Class Act: new counselor Jake Davis


Marin Pollock

New Upper School counselor Jake Davis comes to St. John’s from California and primarily works with freshmen.

Josie Kelly and Isabella Muñoz

After meeting with the new Upper School counselor Jake Davis, several freshmen have described him as “fun, fresh and easy to talk to.” Davis’s colleague Ashley LeGrange, also an Upper School counselor, describes Davis as “enthusiastic, caring and humorous.”

Davis began his career in education as a middle school teacher. In just his first year, Davis discovered how much he loved socializing with his students.

“I enjoyed connecting with my students socially probably a little bit more than I did teaching,” Davis said. 

His interest in counseling started after a principal told him he would make a good counselor. That comment, as well as his experiences with his students, inspired Davis to return to school and earn his MA in Special Education and a PPSC in School Counseling at California State University.

Before Davis joined St. John’s, he often traveled from California to Houston to visit family. While Davis would visit, people would ask him about his job back in California as a school counselor.

When he eventually made the decision to move to Houston, St. John’s was the only school he knew of. 

“I heard great things about the SJS community, so I started researching the school, meeting with community members, and engaging in discussions with faculty members,” Davis said.  “On my visit day I observed teachers and administrators working with students with mutual respect and positivity. I quickly learned that I wanted to become a part of this community.”

Throughout his journey of being a school counselor, Davis has learned many things.

“All students have different emotional needs, and there’s not just a one-size-fits-all approach to counseling or to mental health,” Davis said.

Davis has experience ranging in all divisions, but he says that Upper School students “have the ability to reflect most effectively,” making it “a really engaging partnership.” 

His overall goal is to de-stigmatize mental health issues. 

“This isn’t an intimidating place. It’s warm and welcoming.”

LeGrange says that one of the reasons why the School chose Davis among the many applicants was because of his personality, experience, expertise and training, specifically in SEL and suicide prevention. She immediately knew that they would make a great team because they have different strengths and can support one another as well as learn from each other.

Before Davis, LeGrange had never worked with a partner at St. John’s.

“I love it,” LeGrange said. “I absolutely love it because I feel like I can lean on him. I feel like he has great ideas, and I feel like he is very well equipped and trained to handle the students and the caseloads that we see here.”

Ultimately, LeGrange believes that her and Davis’s role at St. John’s is “representation within the community,” and with Davis’s arrival, students will be able to get more attention individually. The two counselors have split up the grades: Davis is with freshmen, LeGrange is with juniors and seniors and both are with the sophomores.

“I can go to him, and he knows he can come to me. If there was ever a question or we needed support of any kind, there is very open communication,” LeGrange said. “I already trust him because he’s transparent and supportive, and he’s got great ideas.”