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Davis: School and community are a place of ‘pure joy’

SAGLE – Christine “Chris” Davis has taken over since her start as principal of Sagle Elementary School in August.

Five years ago, Davis was living in Missouri with her outdoor-loving family when her husband decided to Google “the most affordable beach resorts in the United States.” That summer, the family made their first trip to Sandpoint but weren’t ready to make the move just yet.

Taking advantage of city favorites like City Beach and Schweitzer, the family of four instead opted to take more trips to the area in subsequent years. Their travels have even seen them venture into Montana and do the “sightseeing part” of visiting Glacier Park and bringing friends and family.

“We brought our best friends. And we’re like, we’re going to live here,” Davis said. “So, of course, they fall in love with a city.”

However, after four years of vacation, the outdoor-loving family found themselves making a tough decision between White Fish, Montana and Sandpoint. A decision that was settled by bringing Davis’ parents for one last trip.

“We showed my family,” Davis said. “They said, ‘Oh my God, you guys, Sandpoint, it’s you. It’s totally you. ”

With no intention of leaving the education field, Davis retired from Missouri State, a career that spanned more than 22 years, leaving her free to seek a position with the Lake Pend School District. Ear. Davis has extensive experience in the field of education, from teaching middle school language arts to serving as an elementary school counselor and administrator.

Looking at available positions at LPOSD, Davis found an assistant principal position at Sandpoint Middle School. Davis applied and was answered for an interview. Although they hadn’t officially moved on, Davis and her mother made the trip anyway. Davis said she wanted to make sure LPOSD officials knew she was serious.

“I interviewed knowing full well that I wasn’t going to get it,” Davis said. “I wanted to let this district know that I’m pretty serious about this.”

Although Davis didn’t get the SMS job, LPOSD Superintendent Tom Alberston wasn’t going to let her go that easily. Albertson approached Davis in May 2021 with a different opportunity — the senior position at Sagle Elementary. This time, Davis did a virtual interview that went so well that she and her family had completely moved out in August, just in time to get settled before the start of the school year.

Davis said when she started at Sagle Elementary, she did so knowing she was the “newbie.” She didn’t want to make too many changes before she knew her new home, she added.

“I know enough in my 24th year of college that when you accept a new gig, you don’t change much in your freshman year,” Davis said.

However, this attitude did not stop Davis from building on the school’s existing foundations, such as special education therapy rooms. Not all schools in the district have one, but Davis said the halls are a benefit to students and are working to have a “calming corner” in every classroom next year. The soothing corner will provide students with a space to process and navigate their way through any situation with a “regulation” chart that will help them return to a healthy level of comfort

“It’s just a place the kids can go if they’re feeling a little bad,” Davis said.

With the end of Davis’ first year with Sagle Elementary, Davis said she looks forward to putting her spin on upcoming events as a “get to know you popsicle” for new kindergarten students and their families and ice cream to welcome students back to school.

Since moving, Davis has gotten to know the staff and the community. In doing so, Davis said she discovered that the Sagle community was one family.

“It’s a place of true, pure joy,” Davis said.