“We are actually celebrating all year long with a variety of events at school and out in the community,” Head of School Amy Shafron said about January, April and May occasions. “There’s something for everyone, and the party goes on all year long.”
All school year, about 600 kindergarten- through eighth-grade boys and girls will wear blue yarmulkes, or prayer caps, with the Davis 20th anniversary logo on it, Shafron said.
Students can listen to themselves on a recording of original music by school Rabbi Micah Lapidus and admire their handiwork on a tzedakah box, a trunk decorated by parent volunteer Carolyn Rosing to look like a vintage piece of luggage.
“Each and every child drew or wrote something or signed their name to something that reflected what was special to them about Davis,” school spokeswoman Fran Putney said.
For Davis, whose parents are the school’s namesakes, highlights of the “Davis Journey” include the 1995 groundbreaking ceremony on Roberts Drive and opening day in 1996.
“We were at the Junior Achievement building at Abernathy Road, in the basement, and it was quite a step to come to our own building,” he said.
Those times were exciting, Davis said.
“I wouldn’t say it was scary although everybody we talked to said, ‘I don’t think it’s going to work’ and ‘You’re crazy,’” he said. “We had no idea that the demand was as great as it was.”
The school grew to become the largest reform Jewish day school in the U.S., Shafron said, even as strong personal connections lead to alumni popup visits.
“I don’t think there’s a day that goes by where our graduates do not come back to visit, to see their teachers and to see what’s changed,” she said.
Board president Sam Tuck said the institution shines in other ways.
“What makes the school unique is the way it’s run, the way the students are treated and the way the families get involved,” he said. “It’s a community, not just a school.”
Tuck said the next 20 years will continue its unique streak.
“We’re going to do what we’ve been doing and change with the times, where needed,” he said.