veritas and is a favorite among students and parents. Davison’s former third-grade student Kishan Bhatnagar nominated Mr. Davison for the Arcadia News Teachers We Love Award.
Mr. Davison received the award in a surprise presentation during a recent schoolwide assembly and was, “hugely stunned.” He recalled how touched he felt when he saw Kishan holding a sandwich for him and his little sister Kalyani holding flowers.
Kalyani was not a student of Davison’s, but he knows her and all of the immediate members of the Bhatnagar family. According to father, Anuj Bhatnagar, “[Davison] puts the effort in to learn who the families are and gets to know them to build a community feeling.”
Anuj said that Davison is also “very involved in the community of the school,” and described the impact on the students. “I think they have an appreciation for him as more than just a teacher. He is part of our community.”
Some other particularly outstanding qualities of Davison as a teacher are his flair for drama and passion for literature.
Anuj recalled his first introduction to Davison, with a chuckle, “When we had our first parents-meet-the-teacher night, rather than just speak, he broke into verse. He was quoting Shakespeare.”
Anuj is especially impressed with Davidson’s knowledge of liberal arts and it’s impact on the students.
“As a male in early childhood education…it’s great to see somebody so in touch with literature and fine arts and liberal arts. You don’t need to talk about sports or the typical macho kind of things. He models for the boys that it’s OK to be involved with literature and the fine arts and liberal arts. It’s not girly.”
As a teacher, Davison hopes to cultivation critical thinkers who have, “a desire for seriously engaging with the world.”
What he receives in return for providing his enthusiastic support is, “love in the best sense. There is a desire to learn and an enjoyment of each other…there is a community of joy in what we are accomplishing. The students are so willing to grow as human beings.”