Golden Apple Award 2015: Patti Davis


I’ve been teaching 32 years total and I have been at East Richland District for 12 years.

At seven years old I had my dolls lined up, I would bring home my papers on the weekend you know those little weekend folders and I would get my papers and set them out and I was the teacher and I’d pass them out and I would talk to my dolls as though they were students and I would keep records and it was fun.

When I was in eighth grade a woman by the name of Mrs. Lorig, she was my eighth grade English teacher, I thought she was wonderful. And Mr. Johnson was my eighth grade science teacher and he too was wonderful.

I don’t know if you realize this but the first year of teaching is horrible….absolutely it’s a nightmare because you are trying to figure out what to do behind the desk instead of in front of the desk. And there was this dear woman, her name was Dorthy Acus, and she helped me get through that first year. It seems like since I have been here I’ve done a lot of growing and assimilating into the role that is expected.

But really, the quality of educators in this district, honestly…all of them deserve a Gold Apple.

“It’s a very difficult group of kids some times for some people to teach, but Patti knows them and understands them appreciates them. She’s got the humor and she’s got their respect,” explained Marilyn Holt, East Richland Community Schools Unit 1 – superintendent.

I mean it’s about math but it’s about so much more than math, there is so much more that’s taught in middle school besides math, by modeling behaviors, by showing them how to deal with embarrassing situations but you know there’s a lot of stuff that gets taught here outside of the curriculum.

Way back towards the beginning of teaching I had moved from Waukegan down to Prairie Central and I took a group of kids to the Special Olympics. And I was working with the kids and this group and from behind the counter this woman asks one of the other adults that was with me is that Mrs. Davis? And she goes well yea. So it go over there behind the counter stands a former student from Waukegan who proceeds to tell me that the reason she is in college is because I made her believe in herself. And I thought ‘wow…’

“And When I had found out that she had won the Golden Apple I thought back to the years that Patti and I had taught together and thought of all the things I learned from her and just you know all the projects and strategies and things like that that I still use in my classroom to this day,” described Tommy Leslie, former Golden Apple recipient. “And here it is ten years later and I think she has had a lasting impact on me and my development as a teacher.”

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