The relationship teachers have with their students in and out of the classroom is unique and special. Great teachers push their students to achieve more than they think they can, while also picking them up when they feel discouraged on the journey. One of our school leaders, Tom Davison, Head of School at BASIS Bilingual School Shenzhen, was recently recognized by one of his previous students for the impact he made that will continue to benefit the student throughout their life.

University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Award

Each year newly admitted University of Chicago students have the opportunity to reflect on their time in school and nominate an educator who played a significant role in their education, made a positive impact in their lives, and whose influence has brought them to where they are today.

They think carefully about their instruction. They share an infectious love for learning. They care about their students, both inside and outside the classroom. Outstanding educators go beyond everyday teaching and leave an impression that is carried over a lifetime.

They care about their students, both inside and outside the classroom.

BASIS International School Shenzhen Class of 2020 student Benny nominated Mr. Tom Davison, Head of School at BASIS Bilingual School Shenzhen for this award. In his words, “Work hard, ask questions, be nice. Thank you, Mr. Davison, for all your math, stories, and advice.”

University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Award

Upon receiving the award, Mr. Davison responded with, “I’m just one of a million teachers out there. It is special because it comes from one of my students, and teaching is all about the kids.”

This is not the first award Mr. Davison has won during his 30 year teaching career. In 2019, he was nominated as the Most Influential Teacher by a Presidential Scholar of that year.

The United States Presidential Scholars Program is a program of the Department of Education. It is described as “one of the Nation’s highest honors for students” in the United States and around the world. The program recognizes talented high school seniors for their accomplishments. Every year, only 161 students become Presidential Scholars.

The Presidential Scholar who nominated Mr. Davison was one he taught in the 6th and 7th grades.

By the time Class of 2019 student William was accepted into Stanford University and was selected as a Presidential Scholar of 2019, it was already five years later. When he was asked to name a teacher that has been the most influential in his learning journey, Mr. Davison immediately came to mind. William said, “If not for you insisting I learn Algebra 2 at BASIS in 6th grade, I wonder if I would get into Stanford.”

“If not for you…”

Many students pass through every teacher’s classroom over their career. Sometimes teachers may feel they are not making the difference they strive to make in their students’ lives. Then “if not for you…” and a student from many years ago remembers the impact that teacher had on their lives and carries it with them through their life. Congratulations Tom on an award well deserved!

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