LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Ramone Davenport

Position: Director
School: Dohn Community High School
School District: Dohn Community High School
City, State: Cincinnati, OH

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Ramone Davenport was nominated by a colleague who wishes to remain anonymous.

Mr. Davenport is Dohn Community High School’s director, a role in which he fulfills the functions of both Superintendent and Principal. The vision statement of the school is “A Place to Turn Your Life Around.” Since becoming director in 2009, Mr. Davenport has changed thousands of students’ lives. He has designed and created the Transition, Success and Credit Recovery Programs, which allow students who have dropped out of other high schools to enroll and graduate from Dohn Community High School.

"Many of these students have left school due to racism, poverty and behavioral challenges," the nominator said. "They have not been able to receive an education in other school settings. They come to Dohn, and they succeed."

Mr. Davenport’s leadership instills the belief that all is possible, even for students who live in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty and urban violence. Students go to school burdened by life issues that go beyond getting an education. Some of the issues that students deal with on a daily basis include housing, hunger, abandonment, responsibility for younger siblings, incarcerated or addicted parents, extreme poverty, and urban violence.

Due to Mr. Davenport’s leadership, students often choose Dohn as their first choice school. Under his leadership, the school’s enrollment has grown from 95 students in 2009 to 653 students in 2017, and over 750 graduates in that eight-year period. Students are animated and engaged in their learning, and they enjoy positive interactions with the teachers and staff. It is clear that the students enjoy one another and their school experience.

Students know that Mr. Davenport wants them to succeed. He is sensitive to the needs of students who are at risk of dropping out, and the Transition, Success and Credit Recovery programs allow for flexible scheduling in response to parenting, employment or parole commitments. He is benevolent with social programs such as school field trips, Homecoming activities, and proms.  

Mr. Davenport's exceptional leadership skills are demonstrated by the growth of the student enrollment, and the increase in the number of school locations. Under his leadership, Dohn grew from one location to five locations in the inner city of Cincinnati, Ohio.

He is a visionary leader who sees what's possible long before it has come into form. He has gathered a consortium of other charter schools that educate children from kindergarten to the 12th grade. This Consortium shares resources and problem-solving solutions, creating a cohesive community within Cincinnati charter schools. In 2015, Mr. Davenport was awarded Leader of the Year by the Ohio Alliance of Public Charter Schools.

Managing a deficit-free school, Mr. Davenport provides a level of financial stability that is a remarkable accomplishment. In doing this, he provides a secure environment for the students, their families, and all faculty and staff. He offers patience, guidance, and solutions for students and staff who may be having a difficult time.

"He is a caring and wise leader who knows how to support his staff in educating our at-risk students through to graduation," the nominator said.

His most recent accomplishment is the creation of Dohn’s Fitness Academy. He has managed the transformation of a nearly condemned building into a first-class educational site that includes an indoor basketball court and community fitness center. Dohn Community High School now has an impressive football team, three basketball teams, a track team and a new baseball team.

Mr. Davenport nurtures staff through professional development and team bonding exercises where they work together for a common goal. He is highly concerned for his staff’s well-being and always wants what is best. His efforts were recently demonstrated at the Dohn Fitness Challenge, where many staff members participated in a 2.8 mile walk or run in 45 minutes. For those who met the time, there was financial reward, which was paid for out of Mr. Davenport’s own pocket. He created the Fitness Challenge out of concern for staff health and wellness, and it has sparked an ongoing fitness program for staff at Dohn.

Mr. Davenport also has the ability to calm and comfort upset parents who are seeking answers. As a parent himself, he knows the challenges facing parents today and relates to them on a personal level. Parents enter his office upset and leave with reassurance and gratitude. His focus is always aimed at helping students graduate and advance toward success in life.

