The Richland School District Two Board of Trustees voted Monday to authorize Board Chairman James Manning to execute two contracts between the Board of Trustees and Dr. Baron R. Davis. Under the first contract, Dr. Davis will serve as superintendent elect from July 25, 2016–June 30, 2017.
Board Chairman James Manning said, “While the board has accepted Dr. Hamm’s retirement at the end of the 2016–2017 school year, she remains the district’s superintendent until July 1, 2017. We are committed to working together to make the 2016-2017 school year a success and to ensure a smooth and seamless transition to the new superintendent. Therefore, the Board decided that it was in the best interest of the district to select Dr. Davis as superintendent elect.
Richland Two Superintendent Dr. Debbie Hamm said, “I am very proud to know the district will be in great hands with Dr. Davis. He is an outstanding leader and a talented educator and truly has the best interests of students at heart. I look forward to working with him during my final year as Richland Two prepares for our next great chapter.”
Chairman Manning was also authorized to execute a separate three-year contract that names Dr. Davis superintendent beginning July 1, 2017.
“In Richland Two, we pride ourselves on a culture defined by a strong sense of community and family. Dr. Davis, like Dr. Hamm and other past superintendents, has served the district well in multiple positions. He has dedicated his life to the education of our children and the continuous improvement of our community, and he embodies the values and work ethic we believe are essential to the success of Richland Two now and in the future,” said Chairman Manning.
An educator for almost 20 years, Dr. Davis currently serves as one of the district’s assistant superintendents who support overall educational excellence in the schools by providing leadership, administrative direction, supervision and technical support.
Dr. Davis said, “I am beyond honored that the Richland Two Board of Trustees has entrusted me to follow Dr. Hamm as superintendent of our outstanding district. Dr. Hamm and I both recognize the ultimate reasons for our success come from our extraordinary coworkers, administrators, teachers, parents, students, retirees and community members. We all share a sense of urgency when it comes to providing all learners with meaningful, challenging and engaging learning experiences. Together we will continue our focus on learning, community, character and joy as we help students maximize their gifts and talents, enabling each to chart and navigate a personal pathway towards a purposeful and productive future.”
Dr. Davis earned a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from Francis Marion University. From the University of South Carolina, he earned master’s degrees in school counseling and educational administration, and Educational Specialist and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in educational counseling. He holds superintendent, school counseling, secondary principal and secondary supervision certifications. In addition to his formal educational training, Dr. Davis has participated and completed numerous educational leadership programs offered through the South Carolina Department of Education including the Tapping Executive Educators Program, the School Leadership Executive Institute and the South Carolina Education Policy Fellowship Program.
During his educational career, Dr. Davis has served as a successful school leader in rural, urban and suburban school systems where his schools were recognized for closing the achievement gap, increasing graduation rates and increasing Advanced Placement participation rates. While he was principal of Spring Valley, the school was recognized by the Washington Post as one of America’s Most Challenging High Schools and by Newsweek as one of America’s Top High Schools.
Dr. Davis’s support of education and his community extends beyond Richland Two. Currently, he serves on the Francis Marion University Alumni Board, the University of South Carolina Trio Programs Advisory Board, the South Carolina Male Achievement Conference Planning Committee, Rotary International (Spring Valley Club, Columbia SC), national and state associations of school administrators, and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. He participates in the City of Columbia’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative. Dr. Davis was inducted into the Columbia Housing Authority’s Wall of Fame in 2015 and in past years has given service to the University of South Carolina’s Department of Counselor Education Advisory Council and the SCASA Institute of Innovation Planning Committee.
Since assuming the role of assistant superintendent, Dr. Davis has helped to establish the Richland Two Assistant Principal Academy, the Administrators Development Series, the Training Administrators Program and the Administrators Mentoring Program. He has led the district in the implementation of a principal for a day program and the Richland Two Ready to Read book drive. Under his guidance, all five of the district’s high schools were accepted to TransformSC’s network of innovative schools in May 2016. He developed and assisted in the implementation of Richland Two’s district-wide mentoring program standards that now serves as the common framework for all current and future mentoring programs. In addition, Dr. Davis provides leadership and general oversight of the academic and programmatic development of the Richland Two Institute of Innovation, which will open in August 2016.
A native of Columbia, S.C., Dr. Davis is a member of the Brookland Baptist Church. He and his wife, Pam, are the proud parents of three daughters.