Bettye Davis Named Teacher of the Year

Please join the Dallas Academy community in congratulating Ms. Bettye Davis, the 2011 East Dallas Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year.


Ms. Davis was selected as Teacher of the Year by the East Dallas Chamber of Commerce selection committee, chaired by Scott Manis, CEO of Doctor’s Hospital, for her 45 years of dedication to the students of Dallas Academy.   Ms. Davis, along with five other teachers from the community, was awarded Teacher of the Year in a ceremony held at Lakehill Preparatory School.  Dr. Sarah Maxwell, Assistant Dean of the University Texas at Dallas, served as the keynote speaker.   Dr. Maxwell shared her thoughts of what makes an exceptional teacher.  She emphasized that quality education begins with the quality of the teacher in the classroom.  An outstanding teacher encompasses more than the subjects that they teach. 


Ms. Davis’ career began at Dallas Academy in the early days of the school.  In 1965, former Dallas Mayor Wallace Savage and his wife, Dorothy, established Dallas Academy (known then as Plano Academy) as a school for students with learning differences.  The school was meant to be a safe haven for students with learning problems during a time when little was known or understood about learning differences.  Mr. and Mrs. Savage knew they needed a dedicated teacher with expertise in learning differences to help realize their vision. 


Lucky for the Savages, in 1967, Ms. Bettye Davis applied to the young school.  Ms. Davis had a speech degree from Baylor and was trained at Scottish Rite as a certified Academic Language Therapist.  Ms. Davis’ passion was helping children with reading and processing difficulties.  The Savage’s hired Ms. Davis to head the English department in order to better serve their mission to families.  Ms. Davis jumped right in to her new position without hesitation.  1976, Ms. Davis became the school’s lead teacher, helping pick curriculum, schedule classes for students, and customize academic programs based around each student’s individual needs.  Ms. Davis pioneered numerous learning methods in the DFW area specifically designed for learning difference students such as the ‘creep and crawl’ method, word attacks, reading comprehension game play, and phonetic learning.


In 1992, Ms. Davis retired from Dallas Academy.  Lucky for Dallas Academy, this retirement was short lived.  Ms. Davis came out of retirement in 2000 after missing the fast-paced school environment.  She returned to the classroom and to the students that she had dedicated her life to. 


Ms. Davis currently fills a very important role at Dallas Academy.  She teaches small group classes and one-on-one student training focusing on language therapy, organization skills, and study skills.  Ms. Davis’ lessons will have a lasting impact on each and every child she teaches.


In her tenure at Dallas Academy, Ms. Davis has worked with hundreds of students that all have unique learning styles, academic needs, and learning differences.  Ms. Davis’ patience, empathy, and dedication to each student has allowed each one to overcome adversity.


Ms. Bettye Davis’ career is an inspiration to all those who she has taught.  She has dedicated her life to working with students that the community has turned their back on.  For this reason, Dallas Academy nominated, and she was selected as, Teacher of the Year.