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Alumna Named Georgia's Elementary Science Teacher of the Year

imageAlumna Alana Davis '04
02/16/17 -  

Although Alana Davis '04 graduated from Queens with a communication degree and was set on becoming a wedding and corporate event planner, she always thought about becoming a teacher. Thanks to an unforgettable study abroad experience at Queens, Davis was changed her projected career path and was recently named Georgia's Elementary Science School Teacher of the Year.

In the summer of 2003, Davis traveled to the tiny island of Yap in Micronesia with a number of Queens students and Dr. Reed Perkins, professor of environmental science. The trip was a part of the John Belk International Program. The students joined Dr. Perkins to educate Yap High School students on how to utilize GPS navigation to map invasive grass species on the island.

Davis, then a junior, fondly recalls: "I will never forget what Dr. Perkins said to me one particular day. After I had gotten through teaching a lesson to freshman science students, he walked over to me and said, 'I think you might want to change your major to education. You are natural teacher, girl!'"

Davis considered that moment to have marked a major shift in her career path. She has been an innovation specialist and academic coach at Mableton Elementary School in Georgia for six years. In a press release issued by Cobb County School District announcing her award, her students, colleagues, supervisors and administrators have praised her excellence and dedication to her mastery teaching. In 2015, she piloted an engineering program focused on aerospace curriculum and has since shared instructional methods with teachers in her region. She's presented at various workshops, national conferences, local education programming and continues to deliver effective science instruction for elementary school students.

On Davis' award, Dr. Perkins said, "Alana has an incredible ability to connect with people. She had it on Yap. This award for Alana doesn't surprise me in the slightest. She has always had a spark in her."

Queens congratulates Davis on such a prestigious award, thanks to an encouraging faculty member for creating an impactful moment. Without a liberal arts education, it is very possible that the spark between a teaching opportunity, environmental science, Dr. Perkins and Davis would have never been possible.

Davis plans to return to Yap someday soon with her family.

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