Moore Grateful for Her Elementary School Teacher

Davie Moore was surprised when she was named the 2022-2023 Cedar Hill ISD STEM Teacher of the Year at a ceremony last month.

Fourteen hundred and fifty-three miles and two time zones away, a retired Bakersfield, California educator named Ellen Patterson didn’t know what happened that evening in Cedar Hill, but she undoubtedly made it possible.

Moore, 35, entered the foster care system when she was 7 years old. The following year, she found a foster home that was both comforting and stable.

Moore’s foster parents – whom she refers to as her parents now – were very supportive. Her mother immigrated from Mexico as a teenager and her father grew up working long hours in agriculture. 

“They’re the reason I’m fluent in Spanish,” Moore said.

Moore’s foster parents met with Patterson to share her situation. Patterson, who could not be reached for this story, took it upon herself to devoting considerable time to Moore.

Moore, who’s now a second grade Mathematics/Science Teacher at Collegiate Prep, was not able to read at age 8, in the second grade. 

“I would not speak at school – I was very quiet,” Moore said. “I remember crying and feeling really lost.”

Patterson worked with her in second, and then, again in third grade.

By the time Moore completed elementary school, she was reading above grade level. She lived with the same foster family from age 8 to age 19. The couple would often serve as “emergency foster parents”, and Moore would help them take care of young children and even, infants.

Moore’s foster sister, Marisol Becerra, said she’s very proud of the success she’s achieved at Collegiate Prep.

“She was always a go-getter,” Becerra said. “She kept pushing forward, and she knew exactly what she wanted.”

Moore was a Battalion Commander at the JROTC in her high school, in Bakersfield. Upon graduation, she enlisted in the California Army National Guard and met the man who’s now her husband at basic training in Virginia.

When Moore moved to Texas, she began a Bachelor’s Degree from Grand Canyon University (GCU) and became the first member of her biological or foster family to graduate from college.

When she won STEM Teacher of the Year, Moore said the $5,000 school portion will go toward a district-wide STEM Literacy Night this fall. The $5,000 personal will go toward her Master’s Degree at GCU. When she completes it, Moore will become the first person in her family with a Master’s Degree.

Moore, who coordinates STEM programs at Collegiate Prep, recently received a $5,000 EM McDowell Grant for STEM supplies at Collegiate Prep.

She said her own educational experience inspires her with the scholars that she teaches each day.

“I can always guarantee a scholar will grow, even though it may take a couple of years,” Moore said.

Collegiate Prep Principal Dr. Xavier Lewis said he’s fortunate to have Moore on campus.

“I was honored to award one of the best educators I know, Davie Moore, our STEMSpired Teacher of the Year,” Lewis said. “Mrs. Moore is designing a competitive math team for our campus. She puts together all of the STEM activities and supplies for our entire campus.”