When you meet James Knapp and he asks you how you are doing, he really means it. That is part of who he is, and it is a big reason why he has been named the chief strategy officer for advancement at The Cushman School, 592 NE 60 St., Miami’s oldest continuously operating private school.
“My parents instilled in me the values of hard work, doing what you say you’re going to do, and caring for others,” Knapp explained. “Cushman is the perfect fit because the school aligns with my values, and like me seeks excellence with purpose. It’s a refreshing atmosphere at The Cushman School…education at its best.”
In his new position, Knapp, 37, works alongside Cushman head of school Arvi Balseiro, the administration, board of trustees and faculty to build a vision and strategy to meet the needs and mission of the school and to drive growth. In addition, he connects Cushman to the community by building strategic collaborations.
Immediately prior to joining Cushman, Knapp served as director of Community Relations at Florida International University where he managed FIU’s President’s Council and helped develop stronger community ties. That experience set the stage for his new position at Cushman.
“As Cushman seeks to expand its reach, we knew we had to forge new relationships and find new paths and partners,” Balseiro said. “With the addition of James to our team, we are growing our potential for impact and helping to get Cushman the recognition the school deserves.”
Named for Dr. Laura Cushman, founder and principal for nearly 53 years, The Cushman School is Miami’s oldest continuously operating private school, offering classes from PK3 to high school. The school is known for its forward-thinking curriculum, service learning, innovative use of technology, and a nurturing environment.
Knapp also served as director of Development for FIU’s Honors College where he designed and implemented development strategies in which he raised over $2 million in donations. He began his career in higher education as an academic coordinator in the FIU’s Athletics Department and went on to serve as director of Athletic Academic Services at Nova Southeastern University. Knapp earned a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management and a master’s in Higher Education from FIU. He currently is pursuing a doctorate in business.
In 2018, Knapp was named one of South Florida Business Journal’s 40 under 40. He serves as the chair of the Education Committee for the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and is a board member of the Miramar Pembroke Pines Regional Chamber of Commerce. In addition, he volunteers his time with several community organizations helping at-risk youth, including serving on the board of the Lil Abner Foundation and working as a leadership facilitator for the Do What Counts organization.