SEDL Mourns Loss of Michael Davis

July 30, 2012
Austin, Texas

Laura Shankland
Communications Associate
Phone: 512-391-6556

Micheael DavisMichael Davis, a trusted adviser and friend to SEDL, passed away on July 18, 2012, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Michael was known for his commitment to both his family and public education. Michael served on the SEDL board of directors from 1997 to 2003, including serving as board chair from 2001 to 2002. Michael then became a long-term consultant to SEDL’s program staff, board, and president and CEO in 2004.

Michael was born and raised in Ames, Iowa. After serving with the Peace Corps in Columbia for 2 years, he relocated to Las Cruces, New Mexico, and joined the federal Teacher Corps. Michael remained in New Mexico, earning a master’s degree in bilingual education from New Mexico State University and an education specialist degree in school administration from the University of New Mexico. Michael worked for several years in the Chama Valley Independent School District and joined the New Mexico Department of Education in 1984. He served as state superintendent of public education from 1997 through 2003. Michael influenced and inspired children and educators alike and always kept service and children first and foremost in his thoughts.

At SEDL, Michael worked with staff on state policy development and implementation issues, particularly those addressing low-performing districts and schools. He advised the SEDL board on work with state departments of education and issues of board operations. He also served as an executive coach to SEDL’s president and CEO, focusing on program development, staffing, operations, leadership, and governance. In all of these endeavors, his special strengths were engaging people to work together to solve complex problems.

We offer our condolences to Michael’s family, especially his wife, Karen, and his three children, Jonathan, Jessup, and Addie.

Memorial donations can be made to Partners in Education Foundation for the Santa Fe Public Schools in Michael’s name.

Articles and Obituaries for Michael Davis

Santa Fe New Mexican article

Santa Fe New Mexican obituary

Albuquerque Journal article

About SEDL

SEDL (formerly Southwest Educational Development Laboratory) is a nonprofit corporation based in Austin, Texas. SEDL is dedicated to solving significant education problems and improving teaching and learning through research, research-based resources, and professional development. For more information about SEDL, visit