Okaloosa STEMM Center Holds Linda J. Davis Mathematics Lab Ribbon Cutting

On Wednesday, June 3rd, the Okaloosa STEMM Center held a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony for the Linda J. Davis Mathematics Lab.

During the planning and development phase of the Okaloosa STEMM Center in the fall of 2012, Morris Davis presented a generous donation to be used in creating the Linda J. Davis Mathematics Lab.  The “stock” donation of 202 shares of United Parcel Service stock resulted in $25,117.00 and has been used to transform 3 classrooms into a math/engineering lab. 

Students in STEMM Academy Algebra and Geometry classes bring learned concepts to apply to projects in their elective Research classes consisting of programming, robotics, and circuits.  This year students in the Research II classes (robotics) used linear equations to assemble and program small machines.

The Algebra students practiced quadratic and polynomial equations in real world applications by making and launching their bottle rockets and studying the trajectories.  The after-school Math/Engineering Club met here in “the math playground” every week to apply learned math concepts into real world work. 

About Linda J. Davis

Linda J. Davis (Guy) was born in Louisville, Kentucky on July 26, 1943.  At an early age she lost her father, who was killed in World War II, and a few years later her mother also passed away.  As a result, Linda and her sister, La Donna, were raised by their Grandmother.  Very early in her young life, Linda developed a passion for math.  She graduated from the University of Kentucky where she majored in Spanish, and her real passion, Math.    She received her first Teaching Certificate in 1965 in Kentucky where she taught all levels of Math over a 5 year period. 

Linda and Morris were married shortly after graduation and lived in Louisville, Kentucky until they moved to Texas in 1970 at which time Linda made the decision to take time off to raise their two children, Leslie and Kyle.

In 1976 they moved to California.  Linda felt she had been out of teaching far too long so she earned her California Teaching Certificate and immediately began teaching Math.  In 1978 they relocated to Decatur, Illinois where Linda earned her certification to teach in Illinois.  She accepted a position at St. Theresa High School in Decatur which she truly loved.  Not only did she teach all levels of Math, but also became the Cheerleader Sponsor. 

Then in 1981 they moved to Missouri.  Linda earned a Missouri Teaching Certificate and began teaching at Visitation Academy of St. Louis.  Of the 18 years Linda taught, she considered Visitation Academy the crown jewel of her career.  There she taught special needs, as well as advanced young girls.  In addition she developed and started the first computer class offered at Visitation. 

All through these years Linda continued with her education, and devoted untold hours at home preparing for her classes.  Morris said he asked her one time why she worked so hard and devoted so much time after school hours.  She told him that she had to, in order to stay ahead of her bright students.   “Linda felt it was important to figure out the best way to present the lesson, so the struggling students could understand.  She loved that ah-ha moment when the connection was made and the student finally understood!  It was really a pleasure to see Linda around her students.  It was evident that not only did the students really like her but they also respected her.”

Linda’s professional career ended in 1989 when the family moved to London, England, and later to Singapore.  Because of international agreements, she was not able to teach during our years in those countries.  However, she still exercised her teaching abilities.  She continued to use her teaching skills by working with family and friends.  These individuals, who were struggling with making a suitable Math grade, would often ask for Linda’s help in tutoring.

Mr. Morris is pictured above with Okaloosa STEMM Academy Principal, Wanda Avery. 

To see a photo gallery of this event, please visit the OCSD Facebook page.