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MacArthur's Steve Davidson, Touchstones teacher of the year

Steve Davidson

Steve Davidson stands in front of his favorite quote from Max Ehrmann, which states, "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here."

“As a steward for sound education, it is my responsibility to make available to each of you an environment whereby every student has the opportunity to meet their full potential – intellectually, emotionally, and socially.” Taken from English teacher Steve Davidson’s website, this philosophy of freedom of expression for students has earned Davidson this year’s Cynthia M. Barry Touchstones Teacher of the Year Award.

Touchstones is a program that leads students on a path to becoming an effective and collaborative group through specially designed readings. They are recognizing Davidson for not only using the program with his Gifted & Talented English students but also with English Language Learners in the MacTEACH (Tutoring Everyone Academically, Collaboratively, & Holistically) program he co-founded.

“Initially, I was very surprised to learn that I’d won the award. It’s one thing to be afforded the opportunity to win at the local and state level, but it’s something entirely different when you learn you’ve been honored at the national level,” said Davidson. “I stand firm on the belief that elevated ideas and purposeful dialogue between students in the classroom is critical to academic and humanitarian growth, I wholeheartedly embrace what the Touchstones Series provides; it deserves its place at the forefront of the academic arena.”   

Touchstones students

Students use the Touchstones program to better grasp the concepts hidden between the words of their favorite books.

Touchstones has introduced Davidson’s students to strategies that help them navigate through school and life. “Beyond the theoretical, they learn to process information, see beyond the ambiguous, ask bigger questions, and enlist the help of peers in making decisions,” said Davidson. “It is a powerful approach to group discussion, resulting in actively engaged students, students engaged in thinking, listening, and speaking—all necessary skills.”

Cynthia Barry, the namesake of his award, was impressed with Davidson’s efforts in the classroom. “For Steve, all students’ voices must be heard, and all students deserve equal opportunities to explore multiple perspectives about the issues most central in our lives,” said Barry. “Congratulations to Steve Davidson, and to all of my fellow teachers: this award honors the wings that you give to your students.”

Davidson attended the award presentation on Dec. 7 in Annapolis, Maryland at the annual Touchstones Volunteer, Friend & Teacher Gathering.

Steve with Cynthia

Steve accepts his award during the ceremony, taking a photo with Cynthia M. Barry, the namesake of the award.


Posted on December 10, 2013