Board Business Briefs: Superintendent Finalist Announced
The Cherokee County School Board at a special called meeting tonight, Jan. 31, 2024, announced a sole finalist to serve as the county’s next Superintendent of Schools.
The school board voted to announce Dr. Mary Elizabeth Davis as the sole finalist to begin leading the school district. In accordance with state law, the board will vote on Feb. 15 to confirm the appointment and set the new superintendent’s start date and contract.
Dr. Davis gave this statement and biography to the school board to be shared with the community:
I am honored to be named by the Board of Education as the finalist for the Superintendent of the Cherokee County School District. Cherokee County, known for the extraordinary commitment to educational excellence, aligns perfectly with my beliefs about the role of public education in communities today.
The district’s impressive track record in student achievement and community involvement resonates deeply with my own experience in nurturing student success across large school districts. I am excited to join the educators, staff, and families of Cherokee to continue to build on this extraordinary legacy.
The heart of my professional journey lies in my early days as a teacher. The invaluable lessons learned in the classroom have shaped my leadership and instilled a firm belief in the significant responsibility of public education in the lives of families.
As my family and I prepare to become part of the Cherokee community, I am committed to engaging with and learning from the rich history, the experiences, and perspectives of our community. Together, we will work tirelessly to not only uphold but elevate the district’s performance, ensuring Cherokee County Schools stand as a beacon of educational leadership and excellence.
I approach this new chapter with a strong sense of excitement and purpose. I am eager to contribute to Cherokee County Schools' continuing success story.
Mary Elizabeth Davis has most recently been announced as finalist for the Superintendent position in the Cherokee County School District. Mary Elizabeth is currently serving as the Superintendent of Henry County Schools serving 44,000 students. During her time in Henry County, the district saw great improvements in student performance, including reading proficiency growth, an 11-point gain on the state’s CCRPI, doubling of students enrolled in advanced coursework, and growth on national metrics including SAT and ACT. Mary Elizabeth was most recently named a finalist for Georgia’s Superintendent of the Year and overall 2023 winner of Georgia’s Governance Team of the Year.
Prior to Henry County Schools, Mary Elizabeth served as the Chief Academic Officer for the Cobb County School District in Marietta, and prior to joining Cobb County, she was the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction in Gwinnett County where she also previously served as the Science Director. Formerly, Mary Elizabeth served as a Presidential Appointee in the George W. Bush Administration and an Education Policy Advisor in the U.S. Senate. She began her professional career as a chemistry teacher in Virginia and a physical science teacher in Cobb County.
A native of New Jersey, she earned a Chemistry degree at Messiah College in Pennsylvania where she also played field hockey and softball. After moving to Georgia, Mary Elizabeth completed a Masters in Public Administration, a Specialist in Educational Leadership, and a PhD in Educational Policy; all at Georgia State University. Mary Elizabeth is married to her husband of 22 years, PJ, and has two school-aged children that will be enrolling in the Cherokee County School District this fall.