Davis steps in as new regional superintendent

Pictured are members of the Regional Office of Education location at 107 E. Mill Street in Waterloo, from left, Gertie Eshom, Audrey Hicks, Assistant Regional Superintendent Mary Ann Quivey, Linda Schmidt, Regional Superintendent Kelton Davis, Tricia Bockhorn and Darcy Fausz. (Corey Saathoff photo)

Following Dr. Marc Kiehna’s retirement, new Regional Superintendent Kelton Davis looks forward to his new role and the quest for continuous improvement and success in education for Monroe and Randolph counties.

Davis, 41, had served as assistant upon Kiehna’s election to the position in 2002. Kiehna succeeded the retiring Faye Hughes.

Kiehna, who completed 34 years in education upon his Nov. 30 retirement, was elected to the Randolph County Board in November. Davis was appointed by the Randolph and Monroe County commissioners to fill the remainder of Kiehna’s term as regional superintendent effective Dec. 1.

“He is masterful at allowing people to learn to solve their own problems while providing only enough guidance and direction that is needed at the time to empower the individual,” Davis said of his predecessor.

“One of the most important lessons learned is to remember that we are in the business of people, and this is more important than any magic solution in a box that proposes to solve all the world’s education problems.

“Great people make a great difference, and you cannot underestimate the value in taking time to personally meet and work with people.”

Now serving as assistant regional superintendent under Davis is Mary Ann Quivey of Steeleville.

Davis was born in St. Louis, but his family moved to the Belleville area when he was a youngster. Davis attended Illinois State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in education with a focus on middle school education. While teaching in Stanford, Ill., Davis earned his master’s degree in education administration.

Davis taught technology based enrichment courses at the middle school, which included website development and the infusion of technology in core subject areas.

“This was back in the early days of the World Wide Web when a person would ask, ‘Have you seen that website with the cars?'” Davis said.

Eventually, Davis said he began to look “back home” for employment, and contacted the Monroe-Randolph Regional Office of Education.

He was interviewed by then-Regional Superintendent Hughes for a position as technology coordinator, math-science literacy coordinator, and Title II multi-district grant coordinator. In August 1997, Davis started with the local ROE office.

“While serving in this capacity, I brought in several competitive grants that helped enhance technology in the class- room by providing multiple computers in each classroom, intensive technology training, and targeted curriculum integration support,” he said.

As regional superintendent, Davis said he will strive to maintain the ethics, values and dedication for which Kiehna was elected.

“I want to maintain and enhance direct student programs and services. Right now, we are providing additional support for our schools as we are addressing school safety topics stemming from recent tragedies,” he said. “We are working very hard to continue to provide services for adult learners including adult basic education classes, GED preparation, and GED testing.”

One of his immediate goals is to provide direct support to educators for implementation of college and career readiness standards, student performance based assessments, and instructional coaching to support improvement with the development and curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

“We are in an unprecedented time of change that has placed in- credible demands on all our educators,” Davis said. “I want to provide improved communication and collaboration among all of our stakeholders as the new shape of education forms.”

Davis is married to wife Lyndi (nee Lueke), who has been a teacher in the Steeleville School District and now teaches in Waterloo. Together, they have two children: Elizabeth, 3, and Quincy, 5.

“I am proud to be associated with and serving our very proud communities and the educators that are among the very best and most dedicated professionals anywhere,” Davis said.

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