Jim Watts, an education policy adviser to many elected officials and their staff members throughout the Southeast, died on Aug. 23 after a long battle with brain cancer. He was 52.
Mr. Watts, the vice president of state services for the Atlanta-based Southern Regional Education Board for the past seven years, began his career teaching social studies and coaching soccer in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., public schools.
Later, he served as the principal of four schools in the district over a period of nine years.
Mr. Watts spent seven years as an education specialist advising the North Carolina legislature on policy, including the state’s school accountability law.
He joined the SREB in 1997, and work ed with many governors, state legislators, and their staff members on a wide range of education policy matters.
Mr. Watts, who was known for his devotion to his job, worked until early August.