School Band and Orchestra Magazine has recognized Highland Middle School Music Director Mary Davis as one of 50 Directors that Make a Difference!
One director from each state earns this distinction annually through a nomination process by a either a student, a co-worker/colleague, parent of a student, administrator or other person familiar with the director’s work.

Davis will represent Washington in the upcoming 20th annual “50 Directors that Make a Difference” issue of SBO Magazine in December for her dedication to music education. The article will highlight Davis’ proudest moment as an educator, how she hopes to make a difference in her students’ lives and the most important lesson she tries to teach her students.

Davis lives for the “ah-ha!” moments in her students, like learning how note names work, finally getting that low B-flat to sound on their tuba, or playing an “actual song.”

“Those moments seem so little when you look back on your playing career, but they are huge accomplishments in that moment in time,” Davis said.

Since Davis teaches 5th grade band, she has some students for four years. For some, she plays the role of academic coach and band director.  “In my band classes, we practice habits of successful people. Habits like being on time, working hard, and not accepting “good enough” when you could do better.” Davis works to instill a sense of community and an importance of service to one’s community. “While there are many musical milestones I hope my students can achieve before moving on to high school, I also want them to know that being a part of something also means giving back. I hope that when they leave my program they have an idea of how to be a part of a society that helps others and that they are just great people to be around.”

Ms. Davis is an alumnus of the Bellevue School District, attending Spiritridge, Phantom Lake, Tillicum and Sammamish (class of 2006). This is her 7th year teaching in the district and she has taught at the following schools in that time: Puesta del Sol Elementary, Eastgate Elementary, Ardmore Elementary, Sherwood Forest Elementary, Stevenson Elementary, Woodridge Elementary, Spiritridge Elementary, Enatai Elementary, Tillicum Middle School, and Highland Middle School.