GRAND LEDGE, Mich. — Dr. Marcus Davenport did not watch the board meeting where he was unanimously selected as the new Grand Ledge Public Schools superintendent Wednesday night. He asked his wife not to watch either.
But she did.
"And so she came to me later that night, and you know she had tears in her eyes, and she said you know yup you got it," said Davenport. "And so just me being a superintendent, the first question I asked was 'What was the vote?'"
Before he starts, Davenport plans to learn from the community and see their needs, wants, desires and concerns and to create trust with the school board. He said once he's officially in the position, he will be able to create a more concrete strategic plan and release it to the public.
"My philosophy is that you cannot change a system, or you cannot make great improvements if you do not truly understand the system," said Davenport, who was been superintendent of Beecher Community School District in Flint since late 2017. "So that is the work ahead of me before July 1. Then once July 1 starts, I'll be able to work in unison with the school board are district leaders, and other members."
Davenport wants to focus on district culture, school safety, academic achievement, fiscal responsibility and doing a deep analysis of the district's special education services.
When Davenport went to Michigan State University as an undergrad, his original major was political science. An aunt who was a professor at the university persuaded him to switch.
"I did some student teaching at Walnut Elementary school, which no longer exists in Lansing. And I just fell in love with the young people. I fell in love with the feeling you got from helping people. And I went to my aunt and said, you know what? I really really think I found my career," he said.
Davenport will take over for interim Superintendent David Chapin, who stepped in after Brian Metcalf was fired over Facebook comments that blamed George Floyd in part for his own death.
Davenport said part of the healing process is having those tough conversations and being transparent.
"To be a person that listens to the community. Is fair, firm, and consistent when it comes to decision making and tries his very best to do what's best for all students," he said.
Davenport's anticipated start date is July 1. The school board will begin working to finalize a contract with him at the June 14 meeting.
Want to see more local news? Visit the FOX47News Website.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox.
Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines, and Daily Forecasts.