BOE renews Superintendent contract

Photo of Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis and ELMS Principal Malik Douglas (Henry County Schools photo)

The Henry County Board of Education voted to approve a three-year contract extension for Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis. The board voted on the contract extension at their last meeting of the year on December 14.

The new contract represents Superintendent Davis’s third extension and first since December 2019. State law allows school districts to enter into a maximum of three-year contracts with their superintendent.

At the time of the December 2019 extension, BOE Chair Josh Hinton commented the board evaluates the Superintendent’s performance every November / December. He said the review provides an appropriate time to discuss her contract as well.

The board made no change in the Superintendent’s salary. Dr. Davis receives $300,000 per year. Other contract items include a $500 per month transportation stipend in lieu of being provided a county car, and the district will pay up to $15,000 in travel and training expenses annually.

In April 2019, the board approved a salary increase from $213,000 to the present-day $300,000. Out of the state’s ten largest school districts, Davis’s salary is below average. The average base salary equates to $315,214. Cherokee County and Savannah-Chatham County pay under $300,000; whereas, Gwinnett County provides a total salary and benefits package worth over $562,000.

In FY 2018, Henry County recorded the lowest central office expense per student out of the ten largest districts. Henry County spent $225.93 per student compared to a state average of $445.40.

Board Member Comments

Chair Josh Hinton remarked, “this is my last meeting so this is my last vote. I could think nothing more satisfactory than to vote on renewing Dr. Davis’s contract. I [have] served with three different superintendents. They all have different traits, but Dr. Davis is an unbelievably asset to any organization. I’m so proud to have been on the board that brought her here.” Hinton will be succeeded by Mackenzie McDaniel representing district two beginning in January.

Sophe Pope commented “[Davis] is laser-focused on our students and ensuring that they have the very best educational experience possible. I am thrilled to approve this tonight.” Holly Cobb added “[Dr. Davis] doesn’t just talk about leadership; she demonstrates leadership… She is the epitome of a servant leader.”

Finally, Annette Edwards commented “I agree with the board members that she’s doing a fantastic job. She works extremely hard.” She stated there was a clause in the new contract she could not support before voting in opposition.

The featured image features Superintendent Davis (right) with Malik Douglas, principal at Eagle’s Landing Middle School. Photo credit to Henry County Schools.

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Clayton Carte is the founder and owner of Moving Henry Forward Community News. The website provides local news coverage in Henry County, Georgia.