MNPS Voices: Stephanie Davis

MNPS Voices: Stephanie Davis
Posted on 01/13/2022
Stephanie Davis
Stephanie A. Davis is a pioneer in the MNPS Discipline Services Department. 

Davis leads the charge to keep MNPS schools safe and drug-free in her two roles as Tennessee state school coordinator and drug education coordinator. The two positions were born from her previous duties in coordinating the grant for safe and drug-free schools. Stephanie Davis, outside at Support Hub

Davis and her team offer more than just a drug education information session. They provide evidence-based services and implement strategies that address the reduction of violence and other risk factors associated with violence and drug use that impact the student’s ability to perform well in school.

They work in partnership with MNPS school security, which provides the physical safety. Davis and her team take care of the social and emotional part. The social worker on her team provides individualized case management with parents and students through the first-time drug offender program and alternative learning center sites. The team’s mentoring program manager works on implementing the mentoring framework that has been developed for the district.

Davis and her team also provide a rite-of-passage mentoring curriculum for boys in 4th through 10th grades in more than 40 MNPS schools.

Davis humbly and reluctantly admits that with former Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register’s recommendation, she became one of the founders of the first-time drug offenders program, the first of its kind in Tennessee.

It would be an understatement to say that she really enjoys her work. Working with students and families around drug education is Davis's passion.

A Tennessee native, she earned her undergraduate degree in sociology from Austin Peay State University. She began her career with the Tennessee Department of Children Services Child Protective Services and sexual abuse unit before joining MNPS in 2007.

“I saw drug use as one of the risk factors that contributed to and exacerbated negative behaviors in at-risk youth,” Davis said. “I realized early on that if we could eliminate or decrease drug use with the adults, family and students, it would free up the opportunity for them to look (clearly) at the poverty, broken homes, marginalized neighborhoods and all the other issues that were negatively impacting the family.”

Davis’s career success can be attributed to her upbringing: close family with a strong work ethic. Her retired mother, now 92 years old, worked as a domestic engineer and raised seven children. Davis, the third-oldest, watched her veteran father work three jobs as a custodian, landscaper and pastor of a small church.

Now 103, Davis’s father holds the record as the oldest veteran in Marshall County.

“My parents did what they had to do,” Davis said. “I don’t ever remember them NOT doing. I don’t ever remember them not going to work.”

That family work ethic runs strong. Legacy, not retirement, is Davis’s focus. Her goal is to make sure her team is ready to continue the fight for safe and drug-free schools until whenever that day comes.
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