Gaunet Davis Named 2024 Teacher of the Year
Posted on 05/18/2023
Gaunet Davis with district and school leaders at Teacher of the Year announcement

East Hartford Public Schools is pleased to announce the selection of Gaunet Davis as the district’s 2024 Teacher of the Year. Ms. Davis teaches 7th grade English and Language Arts classes at East Hartford Middle School. She will represent the school district as an example of what is best in the profession in the statewide Teacher of the Year competition. District leaders surprised Ms. Davis in her classroom with the news of her selection on May 18.

“Gaunet Davis is an extraordinary educator and I couldn’t be prouder to have her represent East Hartford Public Schools as Teacher of the Year,” said Superintendent Nathan Quesnel. “From her first days in the district, she has made an impression on all of us around what it means to work hard, set high expectations for students and care about a job that’s so important to our community.”

Ms. Davis has been teaching for 20 years, including eight years in East Hartford. She said she is able to set high expectations for her students and motivate them to be stronger readers, writers and communicators because of the trusting relationships she builds with them. Students know when she sets goals it is because she believes they can meet or exceed them.

“Being in her classroom makes us feel safe,” one of her students shared. “Ms. Davis always tries her best to meet us at our level to understand our thought process when completing assignments. She will correct us but then also guides us to come to our own conclusions.”

In addition to her exemplary work in her classroom, Davis organized a successful Literacy Night this fall that engaged the school community in literary-focused activities and resources. She also spearheaded an initiative with the East Hartford Public Library to provide library cards for students and increase their access to books.

“She is an excellent example of someone who goes above and beyond for her students and teaching with her heart,” said East Hartford Middle School Principal Anthony Menard.

Menard added the many ways Davis has been an asset to her colleagues as well, including serving on the school Diversity and Equity team, leading her instructional data team, and facilitating professional development on topics such as increasing independent reading and culturally responsive teaching.

Ms. Davis holds a master’s degree in English Education and a bachelor’s degree in English/Professional Writing from Lehman College of City University of New York. She is currently pursuing her 092 Sixth Year Certificate from Central Connecticut State University. She is also an accomplished writer who published her novel Foreign this year.

Ms. Davis was selected after a rigorous application and interview process, which begins with nominations from other teachers. Nominees then submit an application, resume and recommendations, and are formally interviewed by the East Hartford Teacher of the Year committee comprised of former district teachers of the year, Central Office administrators and school principals. Finally, the committee visits the classrooms of its three finalists and selects the overall winner.

The East Hartford Board of Education will formally recognize all building Teachers of the Year at a luncheon at the end of May.