Walt Davis was appointed to the State Board of Education by Governor Mike DeWine in June 2021 to complete the last 1.5 years of an unexpired State Board Member At-Large term. He formerly served an elected four-year term on the Lebanon City Schools Board of Education.
Walt was born in Alliance, Ohio, and grew up near the small village of Marlboro. He graduated from Marlington High School in 1961 and enrolled in pre-engineering at Kent State University. In 1967, Walt graduated from The Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. Walt served 11 years in the Air Force, during which time he earned an MBA from the University of Southern California in 1971.
Walt's Air Force career culminated with assignments as a contingency planner at the Air Force headquarters in Europe and subsequently on the battle staff for the Air Force in the Pentagon. He resigned from the Air Force and moved back to Ohio in 1978.
Walt's first civilian job was director of Maintenance and Construction and then director of Operations at Kings Island theme park near Cincinnati. He later formed a partnership and built The Beach Waterpark in the same locale. He next became an international business consultant, and while working in China, he was hired as the vice president of a Japanese roller coaster company to manage a stateside office in Cincinnati. The roller coaster at the New York-New York Casino in Las Vegas was his last project.
Walt served 39 years on the board of directors of the Warren County Area Progress Council. During that time, he started the Excellence in Teaching Foundation, which has an endowment of $1.5 million and has granted more than half a million dollars to excellent teachers in Warren County. Walt also initiated the project to bring a Sinclair Community College branch campus to Warren County, which is now the thriving Courseview Campus.
Walt began his education career in the adult education department of the Warren County Career Center, where he served as the dean of the Aerospace Academy. In 2004, Walt was hired as a professor and chair of the aviation department at Sinclair College in Dayton. He retired from Sinclair in 2009 and now assists on the family's Shakerland Farms LLC in Lebanon, OH.
During his years in education, Walt also served on the board of directors and various committees, including the Education Committee of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. He also has served as the president of the Mason, OH Chamber of Commerce and Lebanon, OH Chamber of Commerce. In 2001, he was chosen to serve on Governor Taft's Blue Ribbon Commission on School Finance and chaired the Operations and Efficiency Committee for 2.5 years. Later, he also served on Governor Taft's Achievement Gap Task Force and then on a special, ad hoc Ohio Department of Education committee to develop K-12 standards for Financial Literacy, which now is in the Ohio Legislature as Senate Bill 1.
Walt's primary objective in serving on the State Board of Education is to strengthen the partnership between Ohio schools and Ohio business to provide meaningful and productive education for the children of Ohio, upon whom all Ohio business depends.
Walt Davis, Member At-Large
Last Modified: 9/20/2021 4:36:46 PM