He was a teacher, mentor, and friend to all of the Greenfield family. He taught at Greenfield beginning in 1989, was Upper School Head for many years. Our Upper School building was named after him, the John Davis Upper School. A recipient of the Wilson County Teacher of the Year award, Mr. Davis was the first teacher to teach AP level classes at Greenfield. He was well-loved by his students and colleagues.
“John Davis made every class period that he taught an exciting adventure for his students. He gave his best in everything he did and every decision he made as a teacher/administrator was for the benefit of his Greenfield family,” said Mike Land, a colleague of Mr. Davis.
“He loved his job and he will greatly missed,” said Mr. Land.
Another colleague, Katy King, who currently teaches Upper School Social Studies at Greenfield School, said in a statement that “He was extremely knowledgeable and a wonderful teacher who cared for his students who, in return, had great respect for him. He was a great teacher and friend and those of us who worked with him were better teachers because of his example.”
“Yes, he was old school with a gruff exterior, but no one cared more about students' academic growth and personal wellbeing,” Mrs. King said.
The Director of Preschool, Bonnie Johnstone, wrote, “As a parent of two students that had him as a teacher, I know he was very thorough and a stickler for detail. He knew the potential for each student and held high expectations for them. He was quick to call them out if they started to slack and simply said to them ‘Do better!’ (And they would). The students looked up to him.”
“His thorough instruction, strict adherence to a syllabus, constant impressing of the subject matter, and of course his love of history, gave his students the tools needed to succeed on the final tests and in life beyond. His methods made you want to deep dive beyond what was printed in the textbooks,” said James Powell, Class of 1996.
“He was as jovial and good-spirited outside of the classroom as he was demanding inside it. He was the type of teacher that made you want to learn, and more importantly how to love the process of learning. Thank you, Mr. Davis, for all that you inspired us to do. You will be missed but fondly remembered by all who studied under you and worked closely beside you,” James added.
Beth Peters, current Head of School at Greenfield School, said “John was a respected teacher, administrator, colleague, and friend. Most of his former students would say that he was one of their favorite teachers, even though they were a bit scared of him! He was so helpful to me as I transitioned to Head of School six years ago.”