Dr. James Findley retired from Westside Community Schools in Omaha in 2004. Dr. Findley began teaching at Westside High School in 1969 and served as its principal before becoming assistant superintendent for curriculum at the district. "I strongly believed in setting high academic standards and holding students accountable," said Dr. Findley. He developed an exit outcome program that required graduating students to complete a service learning requirement, a senior graduation project and a best work portfolio -- in addition to the traditionally required credit hours. These graduation requirements are still in existence today. Dr. Findley's academic requirements and specialized attention to at-risk students helped achieve a graduation rate of 96 to 98 percent, and college enrollment of 80 to 86 percent. In 1994, the National Association of Secondary School Principals included Westside High School in its listing of eight World Class Schools. In his role as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, Dr. Findley implemented a districtwide critical thinking component in 2001. All schools established measurable goals in the area of critical thinking and evaluated them over a five-year period. The program to develop critical thinkers is in operation today.
1971 University of Nebraska - Lincoln, M.A.