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Published on July 4th, 2017 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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THE TORCH PASSES IN RICHLAND TWO

Pictured Dr. Baron R. Davis.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — After a year as superintendent-elect, Dr. Baron R. Davis came to work as superintendent of Richland School District Two.

Dr. Davis said, “As the Richland Two Board of Trustees and Dr. Debbie Hamm pass the Richland Two Torch of Leadership forward, I stand ready to accept it. I pledge to the Richland Two employees, students, parents, residents, businesses, faith-based organizations, government entities and elected officials, and all other partners to be a source of support, encouragement and guidance. I will work tirelessly to foster a professional, but family-orientated culture and environment — a culture and environment that is committed to excellence without compromise.”

The Richland Two family and community are invited to attend a Meet and Greet drop-in for Davis on Tuesday, July 11, from 6–7 p.m. The event will be held at the Richland Two Institute of Innovation (R2i2), 763 Fashion Drive, prior to the Richland Two Board of Trustees meeting that begins at 7 p.m.

When Dr. Debbie Hamm, who served as superintendent of Richland Two from 2013–June 2017, announced her plans to retire at the end of the 2016–2017 school year, the Richland Two Board of Trustees chose Davis as her successor.

James Manning, chair of the Board of Trustees at the time, said, “We were 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 for one year and to offer him a three-year contract to serve as superintendent beginning July 1, 2017.”

An educator for almost 20 years, Davis served as one of the district’s assistant superintendents prior to his transition year as superintendent-elect. As an assistant superintendent, he supported overall educational excellence in the schools by providing leadership, administrative direction, supervision and technical support.

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, 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, and the Riley Institute at Furman University Diversity Leaders Initiative.

During his educational career, 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 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.

In the role of assistant superintendent, Davis helped to establish the Richland Two Assistant Principal Academy, the Administrators Development Series, the Training Administrators Program and the Administrators Mentoring Program. Under his guidance, all five of the district’s high schools were accepted to TransformSC’s network of innovative schools in May 2016. He also provided overall supervision for the opening of R2i2; which included the selection, development and implementation of academic areas of focus, course development, establishment of partnerships, selection of personnel, development of organizational structure, building supervision, and day-to-day operations.

Davis’s support of education and his community extends beyond Richland Two. He has served as a principal mentor and coach for induction principals participating in the South Carolina Department of Education’s Office of School Leadership Principal Induction Program.  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 S.C.), national and state associations of school administrators, and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. (Omicron Phi Chapter). He participates in the City of Columbia’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative. 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. Most recently, Davis was selected as the 2017 Administrator of the Year for both the Richland County Education Office Professionals and the National Association of Education Office Professionals.

Davis, a Columbia native, is a member of Brookland Baptist Church. He and his wife, Pamela, have three daughters, all of whom attend school in Richland Two.

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