He's a beloved educator at Lawton Public Schools, but assistant superintendent Billy Davis had a really inauspicious start to his teaching career.
His first teaching job was at Hoover Elementary School (now Ridgecrest Elementary) in 1971.
"I taught a week, then I had to go to Fort Polk, La., because I was in the National Guard," Davis said. "I was gone three months and seven days. And when I got back in January, I had 34 fifth-graders. Eight of them at that time had been retained at least one year. Two of them went to Dr. Ted Stevens twice a week for psychological counseling. And I had a little girl who carried knives and razor blades in her socks and shoes and tried to use them on people. If I hadn't been too big to bawl, I would have just cried and thought I made a cardinal mistake."
But he learned from that rocky start. Davis said the experience taught him what it is like to be the substitute teacher which is exactly what it was like to take over from another teacher after a whole semester and the importance of getting things done the right way from the very beginning.
He taught at Hoover for three more years, then became the curriculum director at Douglass Learning Center, which had recently started an extended day program for students whose parents had to work long hours and couldn't be with them immediately after school.