Dr. Julious Lawson named Superintendent of Ames Community School District
On Monday, January 24, the Ames School Board of Directors approved Dr. Julious Lawson as the next Superintendent of Ames Community School District. Dr. Lawson will be the 28th superintendent of Ames Public Schools in its 151-year history.
Dr. Lawson is currently the Chief of Schools for Chicago Public Schools (CPS), a position he has held since 2018. As Chief of Schools, Dr. Lawson is responsible for the oversight and direction of elementary operations for the third-largest school district in the United States. This includes 27 CPS schools including 9,000 students, over 900 teachers and staff, with a $64 million operating budget. He facilitated the system-wide implementation of school improvement strategies that are designed to optimize academic achievement with a focus on equitable access for students. Dr. Lawson was also instrumental in strategic planning and assessing individualized Leadership Development Plans to further promote best teaching practices.
Under his leadership, student attendance rates were maintained during the pandemic in one of the most challenging communities in Chicago. He was also integral in decreasing behavior referrals that led to out-of-school suspension and expulsions.
Ames School Board President Sabrina Shields-Cook said, “Dr. Lawson is an accomplished educational leader with a passion for student success and a dedication to working alongside teachers to improve outcomes for diverse learners. His background and expertise match the desired characteristics our community expressed they want in our next superintendent. He is a servant leader, a unifier, and a skilled communicator. We are incredibly excited to welcome him to Ames.”
Prior to his current role, Dr. Lawson held a variety of additional leadership positions with Chicago Public Schools including Deputy Chief of Schools, as well as building leadership positions. He is also an adjunct professor at National Louis University where he is responsible for coaching doctoral candidates in the school administration leadership program.
Professional Experience History:
- Chief of Schools, CPS (2018 – Present)
- Deputy Chief of Schools, CPS (2017 – 2018)
- Principal, Pullman Elementary School, CPS (2013 – 2017)
- Principal, Moses Montefiore Academy, CPS, (2010 – 2013)
- Additional positions within CPS (since 2002)
Dr. Lawson earned his doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Argosy University in Chicago. He is an active member of several CPS committees including the Chief Schools Officer Advisory Committee, Social-Emotional Learning Task Force, and the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association. He is also on the Chicago State University College of Education Advisory Board.
A few of Dr. Lawson’s past honors include being the recipient of the 2021 Men of Excellence Award from the Chicago Defender, and the Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s Principal Achievement Award. Dr. Lawson is also active in presenting at national educational leadership conferences. Recent presentations included the development of school culture, early engagement to motivate post-secondary aspirations, K-12/Community College partnerships, and connecting Black males through high expectations.
Dr. Lawson noted that leading the Ames School District is an amazing professional opportunity and one that made him reflect on a quote from John Buchan; “The task of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there.”
As a District, we are excited for Dr. Lawson to begin his tenure within the Ames Community School District. His new position will officially begin on July 1, 2022.