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Clarke County School Board Member Greg Davis Is Resigning

School board member Greg Davis. Credit: Adria Carpenter/file

Board of Education member Greg Davis said at Thursday’s school board meeting that he will resign effect June 1, and asked that whoever wins the May 24 election to replace him be appointed to serve the remainder of his term.

Davis cited several reasons for resigning before his term ends in January: not wanting to be a lame duck, a desire for the incoming District 1 representative to be involved in the hiring of a new superintendent, lingering pain stemming from former superintendent Demond Means’ contentious tenure and frustration over what he called a bloated central office.

Heidi Hensley and James Alexander are running for the District 1 seat, and according to Davis, both have agreed to be sworn in early. However, it’s unclear what process the school board will follow. Ordinarily, the board would solicit applications and then appoint someone from among the applicants to fill a vacancy.

Davis’ full remarks are below:

I am expecting that tonight will be my last regular board meeting as a board member. There are two people running for District 1 school board, and I have asked each of them if they would be willing to be sworn into office in time for the June work session. It is my hope that this will make easy work for finding a replacement for the remaining seven months of my term. My reasoning for resigning as of June 1 is thus:

First, I have never agreed with lame duck elected officials serving month after month following the election.  At least in my case, I believe that I would be ineffective as a school board member in such a situation.

Second, the board is starting the process of hiring another CCSD superintendent, and the new District 1 School Board member should be on the ground floor of that decision.  I do not wish to weigh in on long-range decisions that my replacement will experience the consequences.

Third, I am still pained by the contentious experience of removing the previous superintendent. Under his leadership, I experienced my greatest hope and my greatest disappointment as a school board member.

Fourth, I am beyond frustrated with a bloated central office staff that takes away resources that should go directly to the schools. The challenges of treating the emotional/social needs of our children and their families can only be addressed though school staff interaction day in and day out. I believe the more teachers, para-pros, behavioral specialists, social workers, counselors we have available in the schools, the better we can address the behaviors that interfere with teaching. For instance, Restorative Justice Practices is not a program taught virtually, but a life-style change in a school that takes much human capital.

Fifth, I am not sure that this board fully appreciates that the teacher student relationship is mostly impacted by the principal teacher relationship. Thus, as a consequence, we evaluate on statistical data not empirical data. Cut off from visiting schools, this is to be expected.

In conclusion, I do appreciate each of my fellow board members for the many hours they put in trying to find the best ways to address the needs of our students, parents and community. I appreciate our superintendent for stepping into a position for which she did not seek but was best suited for given the circumstances. Lastly, I so much appreciate the hard work of our teachers and staff at all levels.