Local educator on path for doctorate and admission to two elite honor societies

James Douglas

By Bruce Harper Karnes Countywide staff

KENEDY – His name is James Douglas and he is a busy man, a very busy man. 

He teaches at Kenedy High School and has been with the district for four years, his fifth upcoming. 

Douglas started as an eighth-grade math instructor, but moved to the high school when a criminal justice instructor was needed.

“It will be neat that the seniors I will teach this upcoming year will be that first class of math students I had back in middle school,” Douglas said.

“I’ve known them for the last five years. Teaching is so much fun.”

He is also an adjunct professor at Coastal Bend College in Beeville within the Criminal Justice department. In addition to teaching, he also works part time as a Karnes City police officer.

“It’s more of an on-call basis for events or when the department is short-handed because of vacations or leaves,” Douglas said. 

Teaching and police work wouldn’t seem to leave much time for studying or writing a thesis, but Douglas has almost completed his task.

Douglas will shortly earn his doctorate from Walden University in criminal justice. His dissertation is in its last stage and examines the dropout rate and the underlying racial and gender bias thereof, statewide.

He received his bachelor’s degree and master’s from Purdue University. His undergraduate degree is in criminal justice and his master’s in criminal justice management. Douglas maintained a 3.91 grade point average (GPA) through his master’s degree.

“Just one B; it was terrible. You are used to seeing all A’s and there pops up a B; it was horrible,” said Douglas with a hint of laughter.

“I chose Walden for my doctorate because of their vast network and passion for social change. All dissertations must or should include aspects of social change,” Douglas said.

Once he receives his doctorate, he might consider moving on from Kenedy.

“I hope to teach college in a large urban college or university some day,” he said about his aspirations.

With all his academic success, Douglas will be joining two of the most elite honor societies later this fall. Both are by invitation only and take into consideration his GPA and leadership skills.

Douglas will become a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS). It is the nation’s largest leadership honor society where top students, nominated by their colleges, come together to identify and achieve their goals. NSLS encourages community action, volunteerism, personal growth and strong leadership.

He also will be going to Washington, D.C., later this year to be inducted in the Golden Key Honor Society. It is a by invitation only group of more than 2 million students, at both undergraduate and graduate levels. 

The society, with a unique focus on the areas of academics, leadership and service, is one of support, community, vision and promise.

Douglas is a busy man, but also on the rise, wanting to make a change for the good in society.

Editor’s note: Information on the two honor societies was provided by their websites.