Like many educators, Jonathan Davis’ career was influenced by the teachers he had. His transition from the classroom to administration was a product of fortunate life experiences.
Jonathan will be leaving his role as superintendent of Circleville City Schools to become superintendent at Pickaway-Ross Career & Technology Center. But at his heart, he is a teacher. Jonathan started as a social studies teacher at the career center in 2004. A few years later, he was offered the opportunity to run a financial services company in Chillicothe.
“My financial advisor said, ‘You’re an educator. You teach people all day and this is a great way to educate people about how to manage their finances, how to invest for the future and (get to) run your own business,’” Jonathan recalled.
Looking back, he credits it as one of his best life experiences. And it was an opportunity that added to a unique skill set when he returned to education.
“There’s the life experience to understanding how the other part of the world works,” Jonathan said. “The majority of your students aren’t going to come back into education. They’re going to go out into ‘the real world.’ And they’re going to take on jobs that are going to be very different in structure and skill set than the education realm is, and so for me it was so enlightening.”
The nature of the business required Jonathan to “constantly be cultivating positive relationships with people in everything you do.”
Jonathan returned to education in 2010, as the after-school programs coordinator at Circleville City Schools, and gradually moved into administration, culminating in being hired as the district’s superintendent in 2016.
As superintendent, he recognized that schools needed to take a lesson from the business world in marketing themselves and communicating to the community that a school district is, essentially, a service organization.
“We’re here to help students. We’re here to help families. We’re here to help the community,” Jonathan said.
Jonathan’s empathy is one of his greatest traits. In February 2020, when community leaders were meeting about the forthcoming pandemic, one of the first concerns Jonathan shared was about students receiving meals. For many of the students, the meals they receive at school are the only food the get all day, he reminded the group.
Ty Ankrom is the superintendent for Pickaway County ESC. This was written and submitted for The Circleville Herald.