Krissi Davis, orchestra director at Henry W. Grady High School, was named Atlanta Public Schools’ (APS) 2019-2020 District Excellence in Teaching Award Winner (also known as Teacher of the Year) during the APyeS! Awards held Oct. 29 at the Delta Flight Museum.
Davis has served as the orchestra director at Grady High School since Fall 2017. Prior to, she taught at Sutton Middle School and served as the lead middle school orchestra teacher for APS. Under her direction, the Sutton Middle School Sinfonia Orchestra performed in the National Band and Orchestra Festival in Carnegie Hall (New York) in Spring 2016. She also previously taught at the middle and high levels in Clayton County and Fayette County. While in Clayton County, she directed the Clayton County Middle School Honor Orchestra, and founded the Fine Arts Magnet Orchestra, now Stilwell School of the Arts Orchestra. While in Fayette County, she directed the Fayette Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.
“I know it sounds cliché, but I don’t work,” said Davis in her acceptance speech. “I make music with wonderful kids of Grady High School. It is an honor and a surprise to receive this honor for not working and making music all day.”
As the APS Excellence in Teaching Award winner, Davis will represent APS in the Georgia Teacher of the Year Awards next spring. APS is home to the reigning 2020 Georgia Teacher of the Year, Tracey Pendley, a fourth-grade teacher from Burgess-Peterson Elementary School who was named the APS 2018-2019 District Excellence in Teaching Award winner; 2012 Georgia Teacher of the Year (while working in Bibb County), Dr. Jadun McCarthy; 2013 Georgia Teacher of the Year Finalist, Elisha Gray; 2014 Georgia Teacher of the Year Finalist Tamika N. Ball; 2015 Georgia Teacher of the Year Finalist Rita L. Simmons; and 2017 Georgia Teacher of the Year Finalist Jerry Kosoff.
This year’s District Excellence in Teaching Award finalists included Amanda Larkin (Sarah Smith Elementary School) and Kamilah Rose-Pettway (Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School).
Additional 2019-2020 APyeS! Winners included:
- Principal of the Year Award: Eulonda Washington (Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy)
- Assistant Principal of the Year Award: Joy Antone (Samuel M. Inman Middle School)
- Students First Award: Michelle Byrdsong-Walker (Paul L. Dunbar Elementary School)
- Schools First Award: Dr. Sara Womack (APS Fine and Performing Arts)
Channel 2 Action News Anchor Fred Blakenship returned as host as APS honored the best of the best in the District, including our top partners, GO Teams, Family Engagement stakeholders, and Excellence in Teaching honorees. Student performances included the All Star Drumline Band, Psi Phi Beta Step Team of the Kindezi School at Old Fourth Ward, and Booker T. Washington High School’s Bad to the Bone dance team.
For more ceremony highlights and information about honorees, view the ATL Super blog.