James Nardo | Middle School Principal, Academy of the Pacific Rim Charter School
James graduated from Western Washington University and the Woodring School of Education with degrees in Elementary Education and Interdisciplinary Childhood Development. After graduation, James set off to return to his hometown of Mount Vernon, Washington to work in a public school system that had a vastly changing landscape where many groups of students were being underserved. He sought to close the achievement gap by bridging older methods and newer approaches that were rooted in data driven instruction, high levels of targeted support, and increased collaboration between families and the school.
After three years in Washington, James and his wife relocated to Boston, MA as she was afforded a wonderful career opportunity. In search of a school that paired with James' ideals, he found the Academy of the Pacific Rim Public Charter School. He has been at the Academy for the last 8 years. During his first 5 years, he was a 5th and 6th grade math teacher, 5th grade team leader, Summer Programming Coordinator, and served as a mentor teacher. James became the Principal of the 5th and 6th grade in 2013. In his first year, James worked to increase support structures for teachers and increased services and supports for students. He also worked to create a sustainable and equitable staffing model that would support high demand put on teachers. In his second year, James worked to create a PBIS leadership team that focused on erasing the last remnants of the previous "No Excuses" model and would go on to create a positive and supportive learning community where teachers, students, families all partnered together in the spirt of Kaizen. As a result of this work, student achievement has risen as well staff retention rates.
In 2015, James became Principal of the entire middle school (5-8) at APR. He is currently focusing his work on rebuilding community in grades 7 and 8 while also increasing rigor in the classroom and expanding supports and services for students.