Mr. Davenport is a problem solver who can see through a problem and find solutions very quickly. He changes the lives of his students by being a role model and holding them accountable for their actions. He emphasizes fitness as a personal responsibility for the gift of life. Mr. Davenport treats everyone with a fairness that comes from living with an unswayable moral compass. His innate kindness in all of his interactions speaks volumes. He is a man who lives by the highest moral and ethical standards, and inspires others around him to do the same.

"There is immediacy to Mr. Davenport’s life, and he is a master of living in the moment," the nominator said. "This capacity makes him a LifeChanger. He is not stuck in what was, nor is he immobilized by the future. He is present. This presence offers our at-risk youth the realization of what is possible through action, responsibility, and respect. We, at Dohn, are proud to call him our leader, and grateful to nominate him as LifeChanger of the Year."

Comments (25)

Dennis Washington Posted over a year ago

Mr. Davenport has truly unique skills that are extremely rare for a person of his tenure. He's comfortable in any situation whether it's working with a cross section of the community or in a situation where he is working with some of the most challenging students in one of his schools. His management style elevates his staff, students and supporters to perform consistently at a high level of achievement. He is not only a Life Changer as a successful educator, he is a person who demonstrates a high level of administrative competence; one who works constantly to improve support systems to gain better output for his students; a person that displays strength in leadership, where he faces problems with confidence and assurance. Lastly, he strives to maximum return on donor dollars by paying close attention to monitoring budgets, resulting in several successful expansions of the school. I highly recommend Ramone for this distinguished award.

Andrea Allen Posted over a year ago

I have had the privilege of working with Mr. Davenport for 7 years. It has been an honor to work with such a high caliber professional whose hard work and dedication produce superb results. Mr. Davenport has changed the lives of many students through his vision in education. He has made it possible for families to now have first generation high school graduates who move on to higher learning. Mr. Davenport's outlook on education continues to grow and inspires everyone. Dohn Community High school is honored to have such a leader and visionary.

Donna Foster Posted over a year ago

Let’s begin by saying that it is one thing to be a boss, another thing to be a mentor but a completely different thing to be a leader. It gives me great joy to comment on our visionary leader Mr. Davenport. I am so grateful to nominate him as Life Changer of the Year. Mr. Davenport is a visionary leader and diligently truly cares for our youth. Mr. Davenport is a very supportive leader, he supports ideas and events involving students and staff that are outside the area of expertise. Under the leadership of Mr. Davenport, Dohn Community High School helps students identify their skills and strengths that would surely benefit their endeavors in the future. I am proud to be led by a boss, mentor and leader like Mr. Davenport. Ms. Donna Foster M.E.d African American Studies

Nancy Cooper Posted over a year ago

Mr. Davenport supported my high anxiety son, encouraged him to keep going and seek his dreams. Mr Davenport never gave up on my son or any student, and has definitely been a life changer for his students.

Russell W Morrison Posted over a year ago

I have been involved with Dohn and Mr. Davenport over the past five years as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees. He is truly remarkable, both as a visionary and as a leader. As Principal he was most effective in the earlier years setting the tone for the school. This tone was a delicate balance between education expectations and environment realities for the students and staff. Success resulted including some very innovative solutions to potential issues and concerns. Upon the unexpected death of the Superintendent, there was no question as to the Board choice for a replacement. Combining the role of Superintendent and Principal was genius and Dohn was staged for even greater success. The Board has been forced to keep up with the whirlwind of progress initiated by Mr. Davenport. We would not be in multiple campuses. We would not be serving 22+ students and the community. We would not be providing unique and comprehensive sport activity, from boxing to 5th year basketball. Only through his vision and unrelenting enthusiasm are we offering these programs and more. More importantly the students and graduates have learned from him first hand how to come to grips with their individual situations and how to begin to make the most of their lives. Managers merely manage, yet leaders inspire. Ramone Davenport is an inspiration to Dohn and the community it serves.

