Home About Dr. Baron R. Davis
About Dr. Baron R. Davis
An educator for more than 20 years, Dr. Baron R. Davis is Richland School District Two's Superintendent, and the first African American to hold this position in the district’s 90 plus years history. Dr. Davis served a transition year as the superintendent-elect prior to assuming leadership of the district in 2017. In one of his first tasks as Superintendent, the 2017-2020 Strategic Plan, Dr. Davis lays out his vision for partnering with our families, staff and community to make Richland Two the premier school district.
Dr. Davis has advanced the district’s long-standing commitment to providing superior learning experiences in top-notch facilities. Under his leadership, voters in Richland Two approved a request to borrow $468 million to address district facility needs in the areas of safety and security, academic learning spaces, transportation, technology and arts/athletics. The bond referendum projects are part of a 10-year facility plan that provides a pathway to premier facilities across the district. Dr. Davis has opened doors for small and minority vendors to do business with Richland Two by hosting vendor fairs specifically for them.
Dr. Davis’s inclusionary practices led Richland Two to becoming one of only three districts in South Carolina and 250 nationwide to be placed on the 10th Annual AP® District Honor Roll by the College Board. To earn this distinction, Richland Two had to, since 2017, increase the number of students participating in Advanced Placement while also increasing or maintaining the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher.
Since 2016, 16 district magnet programs have earned national certification from the Magnet Schools of America. Seven of those programs have earned recognition as Magnet Schools of America Demonstration Schools, a designation achieved by only 36 programs across the country. Additionally, Richland Two received a $11.2 million grant for its “Med Pro 21: Healthcare for a Caring Community” project supporting the creation of school-wide magnets in four schools. Richland Two was also awarded a $1.3 million grant by the National Math & Science Initiative. The grant, funded by the US Department of Defense, provides the district with the resources to implement NMSI’s College Readiness Program in two high schools with the majority of children from military families serving at Fort Jackson. Dr. Davis is an ardent supporter of military families and recognizes the sacrifices they make for our country. In August 2019, Richland Two became one of only two school districts in the state to be named a Purple Star School District for its significant commitment to welcome and support military families.
Dr. Davis has made increasing recruitment and retention of male teachers of color a priority by launching the Premier 100 initiative. About six percent of Richland Two’s teachers are male and minority. However, nationwide that number drops to less than 2 percent, despite the fact that the percentage of students of color continues to rise. Premier 100 partners with the Call Me MISTER program to recruit and retain male educators of color.
In keeping with his focus on innovation as a principal practice for the district, Dr. Davis (then assistant superintendent) spearheaded the district’s membership and renewal into the League of Innovative Schools. Richland Two was initially selected from a competitive national pool of applicants based on its leadership, evidence of results, innovative vision for learning, and commitment to collaboration. He was instrumental in establishing Premier Scholars in spring of 2018. Students from each high school were recognized and celebrated for their top 10 academic standing in their class after six semesters of high school.
During his educational career, Dr. Davis has served as a successful school leader in rural, urban and suburban school systems where his schools were recognized for closing the achievement gap, increasing graduation rates and increasing Advanced Placement participation rates. While principal of Spring Valley, the school was recognized by the Washington Post as one of America's Most Challenging High Schools and by Newsweek as one of America’s Top High Schools.
In the role of assistant superintendent, Dr. Davis helped to establish the Richland Two Assistant Principal Academy, the Administrators Development Series, the Training Administrators Program and the Administrators Mentoring Program. Under his guidance, all five of the district’s high schools were accepted to TransformSC’s network of innovative schools in May 2016. He also provided overall supervision for the opening of the Richland Two Institute of Innovation (R2i2); which included the selection, development and implementation of academic areas of focus, course development, establishment of partnerships, selection of personnel, development of organizational structure, building supervision, and day-to-day operations.
Dr. Davis’s support of education and his community extends beyond Richland Two. He was selected to be a founding member of the AVID Center Superintendent’s Collaborative. He has served as a principal mentor and coach for induction principals participating in the South Carolina Department of Education’s Office of School Leadership Principal Induction Program. Currently, he serves on the Francis Marion University Alumni Board, the University of South Carolina Trio Programs Advisory Board, the South Carolina Male Achievement Conference Planning Committee, Rotary International (Spring Valley Club, Columbia S.C.), national and state associations of school administrators, and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. (Omicron Phi Chapter). He participates in the City of Columbia’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative. Dr. Davis was inducted into the Columbia Housing Authority's Wall of Fame in 2015 and in past years has given service to the University of South Carolina’s Department of Counselor Education Advisory Council and the SCASA Institute of Innovation Planning Committee. Dr. Davis was selected as the 2017 Administrator of the Year for both the Richland County Association of Educational Office Professionals and the National Association of Educational Office Professionals. In 2018, he was named: 100 Black Men of Greater Columbia Educational Leader of the Year and earned the Francis Marion University Professional Industry Award for Education and Arts as well as the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Cathy Novinger Trailblazer Award.
Dr. Davis earned a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from Francis Marion University. From the University of South Carolina, he earned master’s degrees in school counseling and educational administration, and Educational Specialist and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in educational counseling. He holds superintendent, school counseling, secondary principal and secondary supervision certifications. In addition to his formal educational training, Dr. Davis has participated and completed numerous educational leadership programs offered through the South Carolina Department of Education including the Tapping Executive Educators Program, the School Leadership Executive Institute and the South Carolina Education Policy Fellowship Program, and the Riley Institute at Furman University Diversity Leaders Initiative.
Dr. Davis, a Columbia native, is a member of Brookland Baptist Church. He and his wife, Pamela, have two daughters who attend school in Richland Two and another who recently graduated from a district high school.