Dr. James J. Lavender serves as the Superintendent of Schools for the Kingsway Regional and South Harrison Township Elementary School Districts. As the Superintendent, Dr. Lavender serves as the Chief Executive Officer of both districts, overseeing all operations, maintenance of schools, and financial management, in accordance with the rules, regulations and policies of the Board of Education. Dr. Lavender was appointed as Kingsway's 8th Superintendent of Schools on September 1, 2010.
Experience: Throughout his career, Dr. Lavender has gained a broad range of educational experience, culminating in his most recent appointment as Kingsway’s Superintendent of Schools. Dr. Lavender brings extensive administrative experience and knowledge of shared services and will continue to work with the sending districts to study the steps necessary to potentially share services in the future.
The Woolwich Township resident began his educational career in 1995 as a high school, alternative high school, and middle school teacher with the Delsea Regional School District where he taught U.S. and World History. During his tenure Dr. Lavender was named Outstanding Middle Teacher of the Year.
In 2002 Dr. Lavender was appointed to the role of assistant principal by the Gloucester City School District and later promoted to the position of Director of Early Childhood Education. While employed with Gloucester City, Dr. Lavender was recognized for his research in early childhood education by Wilmington University and awarded the coveted President’s Award for Leadership in 2006. Dr. Lavender’s research was later published in book format by VDM Publishing and titled: Looping Through Preschool: The Benefits of Looping on Kindergarten Readiness.
In 2006 Dr. Lavender accepted a position as Principal/Superintendent with the Gibbsboro Elementary School District. In 2008 Dr. Lavender was also appointed to Superintendent of both the Gibbsboro and Berlin Borough School Districts. It was under Dr. Lavender’s leadership that the two school districts were able to accomplish a completely “shared” central within two years, making the Gibbsboro and Berlin Borough School Districts a South Jersey leader in “shared services.” Prior to his departure Dr. Lavender also served Gibbsboro as the School Business Administrator. Dr. Lavender was recognized by the Gibbsboro Board of Education at a public ceremony in August 2010 for his many contributions to the District.
Community Service: As an active community member, Dr. Lavender presently serves as an elected member of the Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders. He previously served on the Board of Trustees at Rowan College at Gloucester County and as a past member of the Board of Directors for the Inspira Health Network. He formerly served Woolwich Township as a member of Township Committee and Deputy Mayor from 2005-2010. He also served on the Board of Education for Gloucester County Institute of Technology and the Special Services School District for five years.
Education: Dr. Lavender earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in history and secondary education from Rowan University in 1995, his Master of Education degree in School Leadership in 2002, and his Doctorate degree in Educational Innovation and Leadership from Wilmington University in 2006.
Awards/Honors: Dr. Lavender was awarded the Citizens Award for Service to the College Medallion in 2018 by the Rowan College at Gloucester County Board of Trustees; a Distinguished Service Award in 2017 by the Kingsway Regional School District; Certificate of Appreciation in 2015 by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10886; the Presidential Award for Leadership in 2006 by Wilmington University; and, the Middle School Teacher of the Year in 2002.
Personal: Dr. Lavender has been married to his wife Dr. Jennifer S. Lavender since 2003 and has three daughters who are enrolled in the Swedesboro-Woolwich and Kingsway Regional School Districts.