Ken Davis is a Substance Use Disorder Professional Supervisor for Prevention Services. He works in the field at Kelso High School.
How long have you worked for ESD 112 and what does your job entail?
I have worked at ESD since February 2019, but worked for the Vancouver School district before that. I am currently working at Kelso High School, creating an outpatient program for students struggling with substance use. My goal is to have an outpatient program in all of the middle and high schools in Cowlitz County. This will allow students to remain in school while gaining skills to help them deal with the challenges they are facing with drugs and alcohol.
What do you like best about your job?
I love working with students at the middle and high school level. I think they teach me more than I am able to teach them, so I am learning something almost every day. There is so much opportunity to not just help students learn, but being an example of how adults can be a resource for encouragement, strength and consistency, and facilitating building trusting relationships with others.
What do you find most challenging about your job?
In this profession you plant seeds. It is challenging working with a population that is searching for their sense of identity and forming their morals and values, which they most likely get from their friends. Gaining trust as an adult, and then maintaining that relationship with students everyday is challenging. (Especially when, as an adult, I don’t know anything or understand anything they are going through 😊)
What do you consider to be your greatest on-the-job skill or asset?
I’m a big kid, so I am not afraid to make jokes, make fun of myself, and admit that I do not have all the answers. A sense of humor and honesty goes a long way with building rapport with students.
Single? Married? Kids? Pets?
I have been married to the love of my life Rachel for 12 years, and we have been together for 20 years. We have a blended family with three adult daughters. Our pets include a menagerie of dogs, including special medically needy bulldogs. My wife and I run a rescue called Lily’s Pad for medically needy bulldogs, most with spina bifida.
What do you enjoy doing with your free time?
I like to read, and do vintage shopping, mostly looking for antique and collectible bulldog items. Running Lily’s Pad takes up most of our free time. We currently have 5 in house, 13 in foster homes across the nation, and have rescued and placed 90 dogs since we got our non-profit in 2016. We were just recently on KGW news!!
If your coworkers wanted to surprise you with a little treat sometime what should it be?
Chocolate? I just ate a bunch of brownies, all corner pieces. They are the best!
What is something that no one would guess about you if they just met you?
I’m a secret geek who attends comic book conventions.
Did you know? You can distinguish an alligator from a crocodile by paying attention to whether the animal will see you later or in a while.
If you could speak another language, which would it be and why?
Spanish. I think being bilingual in the schools and in the field would be a valuable resource to have.
If you could play one instrument you aren’t able to now, what would it be and why?
Piano, so I could write music.
Would you rather live in the city or the woods? Why?
Just moved from the city a little over a year ago to Silverlake, WA. More room, nature, and I love watching deer walk through my yard.
If you could abolish one piece of modern technology, what would it be and why?
Any form of social media. It has crippled our ability to communicate with each other both socially and intimately.
What is the meaning/story behind your name?
Kenneth (Handsome) John (God is gracious) LOL…you asked!
At what age did you become an adult?
I’m supposed to be an adult?
What is your spirit animal?
I have been on a shamanic journey with my spirit animal, a wolf.