Artisans in Action highlights hidden talent
NEWPORT LANDING, N.S. - Blair Brown can melt and twist metal to his will, thanks to his welding equipment and 15-plus years of experience.
James Weekes has been named the new head teacher of the Booker School in Port Williams.
PORT WILLIAMS, NS - The Booker School in Port Williams has a new head teacher at the helm.
James Weekes was recently appointed to the position.
“James is a young, dynamic and experienced International Baccalaureate (IB) educator,” says Johanna Mercer, founding director of the Booker School. “He has an unusual breadth of experience having worked within both large international and small community schools.”
Weekes has taught for nine years internationally, always within IBO World Schools, which are schools that offer IB programs in the three available levels: Primary, middle years and diploma. Two of those schools were very similar to the Booker School in terms of size and how they were philosophically and mission driven.
“Small, community-based schools are where my passions lie,” says Weekes.
Board member and search selection committee member Tyler Bent says they received approximately 50 applications from incredibly well-qualified educators and leaders from around the world. This, he says, speaks to the attractiveness of what the school and the community have to offer.
“After conducting a number of interviews with some great candidates,” says Bent, “James emerged as the unanimous first choice of all the members of the search and selection committee.”
When he arrives later in July, Mercer says Weekes will work on getting the Booker School’s curriculum into the community so that people can see how the school’s approach works. She says he's keen to develop social clubs off campus for senior students with a fun focus on things such as films, books, horticulture, aquaculture, music, all viewed through the lens of inquiry. He's also planning to build a greenhouse to support math and science curriculum.
Weekes says the Booker School offers an opportunity to collaborate with a diverse and positive community, an opportunity to lead a team of eager and driven professionals, and a chance to deliver an individualised curriculum with small classes of amazing students.
“I believe that Booker school has the ability to run a program and engage the community in ways that bigger schools would be unable to do,” says Weekes.
Weekes says that to engage with the complex world around us, students need to be encouraged academically, engaged socially and empowered through action. He says the IB program provides a framework for modern and significant education to take place and creates the opportunity for students to reach their highest potential, to become independent and responsible lifelong learners.
In his recent visit, Bent says Weekes already made an impact and he has tremendous confidence in his ability to lead the school into the future, serving the community and the children very well.
As a parent, Mercer says her son came home talking about an exercise that Weekes did with his class that really got him thinking.
“It was wonderful to see my kid engaged with a big idea - and this shows me that Mr. Weekes truly understands how to implement inquiry-based learning,” says Mercer.
The board of directors, staff and parents are all overjoyed about Weekes’ appointment and can’t wait to see what the next generation of leadership will do.
Did you know?
The Booker School is a small independent, non-profit, non-denominational Pre K – 8 school in Port Williams currently in the consideration phase of the IB accreditation process for the Primary Years Program.