In late April, Rashaan Davis was selected as the next assistant commissioner at the Colorado High School Activities Association. He will oversee activities and perform a number of other duties.
To get to know him better, CHSAA Director of Digital Media, Brad Cochi, sat down with Davis to ask a few questions about his excitement for the new role, his background, his vision for the future and more.
Cochi: First of all, congratulations on the new position. Could you please tell us how excited you are to get started and what drew you to becoming the next CHSAA Assistant Commissioner?
Davis: Thank you very much. I am very excited! This is an opportunity that I have been looking forward to for a long time. CHSAA has a great history of creating learning opportunities for students through athletics and activities, and I am excited to now be a part of the team that helps to make that happen. I have been lucky enough to play a small role in each of the CHSAA activities I will oversee. Whether I was advising student leaders, serving as a judge at a speech & debate tournament, or volunteering at a music event, I have had the opportunity to “get behind the curtain” and see exactly how these events are put together.
I love that I am now in a position to work with a network of adults (teachers, coaches, and administrators) who wake up every day looking forward to positively impacting students through their participation in activities. It has been very rewarding to impact students in my own school, but to now be able to impact students across the state? This is beyond words.
In your new role, you will oversee activities, the Hall of Fame, awards/trophies and esports, and will have a wide variety of other duties. What are your thoughts on taking over this grassroots position and how do you see this position growing in the future?
That is a great question. Prior to this even being a position, I had thought about what it would look like to have someone solely in charge of CHSAA-sponsored activities. Those thoughts were always grounded in what CHSAA could do – growing current programs to be as recognized as many of the athletic offerings, the creation of new activities for students who are looking for ways to connect on their campus, and working with other state associations to share best-practices and implementation procedures. Now that this is a reality, I can’t wait to do those things and so many more.
I am also looking forward to the days when we will be adding new activities to what CHSAA already offers. Future activities might include: Robotics, Knowledge Bowl, and middle school leadership conferences, and One-Act Plays. All of my assignments are important, and I look forward to coming in and giving each of them the attention they deserve. The future is bright for activities at CHSAA.
You have a broad background in education. Could you please give us some insight into your background and the experiences that have led you to this point in your life?
In order to answer this question, we have to go back a few years. I grew up in Colorado Springs and attended Sierra High School. Growing up in a military community, that seemed like the logical choice upon graduation, so I joined the Army. My time in the military helped shape me into the school leader I have become. Working with a team, completing the mission, and properly making your bunk each day were skills that have translated well. In college, I was voted student body president at a time when the university was looking to change the school mascot, playing a major role in that process helped me to understand what equity and voice really meant.
Over the years, I have been able to work with students to create programs that help schools in our state to provide the best in extracurricular events for their students. I have built curriculum, managed large budgets for major events and worked with other schools to promote programs. Throughout the years, I’ve continued to share the message of educational equity, voice, and belonging. The end of this school year marks my 25th year in education and in all of those years- having served as a Social Studies teacher, Student Leadership adviser, and Campus Administrator- I have come to know that listening is one of the most important things I can do. And yes, I still make my bed every morning.
What are you looking forward to most about your new job?
As I stated earlier, I am looking forward to bringing new and different activities to CHSAA while building capacity in our existing activities. I am excited to work with school leaders, coaches, advisors from around the state, and the CHSAA advisory committees that work with each activity. I am also looking forward to working with the entire CHSAA office staff. Rhonda has assembled a team that I look forward to learning from and growing with. Fostering relationships, building capacity, listening to the ideas of others, and continuing to produce successful events is what I am really looking forward to.
What advice do you have for the upcoming generation on the importance of education and activities?
Education is the basis for all that we do, and activities can play an important role in helping students frame their view of the world. If we can continue creating opportunities for students to showcase their talent, with the help of caring adults and supportive peers, within the school environment, it can only help them develop skills that the world will ask them to have.