Milford High principal Chali Davis resigns

MILFORD – In a district that has been mired by problems, Milford High School principal Chali Davis, who was hired in July 2019, resigned on Monday, effective June 30.

In a letter, Davis said, “I leave with a grateful heart. These past two years have been challenging for the MHS community and alongside with each other, we have sought to meet the many challenges with courage, grit, humor and determination.”

Davis shared that students, parents, teachers, staff and administrators came “together in the midst of a crisis and have done the very best they could.”

“I am proud to have served this community, and I value the connections we have made,” she continued.

Davis’ exit comes just days after assistant superintendent Christi Michaud took over as interim superintendent while Dr. Jessica Huizenga begins her departure. Huizenga resigned from her post in early December 2020.

In a statement from Huizenga on Tuesday that was sent to staff and families, she wrote, in part:

“I’m writing to let you know that Ms. Chali Davis has informed me of her decision to resign from her position as Principal of Milford High School effective, June 30, 2021. Ms. Davis has served the Milford School District tirelessly for the past two years. Her leadership was particularly evident and greatly admired from her colleagues and to district leadership, as an integral member of our team. During this unprecedented pandemic, when the district transitioned from a regular model of education, into remote, into hybrid, back to remote, and then to full in person, she has led her team with strength and adaptability. In a very short amount of time, she gracefully tackled some significant and important items that have long needed attention, positioning MHS to move forward into the future.”

As first reported by the Cabinet on October 3, 2019, Davis spoke to the student body on September 27, 2019, about achieving one’s goals. According to a student, Davis commented that even Adolph Hitler had goals, though his were evil.

That student’s parent, Jamie Morgan, who has been publicly frustrated with some of the school district and school board’s policies and conduct, sent an email to the Cabinet which she sent to numerous school representatives, including the school board chair and board members, principal Mike Tenters and Davis.

A public relations representative for the district, John Guilfoil, returned a call placed to Davis by the Cabinet. At that time, their response was “no comment.”

A right-to-know request was made for the presentation-in-question, but was rejected by the district and the school board.

More kerfuffles followed when Davis chose not to share the slideshow and according to an email, when she offered to sit down with a parent to discuss the presentation, she refused to comply with the request.

Davis served as assistant principal in Concord, New Hampshire for three years before entering the Milford school system, where she headed the English, English Language Learners and Reading departments.

During her tenure in Concord, she was named in a civil lawsuit after a high school student was sexually assaulted on a school bus in 2017. After failing to reach a compromise during mediation and after several delays, a judge approved an extension and the trial has been set for January 2022.