James Hartman

James Hartman

Executive Director, IDEA Tampa Bay


James is a lifelong educator who started his career as a middle school social studies teacher nearly 30 years ago in Midland, Texas. He rose through the ranks becoming a grade level leader, assistant principal, and principal over the next several years. He transitioned to systems-level leadership in the early 2000’s with his first appointment as Superintendent in Aspermont, Texas.

Over the next two decades James served as Superintendent for four different Independent School Districts in Texas, most recently serving as the Superintendent of Ferris School District near Dallas, Texas. During his tenure at Ferris ISD, he increased college-bound opportunities for students, expanded college articulation agreements, increased college and career readiness scores by double digits, and created and implemented a variety of programs to fuel student growth and engagement. Hartman joined IDEA Public Schools in the fall of 2022 serving first as the VP of Schools in Tampa Bay before his promotion to Executive Director.

James is a passionate educator who finds fulfillment in leadership development and serving for the benefit of others. James and his wife Tanya, an educational diagnostician, are the proud parents of three children and four grandchildren.