Campbellsville High School teacher Ben Davis has been named one of eight finalists for this year’s high school Teacher of the Year award.
Kentucky Department of Education and Valvoline announced on Thursday, April 6, the names of 24 teachers chosen as recipients of the 2018 Valvoline Teacher Achievement Awards.
Davis, who has taught English at CHS for about seven years, is among the list of 24 award winners.
As such, Davis and the other 23 teachers qualify to compete for the 2018 Kentucky Teacher of the Year award, which will be announced at a special ceremony in Frankfort next month.
At the ceremony, the elementary, middle and high school Teachers of the Year will be named from the group of 24 award winners. There are eight teachers in each category.
Of the elementary, middle and high school Teachers of the Year, the 2018 Teacher of the Year will be named. That person will represent Kentucky in the National Teacher of the Year competition.
Davis is the only teacher in Taylor County to receive a 2018 Valvoline Teacher Achievement Award.
Cheryl Dicken, who teaches physics, geometry and algebra at CHS, received a 2017 Valvoline Teacher Achievement Award.
Davis graduated from CHS in 2000, from University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Arts degree in telecommunication in 2005 and from CU in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English education. He will receive a master’s degree in English studies from Illinois State University next month.
Davis is married to Stephanie Hall Davis and they have two children, Elijah Cash and Lylah Mae.
He is the son of Tim and Joni Davis, athletic director and head boys’ basketball coach at CHS and director of exceptional education for Campbellsville Independent Schools, respectively.
Davis’s career in education began at CHS in 2008.
He worked at CHS from 2008 to 2009 and came back to teach at the school in 2012, where he has been employed since.
Davis was a substitute teacher and basketball coach at Powhatan County Schools in Virginia in the 2011 and 2012 school years.
He is also a former CHS assistant basketball coach.
In addition to the Teacher Achievement Award, Davis has also received the Excellence in Teaching award from Campbellsville University.
Kirby Smith, principal at CHS, congratulates Davis for being honored amongst his peers.
“It’s always great to see teachers get recognition they deserve,” Smith said. “Mr. Davis does not teach to be nominated or receive awards, but to inspire and mentor his students. And he encourages, inspires and leads his students to their successes and to fulfill their potential.
“What I admire the most about Mr. Davis is his ability to not only teach his students about English, but also to help them see the bigger picture and be proud of who they are.”
Campbellsville Independent Schools Superintendent Mike Deaton says Davis truly exemplifies what it means to be a Teacher of the Year.
“Mr. Davis is an extraordinary educator, leader and mentor,” he said. “He is a true team player, and he always works diligently to see that his students know that can do whatever they set their mind to.
“When you visit Mr. Davis’s classroom, you don’t just see students sitting at desks. You see young minds interested, involved and eager to learn,” Deaton said. “Mr. Davis is very deserving of this honor, and I’m pleased to see him receive the recognition he most certainly deserves.
“Mr. Davis has always been an Eagle, and we are proud to have him as part of our family.”
All of the 24 teachers honored are invited to a ceremony in Frankfort on Tuesday, May 16, at the state capitol.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, Commissioner of Education Dr. Stephen Pruitt and Valvoline Chief Executive Officer Sam Mitchell will honor the teachers.
The teachers will receive cash awards and certificates for their honor, and will be treated to a luncheon after the ceremony.
Kentucky teachers were nominated for the Teacher of the Year award and submitted applications for the honor. Judging was in March by a blue-ribbon panel of veteran educators, many of whom have more than 25 years of teaching experience.
Applications included information about the nominees’ teaching philosophies and experiences and involvement in their communities, as well as letters of recommendation from peers, students, parents, administrators and others.