Davie named DHS principal

Published 9:00 pm Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dr. Walter Davie, the principal at Tuscaloosa’s Davis-Emerson Middle School, was hired as the next principal at Demopolis High School, taking the reins following Dr. Isaac Espy, who became the principal at Tuscaloosa’s Northridge High School.

The Demopolis City Schools board of education interview its fourth and final candidate in the search, Woodlawn High School assistant principal Janice Drake, on Tuesday. It then went into executive session before voting to hire Davie.

Davie is the only candidate with a doctorate, earning his doctor of education degree from Alabama in 2005. He interviewed with the school board on Thursday.

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He has been the principal at Davis-Emerson Middle School since July 2006, and has been employed in the Tuscaloosa County Schools system since January 1990, except for a two-year period when he served as the program director for the Black Warrior Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

He was a teacher at Crestmont Elementary from 1990 to 1995 and again from 1999 to 2000.

“I think technology is important in our schools,” Davie said at his interview on Thursday. “I think that, as students learn and get more involved in technology in those areas, more doors are going to be opened up.

“There are so many careers and opportunities they’re going to have that aren’t even invented yet for them to go into, and they’ve got to have that interest in lifelong learning. They’ve got to have that ability to seek out those resources and how to do that research, and I think technology brings a lot to that.”

The board said Davie was chosen from a strong candidate field that included Drake, Demopolis Middle School principal Clarence Jackson Jr. and former Thomasville High School principal Leon Clark.

“He did an excellent interview,” said school board chair Gary Holemon. “He seems to be very well-rounded in his experience, very good in his academics. We were very concerned about the disciplinary issues and the facilities, and he gave answers to those questions, and in the process, were very satisfied with his responses.”

“His experience was more varied,” said board member Laura Foster.

“We were looking for a balance, and we think we got more of a balance with him,” said board member Bobby Armstead. “He has more balance with respect to academics, sports, discipline and other areas. Academics is the main issue, but the other components are just as important.”

The board also accepted the resignation of DMS teacher Pam Vickers.

Interim superintendent Dr. Neil P. Hyche said Davie would have inform the Tuscaloosa County school board of his decision and give them a two-week notice before he could begin in Demopolis. He added that the board may allow him to begin even sooner than that, as the board had allowed former superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers to leave less than two weeks after tendering his resignation.