Iveland Music Teacher Named Missouri Teacher of the Year
Beth Davey, an Iveland Elementary music teacher in the Ritenour School District, had an extra special birthday surprise Sept. 8 when she was named the 2017-2018 Missouri Teacher of the Year by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
During an all-school assembly on Sept. 8, 2017, Ritenour Superintendent Dr. Chris Kilbride announced Davey as Ritenour’s first Missouri Teacher of the Year. The Ritenour High School band and cheerleaders were on hand to usher in the news in grand fashion along with state and local dignitaries, including Dr. Stacey Preis, deputy commissioner of learning services with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The rouse of the assembly was to celebrate student success, which the school schedules every other month. Instead, Davey took center stage with a special sash and flowers. The gym roared with cheers from her biggest fans, including a surprise visit from her mother and father.
“It is an incredible honor to celebrate Ms. Davey as the Missouri Teacher of the Year, especially during Ritenour’s 150th Anniversary,” said Kilbride. “Ms. Davey exemplifies the best qualities you want in a teacher. Her passion for helping all of her students recognize the special talents and abilities within themselves is an inspiration to everyone.”
Davey was among six finalists to be considered for the Missouri Teacher of the Year. Davey is Ritenour’s first Missouri Teacher of the Year, although the district has had two other teachers as state finalists in 2013 and 2015.
Preis lauded Davey for inspiring others to set high goals. “You have earned this honor by being a tremendous example of the power of a teacher. You have set a high bar for others to follow.”
Davey begins her sixth year as a music teacher, all of which have been spent at Iveland Elementary. While at Iveland, Davey has brought the music program to new heights with a new after-school honor choir, a before-school strings program and classes that combine music, movement, speech and drama. She receives accolades from administrators, colleagues and parents for creating a learning environment that encourages every student to take ownership in how they learn and appreciate music.
Iveland Principal Amanda Connelly added, “Any time you walk into Ms. Davey’s classroom, you say to yourself, ‘This is what teaching and learning needs to look like and feel like in every classroom.’ She instills a sense of discovery and creative spirit in all of her students in a way that each can experience success and use that to make a positive impact in their community.”
Outside of Ritenour, Davey is actively involved in the American Orff Shulwerk Association, with provides continual professional development in helping teachers building musicianship in every learner through the integration of music, movement speech and drama. She also performs regularly with Pro-Arte Saint Louis, an early music vocal ensemble.
Davey earned her bachelor’s in music education from the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.