James Ford

Program Director

Prior to joining the Forum in 2015, James E. Ford served as the 2014-15 North Carolina Teacher of the Year. Ford taught World History & Sociology at Garinger High School in Charlotte, NC starting in 2010. He began his teaching career in Rockford Public Schools in Rockford, Illinois. Ford earned a bachelor of science in mass communication from Illinois State University in 2003 and a master’s degree in teaching from Rockford University in 2009. Ford recently completed his certification in educational leadership from Wingate University.

Before deciding to become a teacher, Ford’s early career cemented his connection to children and youth. He worked as a truancy intervention specialist in high schools and director of a teen center that provided educational and after-school activities for youth at risk of dropping out of school. He considers his work to be his “life-calling” and has dedicated himself to serving his community through education. Ford is a husband, father, educator, activist, minister and musical artist. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. In addition to 2014-15 North Carolina Teacher of the Year, Ford was recognized as Charlotte Magazine’s Charlottean of the Year, and the National Alliance of Black School Educators’ Teacher of the Year.

Areas of Expertise: Professional Development, Education Policy and Leadership, Social Media, and Educational Equity.

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