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Congratulations Dr. Gray Louisiana Superintendent of the Year



Kaela B. Lewis

Executive Director of Communications

Jefferson Parish Schools

501 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, LA 70058

O: 504-349-7970 | C: 504-352-7923



HARVEY, LA (November 8, 2023) — Dr. James Gray, superintendent of Jefferson Parish Schools, was named the 2024 Louisiana Superintendent of the Year by the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents (LASS). A panel of his peers selected Dr. Gray based on the criteria of leadership for learning, communication, professionalism, and community involvement. The award was presented during the LASS Conference in Alexandria, Louisiana. 

“I am humbled and grateful for this honor, but this work was not done alone. This recognition is as much for our students, teachers, support staff, administrators, district staff, families, community partners, and School Board,” said Dr. Gray. “This award is our award. I am proud of the work we’re doing in Jefferson Parish Schools, and I know that we will continue to move forward together because our kids and our community deserve our best.”

“We are proud of Dr. Gray and his remarkable leadership,” said School Board President Ralph “Rem” Brandt, Jr. “Throughout his tenure as superintendent, Dr. Gray and the district have faced unprecedented challenges. This recognition by LASS as the Louisiana Superintendent of the Year acknowledges that not only did he meet these challenges, but he also excelled at ensuring our students grew. Dr. Gray’s collaborative approach, strategic focus on the long-term success of the district, and student-centered mindset are an asset to our district and community.”

Under his tenure, Jefferson Parish Schools has accomplished the following:

  • Despite missing more than 15 days due to Ida, was one of the top 19 districts in Louisiana for student proficiency growth on LEAP by growing 3% in 2022
  • In 2021, set a new student record by earning over 10,000 Industry Based Certifications 
  • Was one of the first large school systems in the nation to reopen for in-person instruction in August 2020
  • Became a one-to-one district for the first time, providing a device and connectivity for every student
  • 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
  • Launched Embark, an in-house teacher certification program
  • Increased workforce development and higher education partnerships to expand program offerings that align with emerging sector data and provide students with experience to establish a career 
  • Developed an innovative summer enrichment program to combat learning loss, Jefferson Summer Bridge
  • Launched an early literacy strategic plan to ensure all students can read by the end of third grade
  • Created an Early Warning System to identify and better support students at risk for meeting important milestones
  • Launched a Smart Start initiative to help high school students make the most of the academic, extracurricular, and wellbeing opportunities
  • Launched JP Schools Check Portal for financial transparency and accountability
  • Created Jefferson Virtual High School, a standalone virtual school 
  • Launched Star Academy, an innovative acceleration program for overage middle school students

In his 28th year as an educator, Dr. Gray has served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and district administrator. Unanimously appointed superintendent in July 2020, he led Jefferson Parish Schools through the heart of the global pandemic and recovery from one of the most powerful hurricanes on record for Louisiana.