“Ballard! You finally tracked me down!” Davis says to Ed staffer Ballard Jones, from behind her desk in her new position as Principal at Ossie Ware Mitchell Middle School.
Over the course of a year, Jones and Davis have built an easy rapport, working together on College 101 during her time as interim principal at Woodlawn High School. Davis also played a major role in many of the successes that Ed enjoyed with other programs such as the College Prep Institute and Bridging the Gap.
Ms. Davis has been in Birmingham City Schools for sixteen years, beginning her career at Woodlawn as a special education teacher, and moving through the ranks as assistant principal, interim principal, and now principal. Davis graduated from Jackson State University with a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education; she also holds a Masters in Collaborative Teaching and Special Education from ASU and an EDS in Educational Leadership from UAB.
When asked about what it is that she does to ensure her students are getting the most out of their education, Davis explained that partnering with outside organizations – such as Ed and Church of the Highlands – helps keep learning fresh and lessens the load on teachers by utilizing the strengths of community organizations. Davis also said that she wants her students and teachers focused on college and career readiness, which, at Woodlawn, was emphasized in the Academy of Business and Finance, and the new Academy of Arts and Environmental Science. Ms. Davis also places special emphasis on project based learning, which she says “gives students the opportunity to collaborate and push their own thinking.”
As for her work with Ed, Ms. Davis said that Ed “not only talked about what [Ed planned] to do, but actually brought resources to the table to accomplish those outcomes.” Davis said that working with Ed helped her accomplish her mission for the school because the “programs are consistent with what [staff are] trying to do at the school level.”
Then she, pauses, shoots a glance at Ballard and adds with a laugh: “you were definitely persistent as well.”