Columbus State Honors Longtime, Distinguished Educators

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Columbus State University’s fifth College of Education Hall of Fame inductee class is a trio of math, science and English specialists cited for making extraordinary contributions to the teaching profession.

This year’s class, Lucy Davis McGuffey, the late Tom Meltzer (represented by his widow, Maria Meltzer) and Beverly Davis, were cited by nominators for impacting students’ and colleagues’ lives at the middle, high school and college levels in Columbus over several decades.

Their induction to the hall of fame was part of CSU’s recent College of Education and Alumni Association Awards Banquet.

Meltzer earned an associate degree in 1965 from Columbus College and returned to earn a specialist degree in science education. He was the Muscogee County School District science consultant and instructional specialist from 1993 through his retirement in 2001. He died later that year, leaving a legacy of mentoring both students and teaching colleagues through his 31-year career that included teaching science at Kendrick (1969-1978) and Shaw (1978-1993) high schools.

Beverly Davis, Maria Meltzer (representing her late husband, Tom Meltzer) and Lucy Davis McGuffey.At Shaw, he chaired the science department and guided students who excelled in local, regional and statewide science fair competitions.

He also taught evening and summer biology and zoology courses at CSU as an adjunct professor and contributed to the development of the Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center.

He participated in various CSU-MCSD collaborative programs, including Partners in Education, the Columbus Regional Mathematics Collaborative and as a judge for regional, CSU-hosted Science Olympiad competitions.

“He was a remarkable advisor and spent hours beyond the normal workday designing lessons which could be used in the individualized, interactive, hands-on classroom,” said one of Meltzer’s nominators. “He knew how to make science come alive.”

Beverly Davis enters the hall of fame as she prepares to retire this summer as dean of CSU’s University College, where she has guided the university’s basic studies department and the Honors, Servant Leadership and First Year Experience programs.

Davis, who holds an education specialist degree in mathematics education from CSU, “is highly respected by her peers and adored by her faculty and staff because she leads with quiet dignity and bedrock ethics,” said one of her nominators.

In a 38-year career as an educator in Columbus, she has taught mathematics at the middle, high school and college levels. She joined the CSU faculty in 1988, was named the university’s 2005-2006 Educator of the Year and became chair of basic studies in 1998 and University College dean in 2000.

Among community service activities, she tutors third- through-fifth-graders in math at the Girls Inc. of Columbus Booker T. Washington Center and serves Fourth Street Missionary Baptist Church in Columbus as a Sunday school teacher for high school students and as a math tutor for the church’s after-school program.

Lucy Davis McGuffey, who holds a T-5 certificate in English from CSU, teaches entrepreneurship, workplace readiness, English, coordinates the school store and serves as webmaster for the MCSD’s Academic Success Center.

She joined the center in 2003 after 26 years of teaching English and journalism in the district, starting her career at Alabama’s Andalusia High School (1972-1977).

A nominator said McGuffey displays “true compassion for at-risk students,” reflective of her traveling to a Romanian orphanage and adopting a 2-year-old boy, now 13.

She also holds high expectations for her students, who create career manuals, write resumes, create business cards and role-play job interviews in her “Workplace Readiness” class. “She expects students to demonstrate integrity and will let them know when they fall short,” the nominator said. “Lucy believes in her students and encourages them to believe in themselves.”

Another nominator said McGuffey has delivered on the traits attributed to her. “This phenomenal lady has greatly impacted the lives of many at-risk students and guided them in the development of skills that will be utilized throughout their lives.”

She also serves on the Georgia Department of Education Alternative Education Advisory Committee and the 2009 Georgia Conference Planning Committee.

College of Education Hall of Fame inductees are selected by a committee of current and former CSU personnel and off-campus community leaders. Nominees must hold a degree or certification endorsement from CSU and have at least 15 years of service in a preschool- through college setting.

For more information, contact Roger Hatcher, director of the Center for Quality Teaching and Learning, at 706-565-3646 or 706-565-3645.