Joan Barlage Posted over a year ago

I have know and worked with Mr. Davenport for the past 20 years and have witnessed first-hand his growth as a leader and life-changer. Ramone began as a teacher with Harmony Community School in 1998, and within the first couple of years, was promoted to a leadership position. He works extremely well with both students and staff and at Dohn Communit High School, he is constantly encouraging ways to develop betterment in the lives of everyone at the school as well as the community at large. Ramone is a visionary with the courage of his convictions. It is with pleasure and my honor that I highly recommend Ramone Davenport for the LifeChanger of the Year Award!

Anonymous Posted over a year ago

I have had the pleasure of working for Mr. Davenport for almost 5 years. I have watched him develop new programs on the fly, because what we offered in that moment did not fit a students needs. I have seen our enrollment numbers grow from 200 to almost 1000 in those 5 years. He embraced the opportunity to educate adults in our area and our school currently has 400 adults working towards their high school diplomas. He changes the life of every student that walks through the doors of Dohn. He has a never give up attitude that is infectious and spreads like wildfire though his staff. He has the firm belief that every student can and will be helped at Dohn, and does everything within his power to make sure that is true.

Ranyail Boston-Jeter Posted over a year ago

I am so proud to be working with Mr. Davenport . Society has already labeled our children as "throw-away " and unable to be educated. His vision is for each child to reach their full potential and becoming a productive citizen. With a Positive Mind that anything is possible when you Believe. Thank You Mr. Davenport for giving our children a chance at a better life

Moe Cooper Posted over a year ago

I must say that it's an honor knowing a visionary such as Mr. Davenport. Since working at Dohn Mr. Davenport has inspired and motivated me to participate and learn more about the process of educating our youth. I see the inspiration and motivation he gives ALL of the high school students and adults who attends Dohn Community High School. It is such a blessing and gift to have someone who is very sincere and passionate about educating people. He truly cares and believes that it's possible for Dohn students to graduate and continue on towards a bright future.

Catherine Tegarden Posted over a year ago

With all the many demands on him, what I appreciate most about Mr. Davenport is that whenever there are student needs, he drops other things and puts the students first. He builds into us, his staff, to understand and meet our students' needs as well with training and resources. Mr. Davenport's presents a great model that inspires the students and staff. These are just a few of the ways he changes lives.

Nikki Elmore Posted over a year ago

The goal of meeting students where they are is exactly what Mr. Davenport does with all of his students. No matter the circumstance, no matter the challenge, Mr. Davenport always finds a way to help students come to school in a safe and welcoming learning environment. For example, Mr. Davenport established the life coach program. If a student can't come to school, we come to them; our life coaches physically go into the city and see the students face to face. He truly goes above and beyond.

Sarah Thorburn Posted over a year ago

Ramone Davenport is an outstanding leader, entrepreneur, a man of endless energy in pursuit of the goal to make a difference in Cincinnati by changing lives in positive ways so that graduates are capable and confident to meet the challenges ahead. I have witnessed these qualities first hand as a board member and in talking with/observing the student climate. It is a tribute to Mr. Davenport's zeal that he is able to manage multiple locations simultaneously, identify faculty who are committed to work with Dohn students, and 'keep ahead of the curve' in identifying trends in public education. The school's 22+ record is outstanding as adults are empowered to reach their goals, some who deferred for years because of interruptions. Dohn has provided a way for them to receive a diploma, often preferred over the GED. Noteworthy is Ramone Davenport's presentation and demeanor as Director and chief athletic supporter. It inspires the students to aspire.

Andrea Slone Posted over a year ago

In my 6 years woking for Mr. Davenport I've experienced the way he says yes to innovative ideas. With so many responsibilities he still takes the time to listen to staff, students and parents. He is a fluid thinker, willing to experiment with out-of-the-box possibilities in the hope of finding solutions to educating the urban population. His ability to envision a positive, bright future for education inspires both teachers and students and truly makes him a life changer.

Kendall Anderson Posted over a year ago

I made an error on my prior response. I stated that I was in my fifth year teaching at Dohn; it should had read fourth. Thank you.

