Megan Wickenden '06 and Lucia Allen Named Davis Award Winners

The Davis Award for Excellence in Teaching was given to Megan Wickenden for Upper School and Lucia Allen for Middle School at the end-of-year faculty meeting and Chapel held Thursday, May 28, on the Acosta House lawn.

Lucia Allen, who teaches Spanish, was nominated by her peers for being “a devoted teacher and a generous colleague. She is open to new ideas to help her grow into a better teacher and often encourages others in an inviting way.  She is constantly looking for ideas to improve her teaching or further engage her students. I know that is the kind of teacher she is; she seeks to inspire others.” Another nomination stated “What is most distinctive about Lucia is the manner in which she is continually designing and developing innovative and interactive activities for her students so that they understand the vocabulary and master grammatical concepts in a fun and engaging manner while, at the same time, motivating them to stay in the target language. It is truly impressive to watch her in action. Although Lucia prepares deliberate, purposeful, and organized lesson plans that flow from one activity to the next, what makes her an exceptional teacher is how she takes time to reflect on how to refine the activities she creates so that her students are continuously improving on the four language acquisition skills each class period. She even executed some action research on her own classes to experiment with different teaching methods to verify which approach was more effective for language input and shared her findings when she presented at the FCIS Conference last year.”

Lucia recently completed her master’s degree from the University of South Florida.

Megan Wickenden ’06, Honors Biology instructor, was nominated for her continuing to care for students and their achievements. She is “thoughtful and enlightening and compassionate. I go to her first when I see a common student struggling.” Megan also “understands the burden of a balanced Episcopal experience and I value her opinion and feedback on policy or procedure or planning of new extracurricular activities.” Megan also manages Student Government and Prom and assists with 9GOA. Her passion for ensuring an exceptional experience for students is something “she dazzlingly manages.”

Established in 1992 by the late Mary Lou Davis and her husband, Dan, the Davis Awards for Excellence in Teaching are presented each year to selected Episcopal School of Jacksonville teachers who personify quality in their teaching and in their influence on student learning; who consistently and unselfishly go above and beyond normal expectations of time, energy and devotion in working with students; who demonstrate the rare ability to motivate students to higher and higher levels of achievement; and who have consistently made use of opportunities for continuing education to improve themselves professionally. This award is intended to inspire all Episcopal teachers to pursue uncompromising excellence and caring in the classroom.