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James Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor

Educational Leadership, National Louis University, Milwaukee.

Programs/Classes Taught:

Master of Education in Administration and Supervision

EDL 524 Negotiating and Resolving Conflicts in Education Communities

EDL 525 Decision-Making for Educational Systems and Organizations

EDL 526 Realizing Vision through Technical, Human, and Financial Resources

EDL 527 Guaranteeing a Differentiated and Coherent Curriculum

EDL 598 Administrative and Supervision Internship

Doctorate in Educational Leadership

EDL 604 Administrative Issues for Pluralistic Schools

EDL 608 Community Engagement

EDL 690 Educational Leadership Internship

Areas of Expertise:

The Principalship, Superintendency, School Finance, School Governance, Community Engagement, Strategic Planning, Community Partnerships, Politics and Policy Development, Leadership, Trust Building and Relationships in a School Setting, Leadership, and Communication


Jim Fitzpatrick is an Assistant Professor at National Louis University in Milwaukee.  He was born and raised in Lombard, a west side suburb of Chicago. Growing up in a family of eight children, he enjoyed living in an active neighborhood where there was always a sport or game to play!

Jim is a proud alumnus of Montini Catholic High School where he graduated in 1971.  It was there that he was exposed to the dedication and fine teaching of the Christian Brothers.  Under the direction of these fine men and some outstanding coaches, Jim began to consider the field of education as a possible vocation and career; hoping like his teachers that he too, could make a difference in the lives of young people.

Jim attended St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, from 1971-75 earning his Bachelor of Arts Degree in History.  Like in high school, he competed on the St. Ambrose cross-country and track teams.  It was there that he met his future wife, Therese, who is also a graduate of St. Ambrose University.

Jim began his teaching career in the fall of 1975 at Newman Catholic High School in Mason City, Iowa.  He was there from 1975-1980.  During that time he taught Social Studies and his cross-country teams were a state power, winning the State championship in the fall of 1979.  He coached several Drake relay qualifiers and track champions during those years.

In 1980, he earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from the University of Iowa.  From there he went on to serve in two Iowa principalships; in Lost Nation (as 7-12 principal) from 1980 to 1982 and West Liberty High school from 1982-1986. 

In the fall of 1986, Jim was appointed principal of Beloit Memorial High School, in Beloit, Wisconsin, a position he would hold through 1997.  During his years in Beloit, Jim was an influential player in the passage of a $26.5 million dollar referendum to renovate Beloit Memorial High School.  He also played a key role in the planning and design of the four hundred and sixty thousand square foot facility, recognized as a “state of the art” high school serving approximately two thousand students.  During his years in Beloit, Jim also became known as a national leader in the area of 4-block scheduling and was a much sought after consultant in this area of school reform.

Jim resigned from his duties at Beloit Memorial in June of 1997 to enroll full time at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, to complete his Doctorate degree.  In May of 1999, his Ph.D. was conferred, in the area of Educational Administration.  Jim accepted the appointment of Superintendent of Fort Atkinson in the spring of 1999, and began his duties in June of that year.  Jim is completing his fourteenth year as Superintendent in Fort Atkinson.  During his tenure, he has been involved with establishing a District Strategic Plan, the opening of Luther Elementary school, and many curriculum and fiscal initiatives. 

Under Jim’s leadership the district passed three referendum questions totaling approximately 15 million dollars in the spring of 2006.  Ten million dedicated toward the renovating of aging buildings in need of new climate control systems and an additional 5 million dollars over five years to support operational costs for programs and services that have made Fort Atkinson “a school district of choice” among parents and families.  On April 5, 2011, Jim and a dedicated campaign committee passed another operations referendum in one of the most difficult political and economic periods Wisconsin has experienced, assuring the district of sound fiscal footing for future years.

Through his frequent columns and newsletters Jim kept the community and parents informed of what is happening in the Fort Schools.  He has also published articles in national education journals related to the field of education.  Throughout Jim’s successful tenure as Superintendent in the School District of Fort Atkinson, he has dealt with many challenges while experiencing the joys of leading a very vibrant learning community.  

Jim and his wife Therese live in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. They have two children, Megan who is married and lives and works in Chicago, and Michael who, after serving in the United States Army, now lives and works in Madison.  Jim retired from the School District of Fort Atkinson on June 30, 2013 and began working with National Louis University in March of 2014.   

Having been invited to many seminars and University classes to present on leadership and administration classes over the years, Jim enjoys teaching at the collegiate level and working with school districts in the area of leadership and building strong administrative teams.  His goal is to provide mentorship and give back to his students as his mentors did for him when he began his educational administration studies back in 1977.   



Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) conferred: May, 1999

Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis

University of Wisconsin, Madison


Master of Education (M.Ed.) conferred: August, 1980

Educational Administration

University of Iowa


Bachelor of Arts Degree (B.A) conferred: May 1975


St. Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa


Research and Interests:

Leadership, Politics, School Governance, Roles and Relationships of Boards of Education and Administration, Referendums, School Task Forces, Alternative Education Pathways, Building and Sustaining Professional Learning Communities.

Contact Information:

Dr. James Fitzpatrick

Milwaukee, National Louis University

12000 Park Place

Mobile phone: 920-763-6808



    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

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    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

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    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

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    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

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