James Appleton vividly remembers the importance of frequent library visits to him and his four siblings as everyone settled into an interesting book. The library represented possibility as well as community. James currently serves as the Senior Manager of Educational Data and Insights for Lexia Learning, an educational technology company focused on structured literacy. His systems-level leadership focuses on the alignment between practice and research. Previously, he was Executive Director of the Office of Research and Evaluation for Gwinnett County Public Schools. He led a team of doctoral-level researchers in understanding how students and schools were doing, the effectiveness of programs, the potential of promising trends in research, and how to help students who are experiencing challenges.
He has a Ph.D., in Educational Psychology, from the University of Minnesota along with an undergraduate degree in Child Development. His published research is on measuring and improving student engagement with school, including the development of an instrument used across the United States and in several other countries. James has taught at the University of Georgia and Piedmont College and served on national and university advisory groups, as well as a peer reviewer for several academic journals.
James believes in the importance of health, well-being, and education for communities and sees libraries and schools as pillars in support of those outcomes.