Yolanda Dowling-Dickey retired after 24 years working as an educator.

On May 22, Riverview High School celebrated three teachers who are retiring at the end of the school year. Assistant principal of student affairs Yolanda Dowling-Dickey and band director John Davis are retiring from their respective positions, and assistant principal of administration Kevin Massena is stepping down to return to teaching this year.

The after-school celebration gave family, friends and coworkers of the retirees the opportunity to recognize the teachers’ dedication to the High School.

“Monday’s celebration was a wonderful tribute, unexpected and full of tearful surprises. My community … showed up for me and it was an overwhelming experience. I felt truly loved and appreciated. It made my journey even more rewarding than I could have dreamed,” said Dowling-Dickey.

Dowling-Dickey began working at Riverview High School in 1999 in the Student Affairs Office. She taught at Brandon High School for the first seven years of her career before taking on the role as the assistant principal of student affairs with the Sharks.

“I am most proud of the connections I have made with everyone who has entered RVHS. I have taught generations of students, and although I may have had to assign discipline many times, they were always appreciative of how I would communicate and care for them,” said Dowling-Dickey.

She plans to spend her retirement with her friends and family, including her daughter, Alexis, who is graduating from Riverview this year.

Davis has worked at Riverview since 2007 and has worked to grow his Blue Coat Regiment marching band. With his leadership and guidance, the band earned 10 consecutive Superior ratings at the Marching MPA and were grand champions at the FMBC Regional Contest every year since 2018, except for the COVID-19 year. Davis’ students in Winter Guard, Wind Ensemble and indoor drumline have won numerous awards with his support as well.

“Besides getting to be a small part of the lives of some absolutely wonderful students and families, [the most rewarding part is] knowing that I’ve positively influenced an entire community’s perception of its music program and its school,” said Davis.

Massena is stepping down from his role as an assistant principal of administration to return to the classroom as a teacher after 30 years as well.

Previous articleThe Tampa Branch Of The National League Of American Pen Women Celebrates 85 Years
Next articleHillsborough County Tax Collector Announces Winners Of The 2023 Kids Tag Art Program
Lily Belcher
Lily Belcher is a writer for the Osprey Observer. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey Observer since completing her internship. Lily is majoring in mass communications at the University of South Florida and is a staff writer for the university’s paper, The Oracle. She enjoys writing about local nonprofit organizations and community role models who have made an impact on her hometown.