September 25, 2018
School & Youth
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  • George Fox Middle School chorus teacher Elizabeth Davidson will be honored with her second Educational Excellence award from the Northern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce on May 9.
    Photo by Maya Pottiger
    George Fox Middle School chorus teacher Elizabeth Davidson will be honored with her second Educational Excellence award from the Northern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce on May 9.

George Fox Teacher Nominated For Educational Excellence Award

Maya Pottiger
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April 17, 2018

Elizabeth Davidson didn’t always want to be a teacher.

In her freshman year at the University of Florida, she was majoring in chemical engineering. Then, when her family went to Disney World for Thanksgiving, they attended a holiday-themed choir performance.

“I looked at my mom, and I was like, ‘That’s what I’m supposed to be doing,’” Davidson said. “I changed my major that second year and started all over.”

This year, Davidson is being honored with her second Educational Excellence award from the Northern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce. She was also honored in 2009 by the previous principal of George Fox.

This year’s recognition came from her colleagues as opposed to a direct nomination from George Fox Principal Russell Austin. Earlier this year, Austin sent an email to the staff asking them to submit their nominations for the 2018 Educational Excellence award.

“I know who the superstars are in this building, but this process allows me to know that other teachers know who the superstars are,” Austin said. “Whether it’s as a teacher or the relationships they have with kids or they go above and beyond for the school all the time. [Davidson] is a perfect example of that.”

Davidson has been a music teacher for 14 years, 12 of which were at George Fox Middle School. She teaches 12 classes: nine chorus classes, two Music Goes Global classes and a guitar class.

When Davidson came to George Fox in 2006, she revamped the choral program. In the last 12 years, her program has grown from 80 to 350 students.

“It was really fun to turn the program around and make it a name in the county,” Davidson said.

One of the biggest challenges she faces with her students is building up their confidence. She tells her classes about how she used to be nervous to sing in front of other people and she promises never to force them to sing solo if they don’t want to.

“That lets them open up, knowing that it’s safe, it’s comfortable,” Davidson said.

Davidson prides herself on being “an outlet for kids who may not be the smartest down the hall.”

“You can succeed in here regardless of your learning disability or your retention in this subject or that subject,” Davidson said. “You can be the best in here, and that’s been a real big push for me because there are kids that need that. They need that feeling of success in their day.”

Though Austin has worked at five different schools, he said he hasn’t seen devotion that compares to Davidson’s.

“[She] is a superfan of George Fox Middle School,” Austin said. “The kids know they have a true supporter in Liz Davidson.”

The 2018 Educational Excellence awards ceremony will be held May 9 at Michael’s Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie at 5:30pm. All nominees will be honored, and one overall winner will be announced.


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