Dr. James T. Roberts began his career in public education 49 years ago, and he is currently in his eighth year as the superintendent of Chesapeake Public Schools. Although he has served his chosen profession in a variety of capacities over the years, one belief has remained constant–the belief that every child is a masterpiece.
Dr. Roberts has devoted his entire professional career to the children and citizens of Hampton Roads. In 1969 he joined the staff of Norcom High School in Portsmouth as a first-year social studies teacher. In addition to teaching the content, his goal was to have a steady, positive influence on the young lives entrusted to his care. As he pursued this goal, administrators and colleagues in Portsmouth Public Schools quickly recognized his leadership skills. He soon became the social studies department chairperson at Woodrow Wilson High School, and in 1979 he was promoted to his first administrative position as assistant principal at Manor High School. In 1983 Dr. Roberts became the management research analyst for Portsmouth Public Schools. Just two years later he was promoted to the position of director. He demonstrated a high level of competence in this role, serving the division first as director of personnel, then as director of budget, and ultimately completing his 26 years with Portsmouth Public Schools as the director of business affairs.
In 1995 Dr. Roberts joined the Chesapeake Public Schools educational family as the school division’s director of budget. After serving with distinction in this position for nine years, he was appointed assistant superintendent for personnel and support services. His duties in this role included the complete oversight of Personnel, Information Technology, School Improvement Planning, School Nutrition Services, the Educational Resource Center, and Data Reporting. In 2010 Dr. Roberts accepted the School Board’s appointment to become the fifth superintendent of Chesapeake Public Schools since 1949. His leadership and professionalism were quickly recognized through the region and he was selected as the Region II Superintendent of the Year in 2014.
A teacher at heart, Dr. Roberts’ commitment to education extends beyond the K-12 setting. He has served as an adjunct instructor for Virginia Tech, Old Dominion University, and The George Washington University.
Dr. Roberts earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Old Dominion University. He holds a bachelor of science in secondary education, a master of science in secondary education, and a Ph.D. in urban services with a concentration in education.
Dr. Roberts is currently a member of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents and the American Association of School Administrators. He has also held membership in various other civic and professional organizations, including the Virginia Association of School Personnel Administrators, the National Association of School Personnel Administrators, and the Virginia Association of School Business Officials.
Dr. Roberts and his wife Mary have three daughters–Jamie, Sarah, and Liz. Two of their children have continued the family tradition of involvement in the field of education. The Roberts also have one granddaughter, Kaitlyn.