Mark Davidson will be the next superintendent of Richland School District.
The Richland School Board voted to hire Davidson, currently superintendent/CEO of Medicine Hat Public School Division in Alberta, Canada, during a special meeting on Saturday, March 28. He will start this summer after Dr. Rick Schulte, RSD’s superintendent since 2013, retires.
“Mark’s deep experience as an educator, his record of problem-solving and collaboration and his compassion for all kids will make him an excellent leader for our schools,” says Board President Rick Jansons. “We are eager for him to join our community and lead our district.”
Mr. Davidson has 28 years of experience in education starting as a middle school teacher. He became a vice-principal in 1996, which also included teaching responsibilities in the small school he served in. As he moved further into school and district administration, he focused on community- and relationship-building along with academic rigor to improve student outcomes.
He became superintendent/CEO of Medicine Hat School Division in 2016. The division, which is comparable to a school district in the United States, has 7,500 students in 20 schools and learning sites. During his tenure, Mr. Davidson oversaw a variety of initiatives, including building relationships with employee leadership, managing capital projects of more than $70 million and deepening community engagement in schools.
“I am really excited to begin a new adventure and a new phase in my career, and my family is excited to be a part of such a great community,” Mr. Davidson says. “I became an educator because my own teachers were such a transformative force in my life. I am eager to work with everyone to make that same impact on students in Richland.”
Mr. Davidson was one of several dozen applications from across the state, country and continent. Hank Harris of Human Capital Enterprises assisted the Board in developing desired candidate characteristics, promoting the position and screening applicants.
Board members conducted first-round interviews with six candidates on March 6. They announced Mr. Davidson and three others as finalists on March 12, though one finalist withdrew before moving further in the process. Each of the finalists met virtually with staff groups March 24-26 and also participated in online sessions fielding questions submitted by community members.
Mr. Davidson holds bachelor’s and masters degrees in education from University of Calgary. He is currently pursuing a doctorate through the University of Western Ontario. He has served in the Canadian Armed Forces for 13 years and is currently a reservist as a logistics officer.
He and his wife, Holly, who is also a teacher, have been married for 17 years. Their two youngest daughters, Ridley and Ava, will join them in Richland. They also have two adult children, Kiera and Bryden, who are currently studying social work and law enforcement, respectively.