Charles Woodward Posted over a year ago

As a three year school counselor at Dohn School and in my 51st year as a professional educator serving in private, public an charter schools, the most unique quality Ramone Davenport beings to this school is "change." change should be his middle name. He embodies the concepts underlying charter schools; namely, if something does not work, change it to make it better. Change involves thinking outside the box. That is what makes it fun working with him.

Kendall Anderson, M.Ed. Posted over a year ago

I wholeheartedly agree with the statements concerning the leadership, vision and professionalism of Mr. Davenport. I am in my fifth year as a teacher at Dohn Community High School and I've seen many examples of his commitment to students, families, staff and the community at large. He has always said education is the key to turning one's life around and as a school, we must put our students' education and their family concerns as our number one priority. If we are not here for our students, we need to consider other options. As a result of Mr. Davenport's dedication to our students and families, he has developed many options for them. He has partnered with business leaders in the private sector to enhance athletic opportunities for our students by providing professional expertise and athletic equipment to stimulate the student's interest. I am most impressed with the latest program brought to Dohn Community High School by Mr. Davenport, the Ohio Department of Education 22+ Program. This program focuses on adult learners completing their high school diploma. Since the program started two years ago, literally hundreds of adults have earned their credits to complete their high school graduation requirements and have graduated. This expands our school's outreach to educate all members in the community, regardless of age. Mr. Davenport is a visionary with the goal and purpose of helping people help turn their lives around through education. At Dohn, we meet them where they are.

Zak Nordyke Posted over a year ago

Ramone Davenport has impacted the lives of thousands of students over the last twenty years. Mr. Davenport’s devotion to innovation and serving learners holistically has driven his success. The programs he has instituted at Dohn High School School will have a generational impact on our community.

Michael D. Hall Posted over a year ago

I am a board member at Mr. Ramone Davenport's high school. I am also a retired 30 year high school principal. Mr. Davenport is one of a kind. He is intelligent. He is a man with great vision..He has a very high energy level which allows him to accomplish a lot of work. He is a people person with wonderful social skills and consequently students, faculty and parents admire him. I admire and value the way he always has his "head in the game". Our high school is very large with multiple locations but he always has his pulse on what is going on. Mr Davenport has taken a small school that was struggling financially and almost singlehandedly turned it into a financial powerhouse. Our enrollment was about 200 students when Mr. Davenport came on the scene. Currently it is well over 1000 students and growing every day. This man has taken the toughest students in any educational setting and has gotten them a high school diploma when many other educators failed with the same students. No question in my mind that this man is a "Life Changer" for many hundreds of students who needed a "leg up" in life. I give Ramone Davenport my highest recommendation. I am absolutely convinced there is only one Ramone Davenport. Whatever he does, will be done in a first class manner. I would suggest to anyone that you grab hold of this talented man; hang on tight and he will put your school on the map. Michael D. Hall

Sylvia Humphrey Posted over a year ago

Speaking not only as staff member, but as parent of many Dohn High School graduates , Mr. Davenport has helped students get threw a lot of barriers that they would have otherwise let stop them, Mr.Davenport has not only helped them with their education, but has helped with alot of personal obstacles that were stopping them from succeeding in life, he has a heart of gold and is a great person, he is truly a LifeChanger!!!!!!

