New Tarkington superintendent signs contract, will start May 10

Dr. Elna Davis signs the contract making her the new superintendent for Tarkington ISD. At the official signing on Monday, March 28, she was welcomed by the District's board of trustees. Pictured with her (left to right) are her husband, John Davis, and trustees Lane Gulledge, Paige Bostwick, Dwayne Stovall, Donny Haltom, Kem Kirkham Arnold and Pete Vandver. Not pictured is trustee Cory Anderson.

It’s official. Tarkington ISD’s new superintendent, Dr. Elna Davis, signed her contract with the District on Monday, March 28, at a brief meeting with the District’s board of trustees. Her first day on the job will be May 10, though Davis plans to be actively involved in operations by mid-April.

As Tarkington ISD’s new superintendent, Davis made history as she is both the first female and the first black person to ever serve in this capacity for the District.

Board President Pete Vandver said Monday was a great day for Tarkington Prairie.

Pete Vandver, president of Tarkington ISD’s board of trustees, on Monday, March 28, signs the contract making Dr. Elna Davis the District’s new superintendent.

“Dr. Davis has the experience for this job, and we have seen some of the great things she has been doing in Grand Prairie. We hope to see her bring some of that here to Tarkington. We are on the way up but we would like to fast-track it, and that’s why we brought her here,” Vandver said. “We think she can get us to the top quickly.”

While one of her first roles as superintendent will be to hire a new athletic director for the District, Vandver is looking forward to seeing Davis improve academics.

“We want to return to the UIL glory we had in the 80s and 90s where we just smoked every other school district in academics. Yes, sports are important to Tarkington Prairie, and we are great in basketball, baseball, volleyball, and track and field, but academics is our number one concern as a District,” Vandver said.

Davis, who most recently was the area superintendent for Grand Prairie ISD, comes to the District with 26 years of educational experience. A graduate of Texas A&M University in Kingsville, Texas, where she earned a bachelor of science and a master of education, Davis then went on to earn a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Dallas Baptist University in 2017.

Davis said one thing that drew her to Tarkington ISD was its tagline of “Success, an everyday event.”

“We talked about that in the interview process. I believe we are going to turn that tagline into a reality by ensuring that we are exemplary in everything we do every day. We want Tarkington ISD to be a premiere district where students succeed in every area,” Davis said.

Davis attended Monday’s meeting with her husband, John. The couple met in eighth grade and have been together since then. After both graduated from college, they married and went on to have one child, their daughter Madison, who is a junior at the University of Texas in Tyler. John owns a medical supply company that he is relocating with the move to Tarkington.

The Davises say they are looking forward to joining the Tarkington community.

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