KPS Grad Leading CIS of Kalamazoo
James Devers Graduated from Kalamazoo Central
The Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo Board of Directors has selected James Devers to serve as the nonprofit organization’s second executive director. He replaces Pam Kingery, the organization’s founding director, who retired in June.
“I am grateful to be stepping into the role of executive director with the perspective gained from my current position as senior director of site services,” Devers said. “I already know our staff — we have a terrific team. In my new position, I want to ensure that the work we’ve begun, as well as the progress we’ve made together — both programmatically and relationally, will continue.
“I’m looking forward to bringing my perspective and experience to this dedicated team of staff, volunteers, school and community partners at CIS.
Together, we will continue to build upon CIS’s successful history focused on helping kids stay in school and achieve in life.”
Devers has more than 19 years of experience in the field of education, ranging from working for the Ohio Department of Education to doing community-based computer literacy training to serving as principal at a K-8 public school in Ohio. For the past year, he served as the senior director of site services for Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo.
A graduate of Kalamazoo Public Schools, Devers holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree in public administration from Ohio State University. A passionate advocate for youth and families, his volunteer work over the years has included starting several summer camps, tutoring youth, and mentoring high school students who were at risk of dropping out of school.
“After a very thorough search, the board is excited to welcome James Devers to lead Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo into the future,” said Tony McDonnell, president of CIS of Kalamazoo board. “James bring tremendous experience, passion for helping kids succeed, and a steady leadership style to his new role as CIS executive director.”
Devers attended Woodward, Woodrow Wilson, Spring Valley and Washington elementary schools, and Milwood and Hillside middle schools — before graduating from Kalamazoo Central High School and Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center in 1990. His wife Tanisha Devers, another KPS graduate, is a nurse with the Nurse Family Partnership.
As he steps into the role of executive director, he said he looks forward to strengthening and building upon the CIS partnership with Kalamazoo Public Schools and on improving the impact of the work that CIS does.
“Now, with the 21st Century grants being renewed for another five years, I’m just excited by the possibility of refining the work we do in those programs, and giving children new and enriching experiences and supporting them in their academic pursuits.”