James S. Lander began serving on the Arlington School Board in January 2010, continuing his many years of advocating for the educational needs of children. He previously served in leadership roles and positions on the PTAs at Jefferson Middle School, Wakefield High School and the County Council of PTAs; as well as on the Budget Advisory Council, the Building Level Planning Committee for Wakefield High School, and the Advisory Committee on Eliminating the Achievement Gap. He is a vigorous advocate for adequately funding and actively supporting public education, believing strongly in Marian Wright Edelman’s call to communities:
“The question is not whether we can afford to invest in every child; it’s whether we can afford not to.”
As a member of the school board, James has served as the liaison to school communities at all grade levels, the Arlington Career Center, the New Directions Program, the Arlington Special Education Advisory Committee, and the Student Advisory Board.
When not serving the Arlington Public Schools community, James works as the veterans and military families national program manager for Goodwill Industries International. He is a Gulf War veteran, and was recalled to active service after September 11, 2001, in support of Operation Iraqi/Enduring Freedom. He now is a retired officer, having ascended to the rank of lieutenant commander during his service and completing more than 25 years of combined active and reserve experience.
James was educated in the Philadelphia Public Schools. He has long appreciated the opportunities a quality public education provides. He believes investment, commitment and support of public education will provide children of all socio-economic backgrounds a path to fulfilling their dreams and our hope for the future.
James earned his master’s degree in systems engineering from the University of Virginia and his bachelor’s degree in marine engineering from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. James and his wife Monica are homeowners in South Arlington, and are proud parents of Kierstin, a Jefferson Middle School and Wakefield High School graduate who currently attends the College of William & Mary.