Eric Davis never wanted to work in a large school district.
Davis said he and his wife Kimberlee made the decision for him to pursue the principal’s vacancy at New Castle Elementary as principal and he can’t wait to get started.
“My wife and I are building a home in Smithfield and I have always enjoyed the way people treat you in a rural district,” Davis said. “I knew some teachers in the district ... I’ve met with the district instructional team (meeting of principals and superintendent in the Henry County Public Schools’ district) and I want to hit the ground running when I start on July 1.”
Abrams said Davis’ experience will be a great attribute to the district.
“I am very excited for Mr. Davis to begin working in the Henry County district. I know he is excited about not just being a principal but coming to the Henry County district,” Abrams said. “He has tremendous experience as an education recovery leader with the Kentucky Department of Education. He works in struggling schools to raise their student achievement.”
Davis attended Georgetown College where he majored in political science and minored in math. Davis thought he wanted to be a lawyer.
“I chatted with some lawyers and it was clear that I didn’t want to do that,” Davis said. “I minored in math, got my masters at Bellarmine and with my teaching certification was hired almost right of college in Spencer County.”
Davis taught a high school and middle school math class — one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Davis commuted and worked in the Spencer County School District for almost five years and served as the assistant middle school principal for two years.
He decided to take his recent job with the Kentucky Department of Education as an educational recovery specialist, working in priority schools. The state labels a school a priority school when it scores in the bottom five percent persistently in state mandated tests.
“I took the job to shore up my instructional leadership capabilities,” Davis said. “I lead professional development (sessions) with teachers in the Trimble County School District. Sometimes I will take over a class for a teacher to keep the kids in the right direction. Trimble County was part of a region with other priority schools like Iroquois and Wagner.”
Davis supports teaching staff in the Trimble County district with an emphasis in literacy and math. Davis doesn’t see the transition to New Castle Elementary as a problem.
“In terms of instruction, quality instruction is the same in the twelfth grade as the first,” Davis said. “Some factors are different, but quality instruction looks the same in how it is built and designed. I don’t think it will be a difficult transition. There will just be a difference in logistics as a principal.”
Davis doesn’t anticipate any sudden radical changes at New Castle Elementary once he officially takes the position in July.
“I’m not the kind of person who comes in and makes changes to their protocol,” Davis said. “That’s not my style and I don’t think its necessary. I will meet with staff and learn how they do things before I make any of those type of decisions.”
Davis emphasized the decision to come to the Henry County Public School District was a choice made on a foundation of family.
“My wife and I met in high school in Oldham County and started dating,” Davis said. “We dated for seven years all the way through college. We wanted to get married after we graduated from college.”
The couple married seven days after graduating from college. They now have a two-year old son named Owen. Davis’ wife works as a nurse in Louisville. She joined him at the Henry County School Board meeting last week.
“I wanted her to come with me so the board could see we made this decision as a family,” Davis said. “We both feel so welcomed. You’re treated different in a rural district and we are both very pleased for me to be here.”