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Then retired Assistant Superintendent Joy Davis at last year’s graduation with one of her former students, Cameron Archer. Photo courtesy Lisa Archer.

After the Buford City School Board Meeting on August 27th, the North Gwinnett Voice was present to hear the Board’s decision on a new interim superintendent. Former Buford City Schools Assistant Superintendent Joy Davis will temporarily take the helm of the state’s #1 public school district.

Mrs. Davis has graciously agreed to steer the school district until a replacement for former superintendent Dr. Geye Hamby can be found. Mrs. Davis, according to many locals is the perfect person to step in during these turbulent times.  Those who have worked alongside her in the past remark that Mrs. Davis is a fair and dedicated educator. For those unfamiliar with Mrs. Davis, let us fill you in on her background.

Mrs. Joy Davis is a hometown Buford girl. She was born to Alvin and Nell Couch on Halloween of 1962. Her grandfather was a sharecropper with fourteen children in Hall County.  She is the youngest child with two older brothers. Her eldest brother resides in Blairsville and the brother closest to her in age is deceased. Mrs. Davis’s parents moved her brothers from southern Hall County to Buford and opened up Holiday Grocery Store on Moreno Street. Later the family-owned Couch and Davis Auto Sales also on Moreno Street.

She married Marty Davis, a North Gwinnett High School alum. Marty and Joy have one daughter who was brought up through Buford City Schools and later graduated from UGA.

Mrs. Davis is a Buford lifetimer or a student who went to Buford for the entirety of their K-12 career. She got her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Brenau University in Gainesville and later obtained her Master’s and Specialist’s degrees from the University of Georgia.

She started her teaching career in the Gwinnett County Public School System in 1984. After obtaining her Master’s and Specialist’s degrees, Mrs. Davis worked her way up to Assistant Principal of several Gwinnett schools. When the principal position opened up in 2005 at Buford Academy, Mrs. Davis jumped at the chance to lead a school in the system that was near and dear to her heart. In 2012, she accepted the Assistant Superintendent position for Buford City Schools.  During her tenure, Buford grew in academics, athletics, and culture. The Buford Arena was constructed and the new Buford High School began construction during her time. Mrs. Davis retired in May of 2017 and has been enjoying the retired life.

Speaking with Mrs. Davis about coming out of retirement to fill in as Interim Superintendent, she says she decided to accept the position because of her love for the students. When asked if the School Board and her have discussed the duration of her position, Mrs. Davis states that she is here “Just until they find someone. However, I am not in this for long term.  I’m not interested in a permanent position.”

Mrs. Davis has been busy meeting with parents and listening to their concerns and suggestions. Several of the suggestions have already been implemented like better and more frequent communication between the system and parents as well as more access to the leaders of the school system. Mrs. Davis’s in-depth knowledge of the city and school system will be invaluable in helping Assistant Superintendent Dr. Rita Cantrell in overseeing the schools until a permanent Superintendent is selected.

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