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Dr. James Lawson
Minority Achievement Officer
Orange County Public Schools

Dr. Lawson started his career as an English teacher, teaching in South Carolina, Texas and Florida at the elementary (6th grade), middle, high and college levels. In South Carolina, he taught middle school English and later moved to a small city where he taught at a private high school. In San Antonio, Texas, he not only taught Gifted English at the sixth grade center but also taught AP English Literature on the high school campus and simultaneously served as the Gifted and Talented Coordinator for the Southwest Independent School District (ISD).

In 1986, he moved to Orlando, Florida, and began working in the Orange County Public Schools system at Oak Ridge High School (ORHS) where he taught Honors, Gifted, and AP English. At the ORHS, he became the dean and program coordinator. Transferring to Jones High School for a short stint, he also served in the capacity as dean and program coordinator. He was promoted to the senior assistant principal position at West Orange High School. Three years later, he was promoted as principal of Howard Middle School and later as principal of Evans High School.

Dr. Lawson came to the district office as senior director for Curriculum. Quickly, he was promoted to the associate superintendent position overseeing Curriculum, ESE and Multilingual Services. Fortunately, he was promoted to the area superintendent position supervising the Urban Cohort Community comprised of 28 of the district’s lowest performing schools. Upon the district’s dissolving one leaning community and splitting the Urban Cohort into five different communities, Dr. Lawson continued in his position as Area Superintendent. Currently, he serves as the Minority Achievement Officer, helping to narrow the achievement gaps.

He holds a bachelor degree in English, master degrees in English and Educational Leadership and a doctorate in Educational Leadership.

If you ask him about his greatest accomplishment, he would hastily tell you that he is a grandfather of three wonderful grandchildren and that he also happens to also have three sons.

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