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James O’Neal, Jr has come a long way since graduating with honors from Northside High School in 2002. From his humble beginnings in the small city of Belhaven, NC, he has grown into a highly experienced middle school math teacher with 15 years of teaching under his belt. After attending NC State University "Wolfpack" as a Teaching Fellow and graduating cum laude with a BS in Middle School Math Education in 2006, he embarked on a journey that would take him to Pittsburgh, PA where he taught in three different school districts over the course of nine years. In 2016, he returned to his home state of NC and began teaching at Piedmont IB Middle School, where he has since become a National Board Certified Teacher, math department chair, and math plc lead.

Throughout his career, James has shown a deep commitment to his students and their success. He started Aftermath, a club for high-achieving black male students, to address the lack of representation in higher level math classes at his school. He was named Piedmont's Teacher of the Year and was a finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the highest award a math teacher can receive in the country. He has also pursued higher education himself, receiving his M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in middle school mathematics from UNC-Charlotte in 2020.

James's dedication to excellence has not gone unnoticed. He has founded Mastery For All, LLC to support all students in achieving their potential and sharing his message of high expectations and equitable outcomes through public speaking engagements around the country. James not only brings a wealth of teaching experience and expertise, but he is also a captivating and inspiring public speaker and math consultant. He has the ability to connect with his audience and bring complex mathematical concepts to life, making them accessible to both students and educators.


With his engaging and energetic style, James is sure to leave a lasting impression on your audience and inspire positive change in your educational community. His passion for teaching and helping students achieve their full potential is evident in his work, both in the classroom and as a consultant. James has a proven track record of supporting teachers and growing students to proficiency. His driving force as an educator is to create an environment where students believe they can succeed, educators believe in their students, and parents have the resources to support their child's education.

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