Julie Davenport has been teaching for 25 years, all of which have been at W.A. Wright Elementary School. She currently teaches all subjects to first grade.
“It feels like a family here,” she said. “We take care of each other, we love on our kids as if they are our own. It’s a very supportive place.”
She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Belmont University and her master’s in reading from Middle Tennessee State University.
Davenport was always around teaching growing up, but did not necessarily realize she would take the same path. Her mother was a teacher, and she enjoyed helping at her school when she was younger. She also had some teachers in high school who made learning exciting, making her realize she would like to do the same for others.
While younger children may seem difficult to teach at times, Davenport said she has the patience and understanding of how their minds think and process information.
She said it’s exciting to see her students who are hesitant and think they cannot read to, later in the year, realizing they can understand what is being presented to them.
She said she grew up loving to read and she wants her students to also have a relationship with books.
A reason she pursued her master’s in reading was because she wanted to know about why some students struggle with the subject and how to help those who do.
Davenport said one purpose of teaching is to make sure all of her students know they are loved and cared for. She also wants them to be successful adults and have the power and opportunity to choose a career that is exciting to them and not just what is convenient.
“I know I need to give them a strong foundation so they can continue their educational career with the best opportunities,” said Davenport.
Davenport said she was surprised and humbled when she learned she was named W.A. Wright’s Teacher of the Year.
“This is a school with some amazing teachers,” she said. “For other people to think of me when the nomination process comes up, it was very humbling.”
Davenport said the team she works with are a tight family who can count on each other’s support.
“I couldn’t have Teacher of the Year without the support of my team,” she said.
“I know the award of Teacher of the Year is something I shouldn’t have, couldn’t have, without the support of my team,” she said.