Richland School District Two Superintendent Dr. Baron R. Davis is the first recipient of the 2022 Gerald Dawkins Leadership Builder Award. Dawkins, a public education advocate who recently passed away, dedicated his life’s work to serving all children, teachers, and staff, especially the underserved.  

Education Research & Development Institute (ERDI) and K-12 Insight presented the award this month to Dr. Davis in remembrance of Dawkins’ servant leadership and profound impact on public education.

In his acceptance of the award, Dr. Davis stated, “This is an award that I will cherish because it represents the legacy of a man who I respect and admire. We lost a public education leader last year, who through this award will continue his life’s work. I am extremely excited that this award comes with an opportunity for me to select two teachers to receive $5,000 to help them explore leadership opportunities outside the classroom.” 

Chief Executive Officer for K12 Insight, Suhail Farooqui said Dr. Davis’ selection as the first honoree came because he consistently assesses needs and creates innovative structures to achieve goals of equity and excellence. “Dr. Davis has helped his district gain new technology resources, prioritize teachers of color, develop magnet programs, welcome and support military families, and establish administrator training academies,” said Farooqui.

Dr. Dawkins was nationally known as a trusted coach and leader, and supporter of the growth and success of up-and-coming educators. He spent the majority of his career at Grand Rapids Public Schools in Michigan, where he served in a variety of assignments from teacher to deputy superintendent of schools. He also served as superintendent of Saginaw Public Schools in Michigan and Caddo Parish Public Schools in Louisiana. The mission at ERDI is to work to create a rich and meaningful forum for education leaders and solution providers to collaboratively discuss, design, and shape the products and services, which support PK-12 education. K12 Insight partners with school districts to provide better engagement and experiences using a powerful customer experience platform and chatbot, research, and professional development.