Determining a long-term vision for the Huntsville School District is at the top of Tammi Davis’ to-do list after being named superintendent through December last Monday.
Davis was named to the position in the interim following the resignation of former Superintendent Clint Jones, who resigned last Monday after accepting a job with the University of Arkansas’ Leadership Academy. Davis has been with the district for 15 years, and said on Monday that she plans to put her name in the hat when the Huntsville School Board begins taking applications for the position on a long-term basis.
“[The job] will be posted at some point probably in August, and I would guess those applications will go straight to the board president,” Davis said. “I expect to pursue it permanently.”
Huntsville School Board Lenora Thompson Riedel said last Monday that the board wants to take its time in selecting Jones’ permanent replacement.
“We want to make sure that we find the best person for the job,” Riedel said. Whether it takes six months to a year, we’re going to search and search and make sure it’s the right person for the school, for the kids and for our community.”
Davis was appointed to the assistant superintendent role in the summer of 2015 following the retirement of Robert Allen. Allen served as the district superintendent, but moved to the assistant position following his retirement announcement and Jones’ hiring.
The assistant position will not be filled through the remainder of the year, Davis said on Monday. She said the duties she had as assistant superintendent – which encompassed curriculum, professional development and more – have been distributed among other administrative officials within the district.
“Fortunately, I have a great administrative team and central office staff, and they will be helping me with those duties,” she said. “I’m very appreciative of them for being so willing to step up and help.”
Among her top priorities, Davis said, will be establishing a vision for the district moving forward. She said that will take a lot of input – from administration, teachers and the community – and she hopes to get the district’s community action committee together more.
“I really want us to have a set vision for our district,” Davis said. “I think that will help us get focused on what we’re doing with the kids, and I want a lot of input on that.”
Davis also complimented Jones’ progress in curriculum development, keeping the district within budget, upgrading security systems at each campus and bringing raises to employees.
“Dr. Jones did a wonderful job of establishing direction I think for us as a district, and we have been able to get some things done in curriculum and just as a systemic K-12 environment that we weren’t able to accomplish in the past,” she said.
Thompson said last week that the board was excited to place Davis into the position in the interim.
“I think she has enough knowledge to do a great job, and that’s one thing we told her, that we are very supportive of her and we want her to know we’re behind her 100 percent,” Riedel said.
Davis will earn the superintendent’s salary through the remainder of the year, Riedel said.
Davis said on Monday that she is “very honored” to have been selected by the board to fill the position in the interim.
“This is a great community,” she said. “We have good kids here and good families. I know that because I’m a product of Madison County education. I’ve lived here, this is where I’m from and this is where our family’s from.
“I’m just looking forward to the next few months – and year hopefully – working with our teachers, faculty and administration team and our community to move our district forward.”