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The Richland Two Board of Trustees concluded the annual evaluation process for Superintendent Dr. Baron R. Davis at a special called board meeting on September 22, 2021. 

As a result of an overall distinguished evaluation for the 2020-2021 school year, the board voted to execute an amendment to the superintendent’s contract with the District. The approved amendments include a one-year extension to his contract, through June 30, 2025, (previously approved at the board meeting on August 10, 2021); an additional four percent (4%) increase in his annual salary, effective July 1, 2021; severance pay the equivalent of 18 months of the superintendent’s annual salary in the event the board acts pursuant to Section 11(d) of the contract; and provision of payment to the estate of the superintendent for any unused leave, to the extent provided for in board policy.

The board conducted the evaluation of Davis at the regularly scheduled Board Meeting on Tuesday, August 10, 2021, and voted at that meeting to award him an overall distinguished evaluation for the 2020-2021 school year and to extend his contract with the district for one year through June 30, 2025. During the executive session on August 10, 2021, board members assessed Dr. Davis’ performance in the areas of Policy and Governance; Planning and Assessment; Instructional Leadership; Organizational Management; Communications and Community Relations; and Professionalism. An educator for more than 20 years, Dr. Davis has been superintendent since July 2017 after serving a transition year as the superintendent-elect. 

“One of the greatest honors of my career has been serving the students and families of Richland Two. I am blessed, humbled and thankful for God’s favor, grace and mercy. I am keenly aware of His purpose for my life. It’s not an accident that I’m the first African-American to serve as superintendent and principal of Spring Valley High School,” said Dr. Davis. “I can’t thank the board, my staff, this community and my family enough for their support. There is no place I would rather be and no school district I would rather lead than Richland Two.”  

Dr. Teresa Holmes chairs the board. “Dr. Davis is one of the best superintendents in education and he is deserving of the adjustments made to his contract. He has proven his ability to lead this school district. I am pleased that a super majority of board members voted in favor of his contract,” said Dr. Holmes. “We are working extremely hard to provide the best compensation for all employees across the district. A method to study salaries and salary schedules is being devised to determine where more improvements can be made. Undoubtedly, Richland Two employees are what make this school district premier,” said Dr. Holmes. 

Highlights of district accomplishments under Dr. Davis’ leadership
  • The starting teacher salary pay has increased from less than $41,000, which is above the state’s starting salary. Additionally, school nurse positions have been upgraded and moved to the teacher salary schedule
  • More than 4,000 students signed up to participate in SOAR - Richland Two’s Summer Opportunity for Academic Readiness, a free, in-person extended learning camp held during the summer of 2021 in order to recapture lost instructional time due to the pandemic. It focused on previewing content for the upcoming school year especially in the areas of mathematics and English/language arts
  • Richland Two is in an excellent financial position. The district received AA bond ratings from Moody’s Investors, and Standard & Poor’s Rating (Aa1/AA) because of the leadership of its School Board, Superintendent and Senior Leadership Staff. For 33 consecutive years the Business Services Department has received Certificates of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) and the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA)
  • Voters approved a $468.4 million bond referendum. The 2018 Bond Referendum: Pathways to Premier Facilities was one of the largest in state history, creating more equitable learning and athletic facilities. As of May 2021, the district has borrowed $235 million and, to date, the district’s debt-service millage has not increased due to the bonds issued. (New construction is underway, security enhancements are being made and ribbon-cutting ceremonies for athletic stadiums at two high schools were held this month.)
  • In 2020, there was a 52 percent increase from the previous year in students who completed Career and Technology Education programs. Students are exploring careers through partnerships with Midlands Technical College, PRISMA Health, Lexington Medical, and the UofSC Darla Moore School of Business. The first 20 students enrolled in the Richland Two AVID Early College graduated in May 2021 with high school diplomas and with Associates Degrees in the Arts through a partnership with the UofSC-Sumter.
  • He started the Richland Two Principals with Heart Campaign last school year to raise awareness about heart disease. Richland Two schools and community donated $67,689 to the campaign surpassing the goal of $60,000.

Highlights of awards received by Dr. Davis
  • Education Week, a Leader to Learn From for Leadership in Equity
  • K-12 Dive, Superintendent to Watch for recruitment/retention of male minority teachers
  • AASA | The Superintendents Association, Dr. Effie H. Jones Humanitarian Award
  • National School Public Relations Association, Bob Grossman Leadership in School Communications Award (for implementing communications strategies to better serve parents, students, community partners and employees).  
  • 100 Black Men of Greater Columbia Educational Leader of the Year 
  • Francis Marion University Professional Industry Award for Education and Arts
  • The Hyman Rubin Sr. Distinguished Service Award from the Greater Columbia Community Relations Council
  • The Columbia Chamber of Commerce Cathy Novinger Trailblazer Award 
  • Selected to participate in the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program®.
  • Since 2019 he has served as Superintendent in Residence, University of South Carolina (UofSC), College of Education's Department of Educational Leadership and Policies
  • 2018 Founding Member of The AVID Center Superintendent's Collaborative