• Dr. Ken James brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record in educational leadership, making him an excellent choice to lead the Pioneer Nation to new heights.

    Dr. James, a distinguished educator, was initially appointed as Commissioner of the Arkansas Department of Education by Gov. Mike Huckabee in 2004, showcasing his dedication to advancing education in the state. His commitment was further recognized when he was reappointed by Gov. Mike Beebe in January 2007. During his tenure as the State Commissioner of Education, Dr. James served as the President of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and was a valued member of the CCSSO Board for five years.

    However, the Batesville School District is no stranger to Dr. James' leadership. Pioneer Nation is excited to welcome him back as a former Superintendent, highlighting his past role in fostering academic excellence within the district. His previous experience includes serving as the Superintendent of Schools in Fayette County Public Schools (Lexington, KY), Little Rock, AR, Van Buren, AR, and, notably, Batesville, AR. 

    Dr. James has a comprehensive background in education, having served as Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services with the Escondido Union High School District in California. His leadership extends to positions such as High School Principal in Escondido and Assistant High School Principal in the Sand Dieguito Union High School District in Encinitas, California.

    A seasoned educator, Dr. James earned his Doctorate in Educational Administration and Supervision from Northern Arizona University and the United States International University in San Diego, California, in 1992. He holds a Master's Degree in Educational Administration from Northern Arizona University and a Bachelor's Degree from Arkansas State University.

    Reflecting on his extensive career, Dr. James expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve as the Commissioner of Education for the state of Arkansas, emphasizing the collaborative efforts that implemented reform initiatives across the state.