spotlight-category: Health, Sport, and Physical Education

Kyndal Davis ’15

Kyndal Davis receives award
The Health, Sport, and Physical Education Department presents The Outstanding Physical Education Major Award to the student who has excelled academically, professionally, and personally during their career at Gardner-Webb. The recipient of this award is Kyndal Bari Davis.

GWU Alumna enjoys chance to work with every student in her school

“They would also give us different scenarios that have happened or could happen and we had to figure out how to adjust accordingly. We had to practice thinking on our feet all the time. We also taught various lessons to our peers and we got the opportunity to teach at local elementary and middle schools.”

Nearly 700 students attend the elementary school in Chapel Hill, N.C., where Kyndal Davis ’15 teaches physical education. The Gardner-Webb University alumna sees them all twice a week. “I love that I get to see and work with all of the kids in the school,” Davis asserted. “I know pretty much every student from kindergarten all the way through fifth grade.”

The opportunity to work with different age groups led Davis to switch her major to physical education at the end of her sophomore year at GWU. “I had worked with children of all ages and simply couldn’t choose just one age group to work with,” Davis reflected. “I had been an athlete all my life, and I loved movement of any kind. I was never good at sitting still. I took a movement class for elementary teachers, which is truly what sparked my interest in changing majors.”

As she stands before groups with 32 to 50 children, Davis remembers the advice her professors gave most often. “Dr. Shonna Snyder, Mrs. Sara McNeely and Dr. Ken Baker preached about the importance of flexibility,” Davis affirmed. “You can’t get all bent out of shape if something doesn’t go the way you wanted it to or if you can’t do what you had originally planned. You keep a good attitude, make the necessary adjustments, and move on.”

She began her job with confidence, because of the real-life teaching situations Snyder and McNeely gave in class. “They would ask us the craziest, most off-the-wall questions that students had asked them or other teachers,” Davis recalled. “They would also give us different scenarios that have happened or could happen and we had to figure out how to adjust accordingly. We had to practice thinking on our feet all the time. We also taught various lessons to our peers and we got the opportunity to teach at local elementary and middle schools.”

Professors offered feedback on how she could improve her lesson plans and were always available if she had questions about certain topics. “I loved the Gardner-Webb community and how everyone looked out for everyone,” Davis observed. “Your professors and other staff members see you as an individual, not just a student. If I needed help in a class or if something was going on in my personal life, my friends, classmates or professors were always there for me. I still talk with my professors and several of the friends I made at Gardner-Webb on a regular basis. I received more than just a degree from Gardner-Webb; I gained a family for life.”

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