Dr. James Hawkins was hired by the Board of Education in Ypsilanti, Michigan as the Interim Superintendent of Schools in May 2005. In January 2006 he became Superintendent of Schools with a two-year extension of his contract. Prior to May 2005, Dr. Hawkins was an educational consultant with the Oakland Schools Intermediate School District in Michigan, Interim Superintendent of Schools for the School District of the City of Pontiac, Michigan, Superintendent of Schools in Gary, Indiana, and Assistant Superintendent of Evanston/Skokie District 65 in Evanston, Illinois.
He served in Michigan as Superintendent of Ypsilanti Public Schools from 1984–1990, Superintendent of Benton Harbor Community Schools from 1978–1984, and Assistant Deputy Superintendent of Jackson Public Schools from 1973–1978. Dr. Hawkins began his career in education as an elementary teacher in the Pontiac Public Schools in Michigan.
Dr. Hawkins has authored several articles on educational topics and has been the presenter at the American Association for School Administrators National Convention and the National Alliance of Black School Educators. He also has been featured in People magazine and has appeared on the Phil Donahue Show and AM Chicago. His many awards include the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award from Eastern Michigan University, the Marcus Foster Distinguished Educator of the Year Award from the National Alliance of Black School Educators, and the College of Education Outstanding Alumni Award in K–12 Education from Michigan State University.
Dr. Hawkins received a B.S. degree from Western Michigan University, a Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from Wayne State University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from Michigan State University.