Jonathan Williams Posted over a year ago

My first job as a public school teacher was in 2002. I was one of the Social Studies teachers at one of the well known high schools in the Cincinnati Public School district. After 14 years of teaching various subjects at traditional public as well as charter schools, I was looking for an opportunity to return my focus to teaching at-risk students high school Social Studies. I had known of Mr. Davenport because he was a teacher at one of the schools where I previously taught. At the end of the 2015 school year, a colleague suggested that I contact Mr. Davenport who was now the Director at Dohn. I contacted him in August 2016. During our initial meeting, he explained the models of the traditional high school (on the main campus), and the concepts of "Credit Recovery" and the "22 Plus Program" that provides academic guidance for people over the age of 21, who want to earn their high school diploma. After about 30 minutes he offered me a position to be a co-teacher in the Social Studies department. In addition to learning about the school, I was most impressed with his interest to develop a program that emphasizes athletics. As a former college athlete myself, this was particularly exciting to me. He also mentioned his desire to build a mentoring program for the young men at the school. At the time, I was in a group called "A Few Good Men". I informed him that our mission is to provide assistance to people in need as well as non-profit organizations in the greater Cincinnati area. He offered to host one of our breakfast meetings. At the meeting, I introduced him as one of the few true "21st Century Visionary Leaders" in our city. At the end of the school year, he hosted a luncheon with the group as well as an event we called "Dinner for Dads". Throughout the school year, he was determined to open another facility. In September, 2017 the Dohn Fitness Academy opened its doors. This component focused on the student's health and fitness as well as academics. His vision was becoming a reality - right before our eyes. As the current school year unfolds, Mr. Davenport has hired more staff and opened an additional a fourth satellite site on Cincinnati's west side. He has championed numerous health challenges as well as professional development for Dohn staff. Today, Dohn Community High School has a Prep Academy basketball team that is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the greater Cincinnati area. I am happy to endorse Mr. Davenport for this "LifeChanger" of the year - or any other "Award". He is one of the most deserving young men I know.

Crystal Ball Posted over a year ago

This is the third year that I have had the opportunity to work with Mr. Davenport and it has been a privilege to share in his vision. He is a leader in every sense of the word. His dedication to Dohn Community High School is immeasurable. He is dedicated to his staff, dedicated to the community and dedicated to the student's that we teach. For a lot of the student's at Dohn, this is their last hope of receiving their education, to be nurtured, to learn how to become a productive citizen and to be a success. Mr. Davenport never gives up on a student or staff member, he goes above and beyond to guarantee that the school succeeds in "turning lives around". Mr. Davenport is, in every sense of the word, a life changer. He changed my life when he hired me to be a part of this life changing experience of teaching at Dohn Community High School. He fully deserves to be recognized as a "Life Changer".

anonymous Posted over a year ago

Mr. Davenport is a visionary and working for someone who has the best interest of the students is amazing. The vision he has not only for Dohn, but the students as well is phenomenal and caters to the needs and wants of the students. I command his effort to truly make Dohn a place where not only students, however families to change their lives around. I 100percent agree with the comments and statements mentioned above. Mr. Davenport deserves the life changers award for his compassion to be a visionary leader for generations to come.

Natasha Allen Posted over a year ago

I have had the pleasure of working for Ramone Davenport for one year. It has been a pleasure observing individuals, ranging 14 -70 years of age, achieve their goal. Coming from a suburban area, I was unaware of the need for this program for the city of Cincinnati, until I started at Dohn Community High School. Ramone Davenport vision and determination changes lives daily. It is an honor to be apart of this establishment. The success of each individual is the goal for students and staff.

Gerald Gunning Posted over a year ago

In three year association with Mr. Davenport I whole heartedly agree with the above description. I have attended four graduations and have listened to student testimonials of high praise for Mr. Davenport. Students constantly remark that Mr. Davenport and Dohn have given them the opportunity to earn a high school diploma. Mr. Davenport abhors procrastination and I can't do attitudes. Mr. Davenport always looks for ways to make a student successful. In summary Mr. Davenport is a Life Changer of the highest degree.

Aureal Williams Posted over a year ago

Mr. Davenport demonstrates unprecedented leadership. In multiple decades of employment, with many leaders, I have not ever witnessed a leader as effective as him. There are thousands of people in his daily, energy field and he manages to make them feel seen and heard. He can be fierce, however, he is always fair. He is an evolutionary leader, changing the outcome to positive for thousands of students who need an alternative option for education on the path to graduation. It is a privilege to work under his leadership and bear witness to the many lives he is changing.