Katherine Bland Davis ’74, ’78 MEd
If dedication is a qualifier, Katherine Bland Davis ’74, ’78 MEd is an authority. Her 44 years of teaching mathematics at Greensboro Day School confirmed what veteran educators inevitably learn: Teaching is a life purpose. Davis’s decades of experience include serving as a teacher, advisor, mentor, development committee member, inaugural director of alumni programs, and all-around proponent of education in North Carolina. She recognized the need to encourage teachers – especially mathematics teachers, who are in short supply across North Carolina – and established a program fund at UNC Greensboro to support future mathematics teachers.
Davis’s journey began at West Edgecombe High School in Rocky Mount with her home economics teacher, Teresa Brown. Brown’s alma mater was Woman’s College, now UNCG; she recognized Davis’s potential and encouraged her to attend. Davis’s aunt, Mildred Griggs Moore, who was a teacher and East Carolina University graduate, urged Davis to get a teaching certificate. Davis succeeded at UNCG, earning her BS in mathematics with teacher certification in 1974 and returning to complete her MEd in 1978.
Davis completed her student teaching at Greensboro Day School and was immediately hired by the school as a full-time teacher. She later received Greensboro Day School’s highest honor, the James P. Hendrix Excellence in Teaching Award, as well as Guilford County’s Rosalyn Tanner Orr Mentor of the Year Award.
Davis’s experience led her to consider students first – their individual learning styles and needs that impact the educational process.
“One might say teaching the subject is secondary to teaching the student,” observed Davis.
Passionate about her profession, Davis joined UNCG’s School of Education Advisory Board in 2016 to address key issues. She commits her considerable array of personal resources to supporting educational initiatives, including being an establishing donor for the Inspirational Educators Endowment, modeled after a teacher recognition program at ECU. In 2018, she and her husband, Robert, established the Katherine Bland Davis Endowed Program Fund in Mathematics to recruit new math teachers and provide incentives to current math teachers. In doing so, she hopes to encourage more people to join – and remain – in the rewarding career of teaching.
As a teacher and parent, Davis chooses to put concern into action. By establishing the Katherine Bland Davis Endowed Program Fund in Mathematics, Davis hopes to inspire others to help alleviate the math teacher shortage in North Carolina. Old habits die hard, and Davis continues to promote education, offering encouragement, resources, and hope – the tools of every dedicated teacher.
Story by Zoe Dillard
Endowments provide donors with opportunities to create living legacies and touch the lives of future generations.