She replaces A. Duane Arbogast, who was acting deputy superintendent for academics. Arbogast stepped into the acting position after former school superintendent William R. Hite Jr. abruptly left to become schools chief in Philadelphia. Arbogast has returned to his previous position as chief academic officer.
Davis is the first administrator that schools chief Kevin M. Maxwell has hired since he took the helm. Maxwell, who was the Anne Arundel school superintendent, officially started in Prince George’s on Aug. 1. He was selected for the job by County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D).
“She’s absolutely phenomenal,” Maxwell said of Davis. “I’ve known her for a good while. She’s just a competent, capable educator. She’s very well respected. She was here for her whole career and, like me, she grew up here, so she knows the school system.”
Davis graduated from Bowie High School and worked as a teacher at Thomas Pullen Creative and Performing Arts Schools, academic coordinator at Kettering Middle School and assistant principal at Glenarden Woods and Robert R. Gray elementary schools. She became a principal in 2003 at Henry G. Ferguson Elementary, which later became Accokeek Academy.
She left the county in 2010 to become senior manager for elementary schools in Anne Arundel. She went on to become regional assistant superintendent, responsible for 19 schools.
“I am ecstatic to be back home,” said Davis, a mother of two public school students. “It feels like I never left.”
Davis is also the wife of Del. Dereck E. Davis (D-Prince George’s), a Baker ally who sponsored the legislation to restructure the school system.
The new deputy superintendent said she plans to focus on increasing student achievement, ensuring that residents “know what great schools we have here,” expanding programs and retaining quality teachers.
Since Hite’s departure, a number of administrators have been working in acting capacities, which leaves Maxwell with a number of decisions to make.
But Maxwell said that for the last couple of weeks, he has been focusing on the start of school, which opened Monday. He said he plans to slowly make changes.