Faye Davis remembers 36 years
The bell rang on the first day at Manila School on Monday with one welcoming smile missing, that of Mrs. Faye. Faye Davis retired at the end of the 2013-14 school year with 36 years of service to the school. She had greeted students for over three and a half decades as she was known as Mrs. Faye.
Many of the students don't even know she has a last name.
"It was a wonderful experience to be able to go to work every day and love the job you have from the first to the last day," Davis said.
Davis graduated from Manila High School in 1965. She worked 13 years at a shoe factory before accepting a position as aide for the first grade at Manila Elementary. She also worked one year as librarian and that was a learning experience. She then started her secretarial position.
Mrs. Davis worked under five principals during her career, Mr. Herbert Adkins, Ms. Pam Castor, Ms. Dian Wagner, Mr. Dale Case and Ms. LeAnn Helms.
"It all started in elementary with Mr. Adkins," Davis said. "He was the all time greatest man."
Davis went from using a typewriter to the computer age.
Mrs. Castor was principal at the time she and Davis moved over to the middle school as Manila has continued to grow through the years.
"Mrs. Castor is such a wise and wonderful person," Davis said. "Mr. Case was good to work for. Mrs. Wagner was and still is a very good friend and a wonderful lady to work for. Mrs. Helms, the last principal I worked for, is a former Manila student and is such a working lady. I watched her grow up and then she became my boss. I am proud to have shared the years with each one of the principals I worked for."
Davis said she has watched the new buildings go up one by one and has seen the staff grow.
"The middle school students, staff, volunteers and administration are the best in the world," she said. "Co-workers become like an extended family. I will miss each and every one of them. Every birthday, secretary day, and Christmas the Manila staff was always so good to me. The memories, fun and laughter will always be in my heart. My own family has always been so supportive. Whiz (her husband) drove the Manila School bus and loved it for many years. Our daughter, Dixie (Terry), graduated from Manila School. We have three wonderful grandchildren, Jace, Mary Oliver and Jackson that we cherish.
"Retirement for me is bittersweet as I will miss the Manila Middle School students so much.
On the sweet side of the bittersweet, Davis said her life's journey is now retirement and she is looking forward to being home with her husband.
She and teacher Alice Massey were honored with a retirement party at the end of the last school year.
"I had my family, retired teachers I had worked with, the Manila Middle School staff, administration and past principals all there with me," Davis said. "Even the storm couldn't dampen the day."
Davis smiles as she shared a funny story when a parent came into the office to register her child and said, "Oh, you'll love Ms. Faye, she was here when I was in middle school."
"I don't think I ever had a last name," Davis said. "It is music to my ears to hear former students tell their story of school and to be a part of that memory."
Davis was presented with a plaque for her 36 years of service to the Manila School District.
"Time goes by quickly when you love what you do, and I looked forward to each new school year," Davis said. "I have been a Manila Lion most of my life and I will still be watching and listening for the good things in store in the future for our school."