Scholar Speed Round: Natalie Davis, 2021 Bezos Educator Scholar

Catch up with a former Scholar and read their rapid-fire responses to a collection of semi-random questions in the Scholar Speed Round.

By Natalie Davis

4 mins

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Natalie Davis is a 2021 Educator Scholar from Bangor, Maine. She has taught English at Old Town High School for 15 years. Natalie earned a Master’s in Literacy from the University of Maine in 2012 and is working toward another graduate degree in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment at the University of Maine at Orono. In 2020, she co-designed a Humanities Diploma for Old Town High School, and this year co-teaches a seminar on human and civil rights. In her free time, Natalie can be found reading, baking, DIYing, dreaming of Disney, or on adventures with her dog, Stella. She loves to travel and learn about the stories of other people and places. In addition to classroom responsibilities, Natalie co-advises her school’s Student Council and continues to advise the Old Town Equity Committee (OTEC) which she founded with student Scholar Avery Ell. The Equity Committee’s mission is to provide their school with safe spaces, education and resources that increase equity and inclusion for all. With the help of BSP grant funds, OTEC has supplied free, high-quality period products in all female and gender-neutral bathrooms for three years. Participating in the Bezos Scholars Program was and continues to be transformative for Natalie, personally and professionally. 

Enjoy getting to know Natalie through nine semi-random questions and answers. 

What is currently piquing your interest? Equity in education and better providing equitable opportunities to all students. 

If you had a theme song, what would it be and why? Hmm... this is HARD. I think, at this moment, I’d choose “I’ll Be There for You” by The Rembrandts. I’m fortunate to have incredible people in my life who have never let me down and who I hope I never let down. (Don’t Rain on My Parade came in a very close second). 

Reflecting on a challenge you have faced, what was a choice you made during that time and the change that occurred because of it? Life is full of challenges. Every time I’m faced with one, I remember the advice my Nana gave me when I was 18. She said, “You have to live with yourself a lot longer than anyone else does,” and that stuck with me. Being true to myself and what I believe hasn’t always been easy, but knowing who I am and what I stand for has always been worth it. 

Scholar’s Choice Question: What’s the best show you’ve watched recently and why? 100% Ted Lasso. It should be required viewing for all humans. I am not a huge soccer fan, but the show is about so much more than that. It’s hard not to be a better person when you watch this show. 

At this moment in your life, what are you most proud of? I am proud to be a fiercely independent woman like my Nana. I’ve learned in the past few years just what a trailblazer she was as a single, working mother in the 60s-70s, and I like to imagine I’m taking full advantage of the trail she helped to blaze. 

Where is the next place on your travel bucket list? Why this location? Europe. I went to Ireland in 2016, and it’s been my goal to see more of Europe and the rich history in its streets, buildings, and the stories of its people. Also, I REALLY want to visit Richmond because … Ted Lasso. 

If you had a podcast, what would it be about? If I had a professional podcast, it would be about social-emotional learning, especially the unique needs of gifted students. If I had a personal podcast, it would be co-hosted with my friend, Coty, and we would discuss – unscripted – issues of equity and justice. 

What is something you’ve learned that you’d offer to others in the BSP Alumni Network as advice? I would encourage my fellow alums to be open-minded and open-hearted in all endeavors. Being open can sometimes foster the greatest changes. 

What is the one thing you’re deeply grateful for right now? Health. 

Thank you, Natalie! We’re grateful to have you as part of the Scholar community.