Foundation Board Member
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 Executive Director of the Office of Research and Evaluation for Gwinnett County Public Schools. He leads a team of doctoral level researchers in understanding how students and schools are 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. He is married to Aminah and lives in Lawrenceville with their two children. James enjoys discussions with Aminah, ping pong battles with his oldest son, and recovering cookware from his youngest son’s play kitchen. He also enjoys running, playing his cornet, reading, and supporting his Golden Gophers and Milwaukee Bucks.