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Congressman Alcee L. Hastings made the following statement on the House floor on August 5, 2011, recognizing Florida Teacher of the Year recipient Alvin Davis for his exemplary service and dedication:
M. Speaker, I rise today to recognize and honor Mr. Alvin A. Davis, who as a teacher has shown outstanding merit and dedication to his profession and who has been a source of inspiration and courage for hundreds of students in my hometown of Miramar, Florida. For his accomplishments as the head band and music teacher for Miramar High School, Mr. Davis has recently been awarded the 2012 Florida Department of Education’s prestigious Teacher of the Year Award. Additionally, Mr. Davis has previously been recognized as the 2011 Broward County Teacher of the Year and the African-American Community Unsung Hero Award in 2010 for his dedication to his students and the community.
While Mr. Davis teaches music, many see him as more than just a ‘music teacher.’ For the past ten years he has taken the initiative to go above and beyond his duties as a teacher and makes the focus of his class on three things: academics, discipline, and music. He requires his students to receive one-on-one counseling with a member of the band staff and he personally reviews students' report cards and interim reports, even though it may not be part of his job description. Every school band rehearsal includes a one-hour study hall where students are tutored, even though his school may not have the budget for it. But what is most outstanding is how Mr. Davis has made it his personal mission to ensure that his students make it on to college and move on to a brighter future, one that some students could never dream of. The Broward County school district confirms that for the past three years, every student who was a regular participating member of the Miramar High band program has gone on to college. Mr. Davis personally counsels his students on their future decisions and requires that seniors be only able to perform if they have registered for the ACT or SAT and if they can prove that they have applied to a college or university. Through his vision and steadfast dedication, Mr. Davis has single-handedly transformed the lives and futures of hundreds of students and their families.
Education is the back-bone of our country. It is what has made America prosperous, what has made the quality of life in this country the envy of the world, and what has safeguarded our democracy. Yet today we live in a time where the American education system, once ranked as top in the world, has slipped and tumbled to the point of not even making top twenty in some categories. Unfortunately, there are some voices who now decry the public education system as hopeless and worthy of scrapping. To those who have lost faith, I say that they should hear of the vision and successes of Mr. Alvin Davis who is dedicated, selfless, and capable, and works tirelessly every single day to transform the future of Florida’s education system.
M. Speaker, as we recognize and honor Mr. Alvin A. Davis today for his accomplishments and his dedication, may we also recognize the hope and light educators like Mr. Davis bring to the future of this country.