Bebi Davis was named the 2023 Hawaiʻi Association of Secondary School Administrators (HASSA) Assistant Principal of the Year. She is one of three National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) National Assistant Principal of the Year Finalists as well as the Hawaiʻi Elementary and Middle School Administrators Association (HEMSSA) National Outstanding Assistant Principal.
“Being recognized for my role as Kawananakoa Middle School Vice Principal definitely adds credibility to the work I do as an educator,” Davis said. “More importantly, it validates the tremendous work all of us – the teachers, staff, administrators, students, parents, and community partners – are engaged in to ensure that our students are successful.”
Davis, who has been with the Hawai‘i Department of Education (HIDOE) for more than 20 years, holds four College of Education (COE) degrees, including a BEd in Secondary Education, MEd in Curriculum Studies, MEd in Educational Administration, and PhD in Curriculum and Instruction.
“The COE tremendously paved the way for me to become the educator I am today,” Davis said. “It provided me with the strong foundational knowledge, skills, and disposition to venture out into the education arena and be an educational ambassador.”
Davisʻs parents instilled the love of education in her from an early age, encouraging her to go to medical school or become a teacher. During her first semester at Kapiʻolani Community College, Davis learned that she really enjoyed helping her classmates understand chemistry concepts and theories. This led her to switch from the field of medicine to education.
“My teaching career started at Farrington High School in 2002 as a physics and chemistry teacher,” Davis said. “I was fortunate to have a wonderful principal, Catherine Payne, who provided all the support needed to be a successful teacher. Through her leadership and inspiration, I was able to work with Kalihi students to break barriers and build bridges.”
During her early teaching years, Davis earned a 2005 Milken Educator Award and the 2009 Hawai‘i State Teacher of the Year title. Sharing her secret to becoming a successful educator and administrator, she says it is important to be an active learner, foster a culture that empowers others, be the best instructional leader, and most of all listen to everyone. Regardless of her position as an administrator, she says she continues to wear her teacher hat daily to ensure she makes the best decisions for her students.
“I am thankful for all the wonderful COE folks who have influenced me in positive ways,” Davis concluded. “Most of all, my journey in education would not be the same without the love and dedication of my husband, Dr. Harry Davis. He is truly an Outstanding Partner in Education!!”