In so many ways, Mrs. Davis embodied NCA’s journey over the last 10 years. In 2005, we began the long process of revising our foundational documents to reflect the changing conditions of our world brought on by September 11, 2001. We believed that it was important for us that the school adopt a philosophy and direction that would allow us to weather the storm of change. We wanted to become a school that was able to adapt to the changes. I took over as Head of School in 2008, right after the market crashed. The foundations that we had depended on in this nation seemed to be violently shifting beneath our feet. The stability we had grown to be accustomed to was a thing of the past.
This new vision and direction, that undergirded our foundational documents, was to produce Christian thinkers, communicators, and servant leaders. At the time, I did not realize how important Mrs. Davis would be on this journey. But, in every way, she embodied this new direction.
She was a reluctant leader. She had no aspirations of eventually becoming the Assistant Head of School. She was happy to be in the classroom. In fact, many times during her transition into the position, she wished to return and teach full-time. But the time dictated that a change needed to be made in the leadership of the school. We decided that Mrs. Davis was the right fit to run our Middle School. She resisted the promotion initially, doubting that she had the ability to do it, but she eventually embraced her new role as she found a way to make it her own. Mrs. Davis began to understand that it was not for her hands that we hired her for the position, but for her heart. She had a heart for the kids that was unmatched and this is what propelled her.
In the early 2010s, a new challenge emerged as many prominent Christian schools in our area began to lose relevance. Many of those schools closed around us, sold their property, or rented to a charter school. I realized at that time that we had a choice to make - to panic or double-down on our commitment to our vision. Our continued existence is a testament to our commitment to that vision. During this time many people doubted that we were leading the school in the right direction. They had not realized that territory had been lost over the years and the hard road we had to walk to regain it. We knew that it needed to be done. Mrs. Davis was there every step of the way.
We realized that the key to this rebuilding process was not about how much we could impress the parents, students, or community, but about how much we cared about them. We realized that the key to overcoming change was to seek first to understand where our constituents were coming from, to help them where they were, and to help them work towards a better situation by speaking the truth in love. This process took a vast amount of time and energy. We were making every effort to re-establish trust within a community were it had been broken. Mrs. Davis embodied trust.
During this time we began the long process of connecting people to the vision of Northwest by being what we hoped the community would be. We realized over the years that talk was cheap; we had to live it. Mrs. Davis embodied what we were trying to become and she was NCA’s top ambassador. She was every bit a Christian thinker, communicator, and servant leader.
As a Thinker - She always thought about the good of others and ways in which their situation could be better.
As a Communicator - Although she did not like public speaking, she was gifted at getting her point across and delivering difficult news. But her communication with others was always full of grace. She spoke the truth in love.
As a Servant Leader - She was always seen serving someone. She was quick to remind me that she was aware of her limitations professionally, especially when I would ask her to take on a new task. Even in these new tasks she was always found using her gifts for the Lord. Her spiritual gifts were compassion, discernment, and service. The most prominent of these was her compassion, which spilled over into everything that she did. While she may have been hesitant to take on any leadership position at NCA, she assumed her role with dignity, never complaining about how much work she had to do. She understood the job needed to be done and got it done.
For everyone who reads these words, if you ever want to know what it means to be a Christian thinker, communicator, and servant leader, Marcia Davis is your example. She truly served to the end of her resources. For everything that Northwest Christian Academy is today, it is because of the tireless work of Marcia Davis and the unconditional love she had for the school and the unwavering support that she gave me. She shared the load and the burden of rebuilding this school. She labored faithfully by my side, never once turning her back on me. The future of Northwest and all that it will become is built upon the foundation that was laid by Mrs. Davis.
Marcia Davis was who she was because she had a deep, abiding relationship with Jesus Christ. She was a gift to Northwest, though we know that she was on loan to us from the Lord. I am so grateful that she lived amongst us and we had the privilege to work together for the advancement of God’s kingdom. To God be all the Glory!