Assistant Principal/ Network 17/ George Washington High School
My name is Samuel Davis, I am a Social Science educator and current Assistant Principal at George Washington High School. I have been in education for 10 years first as a paraprofessional, teacher at Tilden Career Community Academy, and now administrator. I have 4 children, 2 who are currently CPS students. I have always had a love for Chicago. I've lived most of my life adjacent to the city in the south suburbs. After graduating from Northern Illinois University with a degree in Sociology, I went back to school to receive my Masters in teaching from National Louis University. I am currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Urban Education leadership, and photography is one of my newest passions.
Why I choose to engage in equity work
At an early age I observed and saw the impact inequity in many of the lived experiences of my cousins, even to the point where some of them experienced great loss and lost their lives because of systemic inequity and the lack of community resources. I honor them with my service to children of Chicago. A firstborn son of a preacher, I am grateful that I was able to succeed due to the support I received from home. I champion equity because I know when students are given opportunities to explore and grow coupled with access to academic, social, and emotional support the trajectory of their lives will lead them to success.
My equity challenge and how I work on it
I truly believe in restorative justice. In a country where 2 million (of 9 million worldwide) people are incarcerated, many of whom come from impoverished communities, and communities that have been historically divested, rehabilitation through criminalization is not working. Schools do not need to reproduce the school to prison pipeline or identify with its culture. I have worked with students greatly impacted by punitive school cultures, many with disabilities and diverse learning needs. These students are impacted the most by prison culture in schools. Creating school communities focused on restorative practices, systems that support students with social and emotional learning, building the capacity of teacher leaders, and high quality instruction that is accessible to all drives my daily efforts.
What sustains me when equity work stalls, how do I stay motivated when the work gets hard, and how do I push myself and others to advance equity
When equity works stalls I stay motivated by connecting with my family, my Coach, daily reflections with myself, laughing with my team, tinkering with my camera, and getting back on the track to run as many miles as possible with listening to Recovery run podcasts.
As we approach doing anti-racist work, my team and I have created opportunities for the staff to share how they are feeling what their equity stance looks like virtually.