New Superintendent approved by Board

Oak Park Unified School District welcomes Dr. Jeff Davis

Dr. Jeff Davis was named as the incoming superintendent by the Oak Park Board of Trustees on Tuesday, April 20. This search was initiated after previous Superintendent Dr. Tony Knight announced in November his retirement at the end of June 2021.

Davis is seasoned in the education field, having earned a Bachelor’s in History at CSUN, a Master of Athletic Administration from The Ohio State University, a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from California State University, Northridge and a Doctor of Education Degree in Educational Administration from University of Southern California.

Having built a thorough education portfolio, Davis went on to become a Sports Information Director at Oberlin College, as well as a teacher and coach at his alma mater El Camino Real High School. He was a teacher and coach at Canoga Park High School, an Assistant Principal, teacher and coach at Burbank High School and a Principal at Sun Valley Middle School and Chatsworth High School. In the Los Angeles Unified School District, Davis served as the Director of High School Programs and in the Conejo Valley Unified School District he was the Director of Secondary Education. Finally, Davis acted as an Assistant Superintendent at La Canada Unified School District and Ventura Unified School District.

A portfolio of the educational and occupational background of Dr. Jeff Davis. (Oliver Carter/Talon)

“Jeff is a strong, collaborative, and proven leader with years of instructional and executive cabinet-level experience working in several school districts,” Board Member Denise Helfstein said. “He also has experience working in a school district with like demographics and size as ours. One of the things that stood out to me about Jeff is that he is a long-standing community member of the Conejo Valley. He knows Oak Park and shares the collective conscience of our community—from Borderline to Woolsey, to what we have endured through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Board worked with consultants Dr. Peggy Lynch and Dr. Fred Van Leuven from Leadership Associates to select the next superintendent. Stakeholders and interested parties offered their thoughts to the Board through a district-wide survey. These results helped shape candidate profiles and desired characteristics in a superintendent.

“The Board will finalize the profile, and it will then be published and presented to the candidates applying for the position,” Board President Allen Rosen wrote in a StudentSquare blast in January. “Leadership Associates will also use that information to help the Board determine how well each candidate aligns with the profile.”

OPUSD Dr. Tony Knight is to retire on June 30, succeeded by Dr. Jeff Davis. (Photo Courtesy of OPUSD district website)

In mid-March, the Board accepted and reviewed candidate applications, with interviews conducted over Zoom. From there, they were able to choose the next superintendent. 

In the StudentSquare announcement from April 20, Davis wrote he was honored to be selected as superintendent and grateful to the Board.

“Thank you for the support, confidence, trust, and belief you have in me,” Davis wrote. “I will not let you down, I will not let this community down ever … to all the employees and the families and the students of the Oak Park Unified School District, I am so excited to be your next superintendent.”