Jim received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Ashland College in Ohio and a Master of Science in Invertebrate Zoology from The Ohio State University. He has taught a variety of biology courses at both the high school and university levels in the US and the Bahamas. Jim moved into school administration where he became Superintendent of Schools in Ashland, Ohio. Jim ended his 37-year career in education as Assistant Dean for Professional Development at Ashland University. After his service in public education Jim worked as an educational facility planner for an architect and engineering firm. He has served on many boards including United Way and Cathance River Education Alliance and as Chair of the Samaritan Regional Hospital System and President of the Ashland Symphony Orchestra.