Davis Award Winners are Marti Baugh and Val Bow ’79

This year’s winners of the Davis Award for Excellence in Teaching are Marti Baugh for Middle School and Val Bow ’79 for Upper School. The awards were presented at the end of year faculty and staff meeting Thursday, May 27. 

Marti Baugh was nominated because she shows a caring concern for her students and her for contributions to campus life. She is focused on their learning and develops lessons that will challenge and delight them.  She uses various methods of instruction to reach all students, especially those with learning differences. These activities range from POGIL group projects to hands on activities, always with the goal of deepening their understanding of concepts. She also models a love of learning and growth by the way she pushes herself to improve—participating in professional development activities or pursuing an advanced degree in education with an emphasis on curriculum development. Marti’s love for the school does not stop at her classroom door; she helps her colleagues, assists other teachers, and even signs up for duties others wish to avoid. 

Val Bow ’79 was nominated for being unequivocally committed to her students. Every assignment, every project, every unit of study springs from a desire to equip her young charges to be accepting, thinking, and compassionate young adults. She educates and nurtures them so they feel accepted and welcome. She doesn’t just “cover” the material of the course; instead, she finds ways to bring the learning to life. For example, this year, students researched topics and then taught each other the results of their findings. Val is so responsive to her students that even within the semester she adapts a unit by creating or adding new content when it serves their needs. For example, not satisfied with just watching The Social Dilemma, she asked her students (with parental permission) to give up their cell phones for 24 hours and reflect on their experience. If you walk by her classroom during her free periods you will most likely find her participating in a webinar or listening to a podcast. Besides her classroom load, Val clearly embraces all opportunities she has to reach students. She partners with colleagues to develop and share content that makes Advisory meaningful, showing that even outside the classroom and during less structured times of the day, impactful learning happens.  

Established in 1992, the Davis Awards for Excellence in Teaching are presented each year to selected Episcopal School of Jacksonville teachers who personify quality in their teaching and in their influence on student learning; who consistently and unselfishly go above and beyond normal expectations of time, energy and devotion in working with students; who demonstrate the rare ability to motivate students to higher and higher levels of achievement; and who have consistently made use of opportunities for continuing education to improve themselves professionally. This award is intended to inspire all Episcopal teachers to pursue uncompromising excellence and caring in the classroom. To be eligible to receive the Davis Award for Excellence in Teaching, a teacher must have been a member of the faculty for three years and must be returning the following year.  At least one award each year must be awarded to a teacher whose primary focus is the Middle School.