A recent honor for Matt Davis, assistant principal at Pendleton Elementary School, is doubly rewarding.
Davis was just named the Indiana Assistant Elementary Principal of the Year by the Indiana Association of Schools Principals.
The association cited Davis’ involvement with students. He dresses up as Johnny Appleseed and retells the character’s life story each March. He also dresses like the Cat in the Hat and reads Dr. Seuss books to students. As a reward for meeting annual goals, Davis has been known to let students toss pies into his face, he has kissed a pig, slept on the school roof and let students throw water balloons at him.
The honor was a surprise, mostly because half of his staff suddenly walked into the Indianapolis conference room when Davis’ name was announced. South Madison staffers made the award a family affair. To celebrate the award, students marched through the halls in a well-deserved parade.
Davis has been a principal and has taught every grade from kindergarten to fourth. He began his career in education in 1994 working with Anderson’s School on Wheels program. He taught at Edgewood Elementary School, then worked at Hamilton Southeastern, Rushville and Beech Grove schools.
For an article in The Herald Bulletin, Davis was asked what his dream job would be. He’s apparently found it at Pendleton Elementary. “I love working with children, students, staff. I like my job. I love what I do. I love the school district. So it’s not that I’m looking for change. I can make change in what I’m doing right now. So I’m happy, content.”
The award has another family tie to it.
His father, Phil Davis, had been a National Distinguished Principal and an Indiana Distinguished Elementary Principal. The father retired in May 2011 from Mount Comfort Elementary in the Mount Vernon school system, after a 40-year career in education. On his last day, he spent his lunch hour entertaining the student body. In fact, over the years, he had helped out local charities by dressing up as a pirate, being duct-taped to a wall and had pies thrown at him.
A lot of dad’s joys in education have influenced the son.
It seems the Davis family knows how to get elementary pupils interested at school. They have fun and they learn. The good work by father and son is a lesson to us all.
In summary Awards for being an educator seem to run in the Matt Davis family.