Dr. James Gray is the superintendent of Jefferson Parish Schools in Louisiana. JP Schools is the largest public school system in the state with approximately 47,000 students across 74 schools.

During his tenure, Dr. Gray successfully navigated the challenges of a global pandemic and recovery from one of the most powerful hurricanes on record for Louisiana. Notably, under his leadership, the district became a one-to-one device program, ensuring that each student had access to a device and connectivity. He developed Jefferson Summer Bridge, an innovative summer enrichment program to combat learning loss, and initiated an early literacy strategic plan with the goal of all students achieving reading proficiency by the end of third grade. He also established an Early Warning System to identify and better support students at risk for meeting important milestones.

Furthermore, Dr. Gray has focused on increasing workforce development and higher education partnerships by expanding program offerings aligned with emerging sector data and providing students with the experience to establish meaningful post-secondary pathways. This set a new student record of earning over 10,000 industry-based Certifications. He has worked to foster a healthy relationship with stakeholders through community engagement programming and opportunities such as the launch of JP Schools Check Portal for financial transparency and accountability.

Under Gray’s leadership, in 2021 JP Schools was one of only 20 Louisiana school systems to increase its District Performance Score. In 2022, JP Schools’ District Performance Score saw the largest growth in 10 years. In 2023, as a part of the Infrastructure and Efficiency Plan, Gray, consolidated and closed seven schools to address aging facilities, decreased student enrollment, and staffing shortages. Additionally, he launched a new strategic plan, 2028: The Road to Transformation, Innovation, and Excellence to guide the district’s vision of success and align resources to the actions that will transform outcomes for students.

In his nearly 30 years as an educator, Gray has served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and district administrator. In 2024, Gray was named Louisiana’s Superintendent of the Year.

He earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, a master’s in education administration and principalship and school superintendent certification from Nicholls University, and a bachelor’s from Grambling State University.