Davis named Chapman’s Teacher of the Year


Drew Timmons

Matt Davis, Chapman’s 2020-21 Teacher of the Year, celebrates with his Fathead at an after-school ceremony.

Elizabeth Franklin, Editor

Science teacher Matthew Davis was recently named Chapman’s Teacher of the Year for the 2020-2021 school year. 

This is only Davis’ second year teaching at Chapman, but he has an extensive background in education, including experience as both an assistant principal and principal. 

“Something was telling me I needed to get back in the classroom,” Davis said. “I was very impressed (with Chapman). I didn’t really look anywhere else; I wanted to go to Chapman.”

It takes quite a teacher to be named Teacher of the Year so quickly, but Davis brings an undeniable energy to Chapman’s atmosphere.

“He brings a climate that he establishes around himself and his classroom that bleeds out,” Assistant Principal Amy Driggers said. “A climate of we’re all in this together, we can all contribute, we can all work hard and have a positive attitude.”

After spending 12 years outside of the classroom in various administrative positions, Davis had to rely on his observation of other teachers to adjust to a modernized classroom setting with more technology and overall different students. 

“I’ve learned the different teaching styles, different methods, different classroom management styles,” Davis said. “I try to rely on that and try to think back on some things that work and things that don’t work.”

Being able to see the successes and failures of different teachers’ techniques allowed Davis to build a repertoire of various teaching styles and methods, but he holds relationships above all else. 

“It all boils down to relationships,” Davis said. “I try to bring as much of my life story into the classroom as possible.  It builds that relationship with them, and they understand that I’ve been through some things, and I get more out of students when I tell those types of stories.”

Davis’s energy makes him a favorite among students. 

“He cracks jokes all the time,” freshman Madison Ridings said. “There’s never a dull moment with him.”

Chapman is extremely grateful for having such a hard-working, positive teacher join the staff and make this school an even better place. 

“When you are selected by your peers after just one year of having been in their building, that speaks volumes to the kind of person that you are, not only the kind of teacher that you are,” Driggers said. “I knew that if his teaching was as good as he is as a person, that we would be winning for having him here.”