[Posted June 20, 2018] Uni’s 16th principal, Eric Davidson, retired at the end of the school year, completing a remarkable 10-year run at Uni that began in the Fall of 2008.
To say his tenure has been one of achievement would be an understatement. Consider the academic standing at Uni at the end of the 2007-08 school year prior to his arrival and the situation at the end of the 2015-16 school year, the last for which LAUSD School Report Cards are available:
=> 2007-08: 2,320
=> 2015-16: 1,671
=> Change: Down 28%
=> 2007-08: 67%
=> 2015-16: 71%
=> Change: Up 6%
=> 2007-08: 45%
=> 2015-16: 89%
=> Change: up 98%
Student college/career readiness:
=> 2007-08: 27%
=> 2015-16: 53%
=> Change: Up 96%
Students with 96%+ attendance rates:
=> 2007-08: 55%
=> 2015-16: 75%
=> Change: Up 36%
State test scores on proficiency/11th graders/English:
=> 2007-08: 38%
=> 2015-16: 59%
=> Change: Up 55%
State test scores on proficiency/11th graders/Mathematics:
=> 2007-08: 14%
=> 2015-16: 31%
=> Change: Up 121%
Davidson also supervised rejuvenation of the Uni campus, including extensive use of classroom computers, construction of the South Gym after the second gym on Westgate Avenue was condemned, renovation of Stivelman Theater, installation of the new Astroturf field and running track now called Kampmann Stadium and Patton Track and the construction of the Collins & Katz Family YMCA on Uni grounds at the corner of Ohio and Westgate Avenues.
Moreover, Davidson saw the danger of falling enrollment at Uni – caused by the lack of attendance from school-age children from the local area – and helped to create the new Affiliated Charter at Uni which was approved on June 5, will become effective in July and be implemented in the new school year.
We asked him for some parting comments to the Uni community and he responded thus:
“After spending 10 years leading University High School, I have determined the ‘why’ of my career path. From classroom teacher, to program coordinator, to District management, to school administrator, there has been no experience that I hold in my heart and memory more tightly than the one I had being the Principal of our wonderful school. I have been inspired by students, parents, teachers and community members. I have come to know people who share the memories of our school with fondness and love. The alumni have connected the past to the future by sharing the values of our history that remains constant to this day – Community, Diversity and Excellence. Whether Warriors or Wildcats, we will always be Unified by our common experience rather than our uncommon backgrounds. Len Hill, class of 1965, exemplifies this connection.
“In the Spring of 2013, Len visited the school in preparation for his class reunion. We walked the campus together and came across a young man named David. David is an exceptional person and had been accepted into Harvard, Yale, and Washington University, St. Louis. He wanted to go to Yale but the financial conditions were less than satisfactory. Len would have nothing to do with that, considering he graduated a Warrior and Eli, and set forth on a crusade. Needless to say, David recently completed a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering at Yale University, and is a researcher and engineer focused on sustainably designed mechanical and infrastructural systems. He understands that nothing is designed in a vacuum, even for space.
“Len capably articulated his vision and support of public education. It is because of Len, Kathleen Cohen, Scott Kivel, Steven Sills, and so many other amazing alumni, I am able to say, with great certainty, that alumni make the difference. I will not be Principal, but will continue to support Uni because that is what Warriors and Wildcats do.
“I appreciate your years of support and thank Rich Perelman, as the writer and editor of this publication, for doing his part in support of this worthy and just cause.
“Lastly, I want to thank Judy Wolfenstein, Ivan Finkle, Jeff Deckman, Randy Awni, Janet Hirsch, Mike Cockinos, Mike Johnson, Joan Kline Redlich, and all the other University Education Foundation Board members for their spirited advocacy of the school.
“I am retiring, but am not yet retired. Like many of you, I will keep on doing because I can and hopefully one day soon, we will see one another again.
On behalf of Uni’s alumni and friends, thank you for your leadership and achievement in your 10 years on campus!