That’s a wrap After 34 years of service at Cocalico School District, David Davies says good-bye

By on June 26, 2013


LUCY RICCOMINI Ephrata Review Staff

, Staff Writer

Pictured are (left to right) Cocalicoâ??s school board president Allen Dissinger, assistant superintendent David Davies and superintendent Bruce Sensenig. Davies recently retired after serving the school for 34 years. (Photo by Stan Hall)

"I really liked two things growing up, I liked helping people and I liked explaining science to other kids," said newly retired David Davies, assistant superintendent at Cocalico School District.

David Davies served as a science teacher, principal and assistant superintendent at Cocalico School District. In addition, he taught the gifted students with rocket projects, coached intramural volleyball with his wife Judy, and was involved in four building projects during his career. As a high school principal, he was responsible for various safety programs and was instrumental in establishing a true human resources department for the district.

"He has always been committed to the students and their families, seeking only the best for them in every situation," said superintendent Bruce Sensenig of Davies role at Cocalico. "Failure was not an option for Dave. He didn’t always take the easy the path, but he always took the right path. He has been a dedicated and responsible professional throughout his career. His leadership benefited many people. He has had a positive impact wherever he was asked to serve."

Davies graduated from Kutztown with a secondary education degree in biology and general science. He met his wife, Judy, while they were both students there. She is a Cocalico High School art teacher.

The couple will be married for 33 years in August and have three daughters: Tara in Germany; Amber in Kalamazoo, Mich.; and Caitlin, a student at Kutztown. Davies hopes to spend more time visiting the girls now that he is retired.

Davies spent a year teaching biology at Salisbury Middle School and 12 years as a science teacher at Cocalico Middle School. He then went to Temple for a principal’s certification and received his eligibility for supervisor from Widener University.

"I wanted to have a leadership role," says Davies of his decision to continue his education and pursue becoming a principal.

Davies spent seven years as a principal at Cocalico Middle School, eight at the high school and seven as assistant superintendent for the district. And all along, he maintained a good rapport with his students.

"If they were really in trouble, I was aggressive to help them," said Davies. "You have to not be afraid of the situation and to tell parents ‘This is what you need to do.’"

When asked what the students taught him, he was quick to answer.

"Sense of humor. You have to have a sense of humor."

And so Davies embraced it. In fact, he’s been known to play a few pranks. As high school principal, he was having difficulty having his budget approved. He also happen to be arranging for the National Guard to visit the school. Davies asked them to bring a helicopter. They brought a monster chopper and landed it in front of the district office. It made a big scene, defoliating trees and creating a raucous. Davies then called the district office.

"Now, how about that high school budget?"

He also had a mirror in his desk drawer and if students would approach him in a not-so-respectful way, he would tell them "Let’s walk to the mirror" and have them recite what they said back into the mirror so they understood what it might feel like to be on the receiving end of their behavior.

"Sometimes I would stand behind them while they did it so you could see us both in the mirror."

But in all seriousness, one of things he liked most about his career was watching his students grow and learn.

"I enjoyed being a witness to the maturing youth," he added. "Watching kids grow is both entertaining and uplifting. And, as I got older, watching younger staff do the same was uplifting. It has been a real privilege.

"Every interaction and every day influences your career," he continued. "The community has played a role in my career as well. They have been great and being part of this experience has made me better."

More DAVIES, page A11

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