Cleveland High School teacher Athena Davis is a semi-finalist in the nationwide Top Teacher search hosted by “LIVE with Kelly & Michael.”
Votes cast online at livekellyandmichael.dadt.com or www.facebook.com/LIVEKellyandMichael will move Davis from a semi-finalist to a finalist in the competition. The top five finalists will appear on the show the week of May 12.
Cleveland City Schools administrators, fellow teachers and students launched the challenge via social media sites Facebook and Twitter.
A short biography of the high school English teacher is available above the “vote” button on the website’s page.
Official rules dictate only one vote per device in a 24-hour span. Multiple devices may be utilized to cast the votes in one day. The opportunity to vote will close at 5 p.m. on Monday.
Cleveland High Principal Autumn O’Bryan said Davis exemplifies “outstanding” teaching.
“She is dedicated, inspired, engaged and compassionate,” she said. “She models servant leadership and treats each student as if they were her own. Above all, she has high expectations in the classroom and strives for the very best from each of her students.”
Continued O’Bryan, “She represents her school, her town and her profession with excellence in all she does.”
Support for Davis has poured out from the community on Facebook.
Krista Crisp stated Davis was an all-around wonderful lady, and Barbara Partlow said she considers it an honor to vote for the local teacher.
Rhonda Weeks also voted for Davis.
“This teacher had an incredible impact on my daughter’s life at CHS,” she wrote. “Mrs. Davis is not just a lover of education but a lover of students. She goes above and beyond ... well deserved!”
The official rules state the voters must be 18 years or older as of March 12, and a legal resident of the United States, D.C. or Canada (with the exception of Quebec).
The support has not been lost on Davis.
“Quite literally just cried my way through Walmart,” she recently tweeted.
Davis explained she was stopped by three strangers, one of which asked to hug her, who told her they voted for her online. Two former students and a current student also approached Davis to offer their encouragement.
“Cleveland, there couldn’t be a town like you anywhere on earth,” she tweeted. “You even make buying groceries fun.”
An announcement will be made on “LIVE with Kelly and Michael” during Tuesday’s show.