Kevin Davenport wins FLATE 2023 Distinguished Manufacturing Secondary Educator-of-the-Year

Kevin Davenport, Instructor of Engineering & Manufacturing at The Academy of Engineering & Environmental Science at Creekside High School in St. Johns, FL is the recipient of the 2023 Distinguished Manufacturing Secondary Educator-of-the-Year Award. The Award represents a joint effort between FLATE (Florida Advanced Technological Education Center), FloridaMakes and FAITE (Florida Association for Industrial and Technical Educators) to recognize contributions of educators and industries in advancing technician education and training on a regional and statewide level. Kevin will be recognized at the Florida Association for Career and Technical Education (FACTE) Annual Conference & Trade Show that will be held July 17-19, 2023 at the SeaWorld Renaissance in Orlando, FL where the winners will also serve as panelists for the Best Practice Award Winners Panel.

Kevin Davenport is a 13-year veteran teaching in St. Johns County School District’s Career and Technical Education department. He is a licensed engineer and has over 30 years of industry experience including founding, acquiring, selling, and transitioning multiple engineering consulting firms.

Mr. Davenport’s true passion is training students for, and aligning them with, powerful opportunities for their future. Specifically, his interests are creating business partnerships, student mentoring opportunities and internships to supercharge student growth and interest in the STEM and manufacturing fields.

The Creekside High School students (where Mr. Davenport teaches) learn foundational engineering, manufacturing, design, and innovation skills in a 4-year program in the Academy of Engineering and Environmental Science – a Florida Career Academy designed to teach a sequence of courses around a specific career choice or theme. Students in the Engineering Tract at the Academy can earn Industry certifications while in the program and include Manufacturing Skills Standards Council Certified Production Technician (MSSC-CPT) certification; Autodesk’s AutoCAD, Inventor, and Revit certifications; OSHA 10; Intuit’s Entrepreneurship and Small Business certificate; and PIM’s Project Management Ready certification.

Mr. Davenport is the sponsor and lead mentor for Creekside’s FIRST Robotics Team 8775. In addition to robotics, he leads several extracurricular activities including Engineering Club, Society of Women Engineers, National Technical Honor Society and ACE Mentoring.

The culmination of many of Creekside’s student’s high school careers is obtaining one of approximately 25 summer internships in the industry. These opportunities exist because Mr. Davenport has maintained and curated relationships with the sponsoring companies and organizations.

Mr. Davenport believes that “Manufacturing and STEM education are foundational to the future economic success of this country. In the words of Lee Iacocca, “A country’s competitiveness starts not on the factory floor or in the engineering lab. It starts in the classroom.” Overcoming the potential stigma of manufacturing as mundane or repetitive is important, as advanced manufacturing today is anything but. Manufacturing and STEM education can function as a catalyst for students, igniting a passion which may have gone undiscovered. These classes give students the opportunity to establish a relationship between what they’re learning in their core classes and real-world applications.”

Along with teaching and mentoring his students, Mr. Davenport has contributed to manufacturing education in a host of other ways. These include:
  • Host and Organizer of “Introduce a Girl to Engineering” 2023
  • Society of Manufacturing Engineers scholarship reviewer 2022
  • Founder and President of education non-profit 2022-current
  • National Defense Industry SOAR STEM Trade and Career Symposium Planning Committee 2022
  • National ACE Mentoring Champion Award 2021-2022
  • Department Head for CTE at Creekside High School 2021-present
  • Engineering Coordinator for St. Johns County Schools 2021-present
  • Adjunct Professor - St. Johns River State College - Advanced Manufacturing 2020-2021
  • FIRST Robotics team sponsor 2019-current
  • National Technical Honor Society sponsor 2019-present
  • ACE Mentoring Teacher of the Year 2018-2019
  • MSSC Certified Instructor 2018-present
  • Society of Women Engineers sponsor 2017-present
  • Northeast Florida Engineering Teacher of the Year 2016-2017
  • Creekside High School Rookie Teacher of the Year 2011-2012
  • Engineering Club sponsor 2010-present
Mr. Davenport holds fast to the belief that most of the “good stuff” happens outside the confines of the traditional school day. His students are frequently found in his classroom before the first bell and after the last, engaging in skill sessions with the Florida Civil Educators Foundation, listening to guest speakers present STEM topics, developing patents, fine-tuning projects and building/programming robots. A newer project has taken the students back in time. They’re designing and fabricating parts for “Lucky 13” – an international effort to restore a WWII B-17 bomber. The fact that many of these activities run simultaneously is a testament to Kevin’s ability to lead and to the students’ respect for him. Students from other high schools and from home-schools also benefit from his knowledge!

Join us in congratulating Kevin Davenport as the recipient of the 2023 Distinguished Manufacturing Secondary Educator-of-the-Year!

For information on the FLATE Awards visit, or contact Executive Director of FLATE, Mr. Ernie Friend or Senior Education Advisor, Dr. Marilyn Barger.


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