Rody Boonchouy — who was one of the founding teachers when the program now known as Da Vinci Charter Academy was launched in 2003, and came back to serve as Da Vinci’s principal for the past two years — is leaving to take a job with the Buck Institute for Education, based in northern Marin County.
The Buck Institute advocates and promotes the project-based learning approach that is a cornerstone of the educational approach at Da Vinci.
“It was a really tough decision,” Boonchouy told The Enterprise on Monday, after he’d informed parents, students and staff that he would be moving on at the end of the school year. “I made the decision with a heavy heart. But (the new job) was something I couldn’t turn down.”
Boonchouy left Da Vinci for a few years to do some work for the Buck Institute, as well as for the Napa-based New Tech Network. He will be the institute’s director of national faculty, responsible for advancing project-based learning nationally and internationally.
“And there is a lot of interest from many schools and school districts in project-based learning right now,” Boonchouy said.
Da Vinci has thrived during the past few years, growing from a program serving grades 10-12 into a program serving grades 7-12, and moving into charter school status. Da Vinci was recognized a few weeks ago as a California Distinguished School by the California Department of Education.
Boonchouy said he leaves knowing that “we have developed very strong, stable systems and processes at Da Vinci, to make sure our program is sustainable. And part of that has been ongoing leadership development. We have a lot of strong teacher leaders.”
Boonchouy’s announcement that he will be leaving comes as the Davis school district is in the process of hiring new principals at Davis High School, Pioneer Elementary, King High School and the Davis Adult and Continuing Education School, as well as a special education director.
— Reach Jeff Hudson at [email protected] or 530-747-8055.