by Morgan Smith
Mark Davis grew up in education. Coming from a line of educators and administrators, it’s no surprise he entered the field, nor is it a surprise he’s been successful.
Davis is the new head of school at Covenant Day School. He hit the job head-on just one week ago, and so far, he said he loves Matthews and the Covenant Day community.
“I’ve met the people at Covenant Day – the parents I’ve met, the students I’ve met, staff and leaders… for me, it all comes down to the fantastic people I’ve met who will first and foremost receive my undivided attention,” Davis said.
Davis comes to Covenant Day from Lexington Christian Academy in suburban Boston after former head of school Marni Halvorson retired last year. He holds a bachelors from Northwestern College and a masters from University of South Florida.
Davis began his career as a teacher, primarily in the Bradenton, Fla., area. He says it was the line of educators before him that inspired him to enter the profession.
“When I think about it, my grandfather was the superintendent of the county public school system I attended when I was a boy. My uncle was a high school principal in that same school district and my dad was a teacher and a coach in the same system, so I come from a family of educators,” he said. “I don’t know if I ever really knew that I wanted to teach and coach, but I gave it a try and when I found out I really like high school-age kids, I learned I really liked middle and elementary, too.”
After teaching, Davis moved to Chattanooga, Tenn., where he worked in administration for the first time as a principal at Chattanooga Christian School for 11 years. He then became head of school at Phil-Mont Christian Academy in Philadelphia, Pa., where he spent six years before heading to Lexington Christian Academy in Boston, Mass. He also served six years on the board of trustees for Christian Schools International, where he served as chairman his last year.
“I think I’ve always really enjoyed being in leadership roles and being challenged,” Davis said. “I would say the combination of leadership and appreciation of challenges in life has really made me a good administrator.”
In coming to Covenant Day and Matthews, Davis said he looked at the school’s beliefs and practices and the community the school served.
“I found that Covenant Day was a school that was very interested in all the areas that are very important to me. I felt like it was going to be a good fit,” he said, adding that he made the decision with his family, as well.
“My family and I always make these decisions together and they were very excited about being a part of this community. I’m a believer that God leads us in our lives,” he said.
Davis moved with his wife, Rose, and two of his four children, Liza and Nate. Both Liza and Nate will go off to college this fall, with Nate starting as a freshman at Central Piedmont Community College. The family lives in Matthews.
It’s only been a few days since the family moved to town, and so far, Davis said he’s been listening and is excited to begin work with the executive board of the school.
“My plans for Covenant Day are to work through a strategic vision that the executive board will partner with me on and to build on the work Dr. Halvorson did,” he added. “I’m doing a lot of listening, which is really important for a leader – to be a good listener.”
In his spare time, Davis enjoys working out with his son and spending time with his dogs. He also likes to read and play golf.
“I enjoy the fine arts and I enjoy athletics,” he said. Davis also was a basketball and golf coach for many years. “But also my wife and I enjoy getting out in the community and being a part of the broader communities that we live.”
The family recently moved to Matthews. “I’m excited to do that here in Matthews,” he said. “I do think it’s important to invest in the community you live in and we do plan to do that.”