Superintendent, Akron Public Schools
David James has served as an Ohio 8 Co-Chair since 2010. During his tenure, he has lead efforts to reorganized and revitalize the Ohio 8 Coalition, which have resulted in greater membership participation and engagement. Under James’ leadership, the Ohio 8 Coalition has created a reputation as a resource of elected and appointed officials and expert in education policies that improve academic performance, increase graduation rates and close the achievement gap for urban children throughout Ohio.
James began his career with Akron Public Schools in 1992 and held positions as an environmental program manager and the energy, environmental health and safety manager. He was appointed executive director for business affairs in 2002, responsible for managing support operations including maintenance; custodial; grounds; purchasing; warehousing; distribution; food service; energy, environmental, health and safety management; telecommunications; and information technology.
One of his major accomplishments was overseeing the $800 million new school construction project, which is halfway completed. In a one-of-a-kind partnership with the City of Akron, this massive rebuilding project will convert Akron’s schools to community learning centers – schools by day and community learning centers for residents during the evenings and weekends.
James is a graduate of Cleveland State University, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics in 1991 and a master’s degree in public administration in 1997. He received the 2007 Harold K. Stubbs Humanitarian Award in Education and is a graduate of the 2008 Leadership Akron program. He serves on various community boards and committees.
James lives in Akron with his wife and two children, both students at Akron Public Schools.