Davidson Day School is saddened to announce the passing of Head of School Dr. Latta Baucom, who died on Sunday, July 28, 2019, at the age of 54 after a nearly three-year battle against liver cancer.
“The Davidson Day community mourns the death of my friend and colleague Latta Baucom,” said Renee Brown, Chair of the Davidson Day School Board of Trustees. “Latta made an indelible mark on our entire school community—his steady, confident leadership, his integrity, his focus on building a thriving educational community, and his warmth and love of our students, faculty, staff, and families will be his legacy.”
The Davidson Day School Board of Trustees hired Dr. Baucom in 2016. Dr. Baucom emerged as the leading candidate and was selected for his dedication to education and students, his leadership style, and his vision to expand Davidson Day’s physical campus to serve more families in the Lake Norman area.
In collaboration with the Board of Trustees, Dr. Baucom conducted a thorough search process to identify property that would enable the institution to expand. Through this effort, the School purchased a 17-acre parcel of land at 1803 Mecklenburg Highway in Mooresville that will become an athletic complex and future Upper School campus, allowing the expansion of the school’s current campus at 750 Jetton Street to best meet the academic and extracurricular needs of students two years old through 8th Grade.
Prior to heading Davidson Day, Dr. Baucom held positions at three schools in Florida. He was the first head of school at North Ridge Christian School in Haines City, next joined All Saints Academy in Winter Haven as high school principal, and then served as the Head of Upper School at The Benjamin School in Palm Beach.
Beyond his dedication to the field of education, Dr. Baucom dedicated his life in service to students, people, and country. He enrolled in the United States Army after graduating from Wake Forest University in 1987, and then served three years of active duty prior to enrolling at Baylor University, where he earned his master of business administration and served in the Army National Guard. He earned a Doctorate of Education in organizational leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 2016.
His service was recognized through the awarding of a National Defense Service Medal, an Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, an Army Service Ribbon, and his Parachutist Badge. Even prior to his positions as an educator, Dr. Baucom worked to help children and families thrive as the Head of Children and Family Services for the North Carolina National Guard from 1996 through 1998.
Dr. Baucom was laid to rest in Mount Zion Cemetery, buried with military honors, on Wednesday, July 31, following a memorial service attended by nearly 700 people at Davidson College Presbyterian Church. He was preceded by his late mother Henrietta Baucom in 2017 and is survived by his father Dr. Kenneth Baucom, his brother Dr. Ian Baucom, and his sister Ms. Christianne Nieuwsma.
Dr. Baucom’s legacy continues through his wife Gina Baucom and his six children: Steven VanMeter, Jodi Waters, Danielle Baucom, Rachel Baucom, Abigail Baucom, and Joel Baucom. He is also succeeded by four grandchildren, three nephews, and four nieces. The Davidson Day community will continue to surround the Baucom family with ongoing love and support.
Davidson Day School will hold a celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Baucom on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2019, on campus. “Latta’s steadfast patriotism, as a veteran, as an educator, and as a husband and father, deserves the deepest level of our honor and appreciation,” said Brown. “Veteran’s Day is the most appropriate day to honor and celebrate Latta’s service to our community and to our country.”