CHIPLEY - It's no wonder why a band parent nominated Chipley High School Band Director Richard Davenport for the Amazing Teacher Award.

Davenport has spent the last 19 of 29 years teaching the rudiments of life skills through music education.

"My philosophy is to teach the kids skills they can use out in the real world - working with a team, having goals and working towards those goals, coming up with a plan to work toward those goals, learning responsibility," Davenport said, moments after The News and Times-Advertiser Publisher Nicole Barefield and Vice President and Financial Center Manager at First Federal Bank Marisa Everett presented him with the award Monday afternoon.

"I just use music as the vehicle to do that."

Originally starting in high school on the baritone and tuba, which led him to be awarded a scholarship to Florida State University, Davenport plays all other instruments - something he committed to do in order to provide expertise to his bands.

In addition to teaching jazz, symphonic, percussion and marching band, Davenport also instructs color guard and chorus.

His nominator praised his ability to create a family-bond with the students.

"He has instilled in my daughter a love of music and family," the person wrote. "The band is now her family. I couldn't imagine her being at any other school with anyone else teaching band."

From Superintendent Joseph Taylor attending every band performance to the parents who do concessions - Davenport can speak to the value of having support.

"Band program has been very good to me because the kids love it," he said. "I've had super supportive administration, which makes a huge different in a small school."

"That means a lot to these kids," he said after listing a number of people who show support.

"It's a great package," he added. "I wouldn't rather be anywhere else - I'd rather be right here."

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