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ELC Santa Barbara Teacher Spotlight: Michael Davenport May 30th, 2014
The Godfather of ELC Santa Barbara – Michael Davenport Michael. Miek. Maike. Teacher Mike. Whatever you choose to call him, Michael Davenport has been an essential piece to ELC. From working at the original ELC Santa Barbara location on State Street 12 years ago, to now, Michael has seen the evolution and transformation of this wonderful school. I wanted to pick his brain about the changes he’s seen at ELC along the way.

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How many years have you worked for ELC? Michael Davenport: Total of about 4 years, two at the old location and two here.

What was the school like then? MD: We had a great location on State Street with a balcony. And the Fiesta parade was always a big event because we could stand on the balcony or just step outside and be in the parade. If the sidewalk got too crowded, we could just go up to the balcony.

The amount of teachers was about the same as now. I’m still in touch with teachers that I knew from the old days; the friendships still exist. In fact, it was one of those teachers that helped me back into the ELC profession 2 years ago. I felt lucky to work for ELC because I moved here from Los Angeles and interviewed at ELC, EF, and ELS. I got offers from two but am glad I chose ELC! It was the best decision I could’ve made.

What were the first students like?

MD: Technology wasn’t as pervasive in our lives as it is today. Then, the students hadn’t grown up with technology from when they were babies. Students today have. Back then, cell phones weren’t quite the addiction they have become today. Students had a longer attention span than they do now. So students are different today than they were 12 years ago. Does that mean better or worse? I’m not sure.

Have students changed since then?

MD: Only in terms of technology. Otherwise, young people are young people. They still have the same interests, hopes, and dreams that they’ve always had.

How is ELC different now?

MD: The previous ELC school was in an old building and there were always plumbing and elevator problems. But the new ELC is a shiny, brand new school and we love it.

What is your favorite thing about ELC? MD: Easily the people: my directors, the staff, the students, everybody here. It’s a great job to begin with, but it’s the people that make it really something exceptional.

Is there any one special memory? MD: Just one, are you kidding!?

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