One man’s love for history changed the lives of thousands of students


Charles Davis taught history for 43 years. Due to health issues, he made the decision to retire. 

Students say Davis made his class interesteing by bringing his lessons to life. 

“He taught history like it was a story,” former student and colleague, Ryan Empson, said. 

According to Davis, he was doing what was in the best interest of his students.

“It was my job. If I [had] a kid who was bored in class, I needed to do something about that,” Davis said.  

Teaching at several schools around Louisiana and marrying a fellow teacher himself, he says he knew this was the right career choice for him.

“The most gratifying thing is the individual student on a daily basis you’ll see improve, mature, grow up, and just become wonderful young people that have the opportunity to become,” Davis said. “If I could have never left my classroom, I would have been most happy just knowing that I was standing in front of kids and enjoying their accomplishments.”

But every good thing comes to an end. Due to health issues he had to retire but he says he feels good knowing that he left a legacy behind.

Former student turned colleague Ryan Empson, is following in his footsteps. In the late 1990’s Davis was Empson’s history teacher.

When it was time for Empson to pick a career, he says it was because of the love he was shown by his former teacher Mr. Davis that he knew what he wanted to do.

“if I was going to do something for 30+ years of my life I figured it’s a pretty awesome way to do your job,” Empson said. 

Years have passed and two remained good friends. When it was time to pick out a god father for his youngest son, he knew there was only one person fit for the job. 

“Our families are really families together. We’re not just former co-workers. It’s not something where it’s a teacher student relationship its actually been a family bond that’s been established between the two of us,” Empson said.

Now that Davis has retired, Empson says he will continue to follow in his footsteps. Davis says he couldn’t be prouder.

Davis plans on keeping himself busy. He says that when he gets his health issues in order, he is considering being a guide in a history museum.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Stay up to date with the latest news by downloading the BRProud App from the App Store or Google Play.

Trending Stories