Lake Highlands resident Luke Davis views serving on the Richardson school board as more volunteer than governmental activity.
“I know it’s an elected office, but I try to view myself as contributing to public service rather than politics,” he says. “I happen to be elected, but I’m not giving any more time than the booster clubs folks or the PTA.”
Fellow members of the Richardson Independent School District board of trustees chose Davis as their president in June. Board member Anne Foster, who held the office for about six years, chose to let someone else take on the job.
As president, Davis views his role as mainly ceremonial. He presides over meetings and receives a few more invitations to speaking engagements.
“I don’t view that my voice within our group is any more important than the rest,” he says. “Hopefully it will be leadership by example and by consensus.”
Davis says he is passionate about public education – feelings that are deep-seated in his family. Both his parents were teachers, and his grandfather was a school superintendent. His wife, Paula, also worked as a teacher, and he taught school before becoming a lawyer.
Davis volunteers at his church, Lake Highlands United Methodist, with Lake Highlands Young Life and is a member of the Lake Highlands Exchange Club.
He was first elected to the seven-member board in 2000 and is serving his second, three-year-term.
“For me it was a continuation of a history of volunteer service,” Davis says. “From when Meredith entered kindergarten, I was one of those involved dads. I was always at school supporting the kids’ activities or announcing football games.”
Davis’ daughter, Meredith, graduated from Lake Highlands High School in 2003. His son, Oz, is now a junior there.
Like all school districts, Richardson is facing challenges, Davis says. School finance, state and national mandates – such as No Child Left Behind – and changing demographics force school administrators to work harder and more efficiently.
But Davis says he ranks Richardson as a top district in the state, attributing its success to dedicated employees and broad community support.
“It really is a well-rounded education our kids get,” he says. “The administrators and the teachers are willing to help our kids succeed but also excel.”