Say Hello To Nancy Davis, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Los Altos School District
Nancy Davis, the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, has been an educator for 25 years. After joining LASD in 2006, Nancy Davis has served as the principal of Covington Elementary, Almond Elementary School, and has been active on various LASD committees and initiatives. Before joining the LASD community, Nancy was a principal in two neighboring districts, served as a BTSA mentor, staff developer, and was Teacher of the Year for Santa Clara County. As the Assistant Superintendent, Nancy has been involved in the implementation of initiatives such as the development of the Extended Day and Transitional Kindergarten programs, accelerated math pathways opportunities for 6th-8th graders, and Common Core implementation and training. Nancy is committed to supporting the district vision of revolutionizing learning and is passionate about ensuring that all students and teachers have opportunities to discover their hidden talents and interests through relevant and engaging learning experiences. Nancy is proud to call Los Altos her home, and when not working, enjoys spending time with her family and especially her new little granddaughter.
SVT: What has your career path been like that has led and prepared you to where you are now?
ND: We have all had that one person that made an impact on a life decision. That person for me was my second grade teacher. She was an inspirational teacher who always conveyed to me that I mattered. I knew that I wanted to be the kind of teacher that made a difference in my students’ lives. After 9 years of teaching, I became a new teacher mentor. I truly loved teaching, but was amazed at how fulfilling it was to support teachers in developing their instructional practice as well as nurturing their students in finding their passions for learning. As a principal, and now Assistant Superintendent, I am still a teacher. What a privilege it is to support the Los Altos school community of teachers and administrators in providing educational experiences that encourage all to pursue their passions of teaching and learning, and to ensure that all students know that they matter!
SVT: What do you like most about being a Superintendent / Assistant Superintendent and the functions you are doing?
ND: It is an exciting time to be in education. The “21st Century” changes have provided many exciting opportunities as well as challenges. I believe a “21st Century” Leader needs to empower and build capacity in others…every decision and action needs to put students first. As an Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, I have the privilege of working with an amazing group of teachers and leaders that have the needs of our students as their core value. Los Altos School District has a vision of Revolutionizing Learning for All Students, and constantly seeks out and implements innovative practices. With all the changes in education, this vision keeps our focus grounded in preparing our students to be motivated, passionate, self-directed learners. Ensuring that all teachers and administrators have the support they need to maximize their teaching and leadership potential is the most essential and exciting part of being an Assistant Superintendent.
SVT: Education expectations and stresses are challenging … How do you measure academic and personal progress … and how have you seen it change, improve – for the individual self and in general?
ND: We are experiencing the biggest transformation in education in the last 25 years. While the Common Core Standards have been the foundation of most discussions, the biggest shift is not in the “what” we teach, but in the “how” we teach. Students today need opportunities to explore, problem solve, create, and yes, fail. Progress is when students feel supported in going beyond what they think they can do, feel safe in failing, and having the grit to persevere. As we rethink our traditional models of education and provide student-centered environments of learning, our focus needs to be on making “school” a place where students collaborate, communicate, think critically, and can be creative. The teachers in Los Altos schools are preparing our students to be active participants, not observers, in their own learning. This is an exciting time in the Los Altos School District. Seeing our students engaged in learning, motivated to succeed, and self-confident about their potential is the greatest measure of progress. Our students are the innovators of the future.
SVT: When away from school and homework of your own, what interests and hobbies do you enjoy?
ND: When not working, I might be sewing on a quilt, hiking San Antonio Park, or playing a few chords on my Ukulele. Recently, that includes playing with and reading to my sixth month old granddaughter! My hobbies and interests vary from quilting, hiking, and running, to traveling to local and distant, fun and historical places. I enjoy learning the history and getting to know the culture and people of the places I visit. Whenever I travel, I feel how connected we are as a world community. I look forward to my upcoming trip to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands as an opportunity to see and experience an ancient world that I am confident will be awe inspiring. I am intrigued with the world beyond our community boundaries and look forward to many future trips of experiences and learning.