By Gaby Maldonado
Emory Davis, the Social Studies Department Coordinator, is an experienced educator committed to his work. Having earned degrees in education and history from SUNY Binghamton as well as an administration degree from the College of Saint Rose, Davis spent the last few years teaching U.S. and Global History at an arts high school in midtown Manhattan.
When asked about his decision to join WPHS, Davis highlighted the great resources and course options the school offers. “Here in White Plains, we have such great students and a diverse population. It's so cool to be in a place where you have so many opportunities for students. You have classes for bilingual students who are learning English, AP classes for students who are serious academically, and other classes that you could earn college credit through. I was just drawn to this wonderful community,” said Davis.
Currently, Davis oversees the History department at Highlands Middle School, White Plains High School, and Rochambeau, managing grade seven through high school. His responsibilities include managing the department budget, collaborating with other departments to provide a comprehensive educational experience, and supporting instructors with curriculum and instruction.
One of Davis's favorite aspects of WPHS is the dedication of both the students and teachers in the Social Studies department. “I think all the teachers are really, really passionate and hardworking. I've never seen such hardworking teachers before, and I think the students are too. Whenever I go into classes, students are always engaged in the work, students are always asking questions, and I think that makes this place great," he said.
Davis also expressed great pride in the outstanding capstone projects students have done for The New York State Seal of Civic Readiness, highlighting the beneficial effects these projects have on the community. “I think students just taking on an issue and making real change in the community is spectacular. That really made an impact on me because I didn't start thinking about that until I was an adult. The sort of thing of ‘how am I going to make where I am a better place’ or ‘how am I going to impact the community’ is a relatively new thing. I think that students doing that in 11th and 12th grade is extremely special, and I'm really proud of the work that those students have done,” said Davis.
Acknowledging the challenges inherent in his role, Davis highlighted the balancing act of trying to keep everyone satisfied while managing the diverse needs of multiple schools. The administrative position introduces an element of unpredictability compared to his previous role as a teacher. Instead of the regular routine of teaching classes one after the other, Davis now has to manage a more dynamic daily schedule. His daily focus has shifted from teaching classes to managing unplanned occurrences, last-minute meetings, and different requests from coworkers and students.
In offering advice to graduating seniors, Davis encourages them to follow their passions and keep an open mind about future opportunities. “A lot of the skills that you get in high school, you might not know it, but they are transferable to a lot of other positions. So, keep your options open and definitely have confidence that you can make a difference,” he said.
Davis draws attention to the importance of exploring different subjects, asking questions, and understanding the "why" behind the material you are studying. He encourages underclassmen to do well in their schoolwork, choose engaging subjects, and take on challenging coursework as it can help them find new interests.
In three words, Davis described his experience: "It is great." The Orange welcomes Mr. Davis and is excited about the positive impact he is having on the educational landscape of White Plains High School.