Hillsborough County Schools Superintendent Addison Davis sits with School Board Chair Melissa Snively as he signs his contract to take on his new position.

Superintendent Davis offered this message for readers after his first nine months in Hillsborough County.

“My first month on the job at Hillsborough County Public Schools coincided with the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Within weeks as the new Superintendent, my staff and I were creating plans from scratch for virtual instruction along with daily meals to ensure all students’ needs were met while we couldn’t be with them physically. It was an unusual time for our district, but I truly believe it was an opportunity to show the community how our teachers, staff and district remain dedicated to our students even under the most challenging of circumstances.”

Originally printed May 2020.

Just four weeks into his new position as superintendent of the country’s seventh largest school district, with 280 schools, more than 220,000 students and more than 24,000 staff members, and Addison Davis is loving every minute.

He had two weeks before the COVID-19 restrictions forced the closing of schools through at least Friday, May 1, and he didn’t waste a minute.

“Before the virus hit, I had cleared my schedule from 7:30-12 Noon every day to get into the schools and meet teachers and students,” said Davis, who says that even in that short period of time, he learned that the Hillsborough County staff is filled with high-quality, skilled teachers that deserve their district’s support.

“We need to mainstream our curriculum,” he explained. “We have a lot of independent contractors and we need a centralized curriculum and support for teachers and a method to allow us to determine our overall return on investment.”

It’s this straight-to-the point and matter-of-fact effort that made Davis a very popular administrator in Duval County, where he had been a teacher and principal before becoming Chief of Schools. In 2016, he was elected to the Clay County superintendent position and was nominated for national awards.

The Davis family will make Hillsborough County home starting this summer and includes his wife, Natalie, who works in the Insurance business, and two daughters, including one who will be a high school freshman in the fall and plays travel volleyball and a daughter who is a freshman softball player at the University of Central Florida.

For more information or to reach Davis, visit www.sdhc.k12.fl.us.

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Marie is the Managing Editor at the Osprey Observer. She covers news, transportation, education and likes to make a positive impact on the community and be 'in the know'!