Gov. Carney names new director of Office of Innovation & Improvement

James Simmons III
James Simmons III

Gov. John Carney has announced that James Simmons III will take over as director of the Delaware Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement.

The Wilmington-based office was created in 2017 and supports students and educators in Delaware’s neediest schools. Simmons starts June 3.

“We created the Office of Innovation and Improvement to make sure we are on the ground supporting schools with high percentages of low-income and English learner students, and providing additional resources for educators and students in those schools,” said Carney. “We need to make sure that we’re helping all Delaware students get a world-class education, and I’m confident that Jim has the experience and leadership necessary to make a real difference.”

Carney’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget proposal also includes a three-year, $60 million Opportunity Funding initiative to target resources toward disadvantaged Delaware students.

“Our responsibility is to make sure that all Delaware children have access to a high-quality education – including students who may be struggling,” said Simmons. “I look forward to collaborating with educators, building leaders and staff to support students and educators in Wilmington and across the state.”

Simmons currently serves as executive director of secondary education in the Brandywine School District. He graduated from Brandywine’s Mt. Pleasant High School before attending West Point Military Academy Prep School.

In 2013, Simmons took a district leadership role, serving as Brandywine’s climate and culture leader. He later led Brandywine High School’s leadership for a year before moving to his current position in the district office in June 2015. He also serves as president of the Delaware Principal Academy.

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