The Children’s Trust President & CEO James R. Haj was inducted into the Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) Alumni Hall of Fame for his professional achievements and devotion to helping children succeed in the community. As one of the seven accomplished inductees, Haj was inducted during a ceremony on February 9, and was also honored on February 11, at the For the Love of Learning Gala, hosted by the Foundation for New Education Initiatives.
The annual alumni event has recognized 53 illustrious alumni since its creation in 2012, including new inductees who reflect the rich history of Miami-Dade’s schools.
Haj has a longstanding relationship of more than 25 years with M-DCPS that predates his tenure as head of The Trust, which started in April 2016. At M-DCPS, Haj served in several capacities as assistant superintendent representing 31,000 employees across five labor unions and as administrative director for the south and central regions, which collectively oversaw 170 schools and nearly 200,000 students.
Earlier in his career, he was a principal at Paul W. Bell Middle and Southwest Miami Senior High, his alma mater, where he took the school’s rating from a “C” to an “A” on Florida’s A+ Plan for Education.
A career educator and longtime advocate for children, Haj has led The Trust through challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, expanding funding for emergency assistance programs, strengthening neighborhood supports, and serving as an essential voice for children and families during unprecedented hardships.
“I am honored to share this prestigious recognition with my fellow inductees. This is an exceptional honor for the entire Haj family, and we are proud to have been part of this school district’s legacy in providing world-class education,” said Haj. “I can’t wait to see what the future leaders emerging from M-DCPS have in store for Miami-Dade.”
Chief Public Policy & Community Engagement Officer, The Children’s Trust