Canopy names new principal for Cares School, Hattiesburg


Robin Davis, Ph.D., will become the new CARES School principal in Hattiesburg starting later this month. Canopy Children’s Solutions said the change will follow the retirement of current principal Anne Russum, who has led the school since its opening in 2009.

CARES School Hattiesburg is an accredited, non-public school designed to meet the educational and behavioral needs of students who struggle to thrive in a public school setting. The school, with 63 students enrolled, serves children with emotional disabilities as well as students on the autism spectrum. CARES School staff work closely with public school districts including those in Covington, Forrest, George, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lamar, Marian, Pearl River, Perry, Walthall and Wayne counties in and around the Pine Belt region.

“I care deeply about CARES School Hattiesburg,” Russum said. “I could not think of a better person than Robin to follow me. She is a skilled professional with years of experience working in both public and special-purpose schools. Most importantly, she loves the children and is passionate about their growth and care. ”

Davis brings with her nearly two decades of experience working with special needs children in education. After spending time in the Lawrence County Public Schools system, Davis began working as a math consultant in a special-purpose school dedicated to children with emotional disabilities. She soon took on a full-time teaching role at the school where she served for 10 years. In 2010, she joined the CARES School in Hattiesburg, where she has served as the lead teacher, individualized education plan coordinator and interim principal.

Davis holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in mathematics. She began work on her master’s degree in mathematics at USM after leaving the public school system; however, after discovering her passion for children with emotional disabilities and special needs, she changed course to earn a master’s in Special Education – Emotional Disability. She also began working towards her Ph.D., which she finished in May 2018.

Davis will begin her duties as principal when the students return for extended school year over the summer. She is already brainstorming ways that she can continue to push CARES School Hattiesburg in the trajectory of growth and success.