Dr. Keith Davis was honored with the F. L. Dupree Outstanding Superintendent Award during the Kentucky School Board Association’s annual conference March 2 in Louisville.
As is his custom, Dr. Davis deflected the honor and attention away from himself, instead acknowledging educators he has worked with over the years.
In his remarks accepting the award, Dr. Davis said, “In the same way superintendents get the blame when bad things happen, we sometimes get unfairly credited for the good things that happen. I can say without false humility that my role in the improvement of Bullitt County Public Schools over the last 11 years stems almost entirely from being able to recognize talent and by empowering those talented people to do what needs to be done.”
Dr. Davis noted that the progress of BCPS is the results of efforts of the entire community coming together with high expectations for schools and students. He gave special thanks to Betsy Nutt, Secretary to the Superintendent, noting that she solves most problems before he is even aware of them.
He also specifically noted the long-standing contribution and steadiness of Assistant Superintendent Becky Sexton and the instructional leadership of Assistant Superintendent of Student Learning Adrienne Usher, both of which are critical to the effectiveness and efficiency of the district.
Dr. Davis concluded his remarks by saying, “So, on behalf of all of us – teachers, administrators, support staff, parents, students and community members – that make up the team that is Bullitt County Public Schools, I humbly accept this award.”
The Dupree Award is sponsored by the family of F.L. Dupree and judged by previous recipients. The award is accompanied by a $5,000 gift which Dr. Davis has given to Shepherdsville Elementary School to enhance the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum.
Dr. Davis has served the district as a middle school assistant principal and principal, Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Business Administration and Superintendent. He has Bachelors and Masters’ degrees from Western Kentucky University and a Doctorate in Education in Leadership and Organizational Development from the University of Louisville.
From making the call on whether school is in session during inclement weather to developing challenging academic programs and engineering teacher professional development, Dr. Davis has garnered much praise from colleagues and the community.
Bullitt County Board of Education Member Mrs. Dolores Ashby noted that, “Dr. Davis has instituted numerous research-based programs to enhance instruction and academic achievement. He also squeezes every penny of our funds till it screams.”
Among those programs is the Bullitt Advanced Math and Science Program (BAMS) and the Discovery School, an accelerated science, technology, engineering and math-focused program for middle school students. In BAMS, high school students can accelerate their education and end up with an associate degree when they graduate. For Discovery School, students can earn high school credits.
Davis also retooled and enhanced the district’s gifted and talented program, for which he won the Service and Advocacy Award in 2013 from the Kentucky Association for Gifted Education and the Ball State Administrator of the Year award in 2015 from the National Association for Gifted Children.
District Gifted and Talented Coordinator Sarah Coomer wrote, “Mr. Davis’ dedication and significant support for the district’s gifted and talented program surpasses any other administrator I have ever known. His vision and ambition to provide advanced opportunities for GT students is continually evolving.”
For struggling students, the district, under Davis’ leadership, initiated the Literacy Enhancement and Advancement Program (LEAP), which links schools, families and the community to provide extra literacy instruction to at-risk primary students. Similarly, he implemented programs to help students with academic deficits. Davis also helped form the Bullitt County Foundation for Excellence in Public Education that gives grants to teachers for classroom projects.
Bullitt County Economic Development Authority Executive Director John Snider praised Dr. Davis saying, “I have found Keith Davis to be a partner in working on the issues that affect our county both in regards to Education as well as our fast growth, infrastructure and overall economic development of our county. He has worked tirelessly to allow students to work and grow. We are now seeing students come out of the system which are job ready. We are now producing an individual with the skills to gain jobs in this economy,”
Dr. Davis also sits on the board of the local chamber of commerce, which has strengthened the bond between the business community and the schools, said Lou Ann Moore, President of the Bullitt County Foundation for Excellence in Public Education.
In addition, efficiencies have been made through central office reorganizations, technology improvements and facility reviews. Under Davis, the district received the 2016 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award in Energy Management for its energy efficiency improvements, which have saved the system more than $5.5 million since 2006.
Newly elected 49th District State Rep. Linda Belcher said, “Keith is a Superintendent with vision. He is not afraid to take a stand even if it may not be the most popular one. Whether it be improving the gifted program or expanding the Bullitt County Area Technology Center, he has always worked to improve the education for ALL of our students.”
Bullitt County Retired Teachers Association President Johnda Conley pointed to various supports for teachers that have been implemented districtwide, including the addition of instructional coaches, and curriculum and technology integration specialists, as well as collaborations with local universities and training centers.
Bullitt Central High School math teacher and Bullitt County Education Association President Kimberly Ludwig said, “I have the utmost respect for Mr. Davis. He has pushed teachers to improve and become better leaders. He has brought many new ideas for employees and students. Mr. Davis is out in the schools on a regular basis and our students know him. He welcomes comments and concerns and sends out regular communications on all the activities that are going on in schools.”