Department of Education
Charged with ensuring more than 1.4 million children in New Jersey have the tools necessary to compete and succeed in the 21st century workplace, Lucille E. Davy was appointed Commissioner of Education on September 12, 2005.
A married mother of two teenage sons, Commissioner Davy spent the last four years as Special Counsel to the Governor for Education. In that role, Davy was the Governor’s representative to the State Board of Education; Commission on Higher Education and the New Jersey’s Technology Board of Trustees, and served as liaison to the professional education organizations and the business community. She was also involved in national education policy through her work with the National Governor’s Association, Achieve, and the James B. Hunt Institute for Education Policy and Leadership.
As Special Counsel, Davy was instrumental in several key Department of Education initiatives, ranging from the Early Literacy Task Force and Math Literacy Task Force, the Governor’s Book Club, and high school alignment and reform.
As Commissioner, Davy now oversees the 2,400 public schools in the state, as well as the many initiatives the department continues to create, foster, and maintain — including the pilot run of a new student-level database and the Abbott Secondary Initiative, an effort to strengthen the academic performance of Abbott district students in grades six through 12.
Davy, whose father was a longtime special education teacher in Livingston, received her teacher’s certification in mathematics in 1978, and has taught at both the local and collegiate levels.
Commissioner Davy credits her experience as a young girl attending her father’s classes as her first keen look inside a classroom, and says those memories have paved the way for both her career in education and her dedication to the field. In her new position, the Commissioner says her expertise as an attorney and teacher bode well for leading the more than 600 school districts across the state.
Commissioner Davy has long been a local volunteer and advocate where she lives, whether it was as a member of the Westfield Schools Parent-Teacher Council from 1996 to 2000, or as a Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) teacher at St. James Church in Pennington, where she is currently involved with the youth choir.
Prior to her time as Special Counsel on Education, Davy was the Education Policy Adviser for the state Democratic Committee from 2000 to 2001.
In her role as acting Commissioner of Education, Davy is responsible for recommending legislative initiatives and changes, suggesting rules and regulations for state board consideration, conducting educational research and initiatives to meet the state's educational needs, and serving as the liaison between the local school districts and the federal government.
Commissioner Davy’s range and responsibilities include:
• deciding legal controversies and disputes that arise under school law or state board regulations. The Commissioner's decisions have the force of law;
• serving as secretary to the State Board of Education;
• developing code proposals for state board discussion and consideration;
• allotting state aid to local districts; and
• ensuring that local districts adhere to all legal and state board requirements relating to school district operation; and
In her new position, Commissioner Davy also serves as chairwoman of the New Jersey State Board of Examiners, a 14-member group of educators that issues, suspends or revokes state certificates of elementary and secondary teachers and other professionals.
The board also determines whether alternative experiences meet course of study requirements for certification and recommends certification standards and requirements to the State Board of Education.
Davy is a lifelong New Jersey resident and a graduate of Livingston High School. She graduated cum laude from Seton Hall University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, and she received her law degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School. Commissioner Davy was admitted to the New Jersey Bar and Federal District Court in 1980.
Commissioner Davy is married to James M. Davy. They live in Pennington with their two sons, James and Andrew.