Davis, who lives between Lebanon and Monroe, was appointed by Gov. Mike DeWine on June 30. He participated in his first monthly state school board meeting Monday and Tuesday, drawing compliments for his questions on the newly passed school funding bill.
Davis said 20 years ago, he was part of Gov. Bob Taft’s blue ribbon commission on school finance. In the past decade, he was part of a committee studying financial literacy standards for Ohio’s K-12 schools, an issue that has been revived.
“I thought that was dead, but then I was talking to state Sen. Steve Wilson … and now it’s Senate Bill 1 this year,” Davis said. “I’m watching that with fingers crossed and hope it goes through. It’s very badly needed.”
Davis, whose training is in engineering, spent 11 years in war planning with the Air Force before coming back to Ohio. He worked as director of park services at Kings Island, then helped build The Beach Waterpark across from KI, before becoming vice president of roller-coaster company Togo International.
After that, he ran the aerospace program for the Warren County Career Center, then spent five years as chairman of Sinclair Community College’s aviation technology department, until 2012.
Davis said he was reluctant to discuss specific education issues immediately after being appointed, but added he thinks he’s getting up to speed pretty quickly.
His first state school board meeting included a contentious debate over the board’s approach to equity and systemic racism. Davis voted with the more politically conservative board members in support of John Hagan’s resolution criticizing Critical Race Theory.