Jim has been a leader and visionary in the education field for more than 30 years. His career has been marked by an unwavering dedication to academic excellence and a deep commitment to fostering joy in the learning process. As Chief Schools Officer, Jim works collaboratively with our regions and schools to produce exemplary student outcomes, align schools around common instructional practices, and enact our values rooted in an unyielding conviction in the brilliance of our students.
Jim began his career as a 7th-grade English teacher in Central Harlem. Over the next two decades, he ascended to leadership positions within schools, culminating in his role as Founding Principal of Success Academy Harlem 2 Elementary, which became the top performing school, public or private, in Harlem District 5. He also held leadership positions as Principal of Manhattan Charter School, Assistant Director of Teaneck Community Charter School, and Executive Director of Teach for America in Washington, DC.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Jim served as superintendent at KIPP NYC Public Schools. Over eight years, he led KIPP NYC to consistently achieve high academic results, even as the region expanded from 13 to 18 schools. To name a few achievements—during the 2015-16 school year, Jim’s first year at KIPP NYC, 45% of students scored proficient or advanced in ELA and 55% in Math. Those numbers rose to 56% in ELA and 74% in math during the 2018-19 school year. And, despite the academic interruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Jim’s leadership still yielded strong student results in his final year at KIPP NYC—55% scored proficient or advanced in ELA and 69% in math. In addition, KIPP NYC achieved an Estimated College Completion rate of 53% in 2019, compared to the less than 10% typically seen in public schools serving economically disadvantaged students of color.
Jim earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Union College and his master’s degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Jim has two kids who are now in college and is enjoying his time with his wife and seeing this country through the lens of our amazing KIPP regions. Jim is also a proud Western New York native and loves his Buffalo Bills and sees them as a perfect metaphor for the hard work and belief necessary to one day achieve our goals.