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Former Stoughton High Principal Dr. Daniel Davis Unexpectedly Passes Away

Davis had a 30-year career at Stoughton High, where he was a teacher, social studies department head, and later, principal. He died on Oct. 19.

The flag at flew at half-staff on Friday, in memory of Dr. Daniel F. Davis, a former teacher, social studies department head, and principal at SHS, who unexpectedly passed away on Oct. 19, while on a teaching mission in India.

Davis was at Stoughton High School for 30 years, retiring as principal after the 2002-2003 school year. He spent the last eight years teaching at Boston University’s School of Education.

Current Social Studies department head John Gallivan said his predecessor was a “Renaissance Man.”

“[Davis was an] amazing bundle of energy, going in 12 different directions at one time,” Gallivan said.

“He truly was a life-long learner,” Gallivan continued. “He was one of the smartest people I ever met. He did so much for Stoughton High, it’s unbelievable.”

Davis, according to his obituary in the Boston Globe, “loved every minute” of his 38-year teaching career.

Born in 1941, he grew up in Coney Island, NY, went to college at Owego University B.A., Brooklyn College M.A., and Ohio State University for his Ph.D., according to the Globe.  Davis came to Stoughton High in 1973. He authored texts on Asian History and U.S. History, post World War II.

Gallivan, who now occupies the office once held by Davis, said he “still considers it [Davis’] office.”

“It’s very shocking news,” Gallivan said. “It’s hard because the kids here don’t know him…quite a bit of staff doesn’t know him.”

But, Davis’ legacy is still felt in the social studies department, where Gallivan said every teacher has a tie to Davis, whether they got to know him as a teacher, principal, boss, or professor at BU. He hired many of the social studies staff, and as a professor at BU, helped to place budding educators at Stoughton High.

A blog to remember Davis has been set up on the BU School of Education website. 

Current Stoughton High social studies teacher Amy Scullane, who was hired by Davis, and was one of his former students at BU, shared her memories of Davis on the blog.

“Your students, friends and colleagues at Stoughton High School were lucky enough to get 30 years of your joyousness, intelligence, advocacy, and wit,” she wrote. “You always, always fought for the students, especially the underdogs.”

Even as principal at SHS, Davis found his way back into the classroom.

“While principal at Stoughton High, Dan used to burst into my Social Studies classroom, saying, “What are we learning about today?” – and he’d pick up whatever topic it was and run with it until the main office would call around looking for him,” Scullane wrote on the BU memorial blog.

Davis is survived by his wife of 48 years, his two children, four grandchildren, and sister. He was cremated in Udaipur, India, according to the Globe’s obituary.

Donations in his memory, according to the Globe’s obituary, will be accepted at: The Dr. Daniel Davis Scholarship Fund, Stoughton High School, 232 Pearl Street, Stoughton, MA 02072.

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To view Dr. Davis' obituary, click here; to view his memorial blog on the BU website, click here.

lowertaxes October 22, 2011 at 02:57 AM
Very sad to hear this. Dr. Davis taught me a lot and he truly was a great teacher.
holden caufield February 23, 2012 at 06:37 AM
how strange I was on here looking up something else completely and I happen to run across Dr. Davis. and I had him as teacher as well. He was a great teacher. He captivated history into a fascinating story of intrigue. thank you Dr. Davis

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