Woodward Teacher Part Of PBS' 'American Graduate Day'

Oct 13, 2017

Woodward Career Technical High School building technologies instructor West Davis will be one of many mentors featured on PBS' sixth annual national "American Graduate Day" telecast 2-6 p.m. Saturday Oct. 14 on WCET-TV (Channel 48).

West Davis
Credit WCET-TV

Soledad O'Brien will host the telecast showing inspiring individuals and organizations helping students graduate high school and achieve success in the workforce.

Celebrity guests to appear include Springfield native John Legend, golfer Phil Mickelson, General and Mrs. Colin Powell, ballet dancer Misty Copeland, "Shark Tank" investor Daymond John, chef Marcus Samuelsson and "CBS Sunday Morning" host Jane Pauley.

In a 90-second video produced by CET, Davis is shown encouraging students learning construction skills at Woodward.

Davis explains his demanding teaching style in the video: "I'm going to be hard on you, because I believe in you. You need to believe in yourself."

He's just "giving them (students) the confidence and assurance that you can be successful, that you're going to make it. (I'm) giving them hope."

West Davis reviewing blueprints with his students.
Credit WCET-TV

During local portions of the telecast, videos will profile two others: Tim Arnold, CEO of Lawn Life, an organization designed to provide disconnected youth with an opportunity to gain real work experience and transferable skills; and Wayne Ivy, Career Advancement and Alumni Relations director at Per Scholas Cincinnati, who works with people transitioning into IT careers.

"American Graduate Day" will be broadcast live from New York's WNET-TV and streamed on americangraduate.org. Since 2012, it has "focused on telling stories, creating resources and building community connections to move students successfully from early education through high school graduation," says the CET media release.

"With the graduation rate now at an all-time high, American Graduate Day is expanding the conversation and stories beyond the high school diploma, highlighting workforce trends, career pathways and job opportunities, and the necessary skills to meet industry needs in every community across America," the CET release says.