Mary Elizabeth Davis is superintendent of Henry County Schools in McDonough, Ga., a district with more than 42,000 students and 50 schools. Under her leadership, Henry County has seen an 11-point increase in the College and Career Ready Performance Index and has eliminated “F” ratings for schools.

Prior to joining the district, Davis was chief academic officer for the Cobb County School District in Marietta, Ga., the nation’s 23rd-largest school system. She also served as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Gwinnett County, Ga., at a time when the district was honored with the Broad Prize for advancing student performance. Davis was a presidential appointee in the George W. Bush administration and an education policy advisor for the United States Senate. She began her career as a chemistry teacher in Fairfax County, Va.

Davis holds a Ph.D. in education policy, a specialist’s degree in educational leadership, and a master’s in public administration from Georgia State University. She earned her bachelor’s from Messiah College in Pennsylvania.