JAMES WEEKES - Teaching Head of School
I grew up in Plymouth, in the south west of England, and at a very early age developed a love for the environment and science. After studying at the University of Plymouth for a BSc in Science and the Media, I had the opportunity to move to Germany where I started working in my first IB school.
After a decade of working in international schools, I came to The Booker School in 2017 to lead a team of enthusiastic and caring educators with a shared mission and vision. My dream is to further develop this school as a place where students can embrace the joy of learning, be recognised and respected as individuals, and become motivated to reach their highest potential.
James holds a B.Sc (Hons) in Science And The Media from the University of Plymouth, UK, a PGCE from Canterbury Christchurch University, UK, a Certificate of Education in Leadership from The College of Teachers, UK, and an MA in International Education from the University of Bath, UK. James is part of the IBEN (International Baccalaureate Educators Network), and is a qualified Workshop Leader, Site Visitor and Consultant. He also holds a Level 2 IB Educators Certificate.
TEMMA FRECKER - Curriculum Coordinator & G5-6
Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching winner 2018
Originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, I’ve come to call the Annapolis Valley home since 2010. While traveling around the world working on community development projects (Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Honduras, Japan, and Northern Quebec), I realized that my true passion was teaching. My goal as a teacher is to foster caring and goodness in people so they can be true to themselves and their passions and be empowered to contribute in their own way to a better world.
“What the educator does in teaching is to make it possible for the students to become themselves.” - Paulo Freire, We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education & Social Change
Temma holds a B.A. Honours in Double Advanced Major in International Development Studies and Spanish from the University of King’s College and Dalhousie, a B.Ed. from St. Thomas University, and French Immersion Program (Perfectionnement) from Université Ste-Anne (Valedictorian).
JAMIE O'HANLON - Early Years Coordinator & Grade 1
I grew up in Dartmouth, and after graduating high school I obtained a B.A. in History at St. Francis Xavier University. After taking some time to travel and work abroad, I completed my B.Ed. at Crandall University. I then became an early years PYP educator at an IB continuum school in Ontario, and I loved every minute of it. I'm excited to continue this experience at The Booker School.
I believe that play is children's work, and there can be no more authentic inquiry experience than the natural exploration that play provides. As an early years educator, my mission is to provide authentic learning experiences that allow children to express themselves, explore their world, and consider their role in its future.
Jamie holds a B.A. in History from St. Francis Xavier University and a B.Ed. from Crandall University.
KATHERINE KERR - Elementary El
MADISON RAFUSE - Early Years
I grew up here in the Annapolis Valley where I attended Cambridge Elementary where I met a very special and inspiring Primary teacher who sparked by interest of learning, exploring, and friendship. This radiant teacher helped me discover my love for education and made me realise I wanted to do the same for future generations.
I began my journey with an interest in child care during high school, after completing a co-op term at a local daycare facility. This drove my decision to pursue a career in child care. This is my first year teaching at The Booker School and I am so grateful to be a part of this incredible school community. My goal is to continue learning, exploring, and developing friendships with my school’s community for years to come.
Madison holds a Diploma in Early Childhood Education (Level 2) at NSCC, Kingstec. She is currently studying toward her Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Study to obtain a Level 3 Early Childhood Education at Mount Saint Vincent University.
COLLEEN GERRITS | Visual Arts
Colleen is an artist from Greenwich, and has been teaching art to students aged 4 and up for the past 8 years.
She enjoys using a variety of mediums to keep things fresh and exciting for her students. Mediums include painting, sketching, printing, collage, clay sculpting, wet and needle felting, mixed media, and more. Colleen aims to introduce students to a wide range of art, beginning with a step-by-step approach and then allowing her students to branch off to explore endless artistic creations.
Coleen holds a Bachelor of Education
SENSEI ANDREW HAIGHT | Aikido
Head instructor, Sensei Andrew Haight, (4th dan Aikido) has been a dedicated student of the martial arts & Ki (or Chi – Life energy), for almost 30 years. From his beginnings in Karate, his intensive, live-in years studying Aikido in California, to his passion for Tai Chi & Iaido, Andrew is a deeply knowledgable teacher who loves sharing his experience & encouraging others to grow & thrive. Andrew has traveled extensively, studying with some of the best teachers in the world. He has been teaching since 2000, continually exploring body awareness, centre & the body-mind-spirit connection.
GAEA JESS | Dance & Yoga
Dancing since the age of 3, Gaea pursued intensive and continuous dance training (ballet, jazz, modern) in Nova Scotia before attending York University in Toronto, where she earned a Bachelor of Dance and Kinesiology in 2001. After graduating, Gaea spent a year studying and teaching dance in Australia before travelling extensively throughout New Zealand, Thailand and Malaysia.
She then returned to Canada and studied and taught at the Decidedly Jazz Danceworks in Calgary. Gaea returned to Nova Scotia and in 2006 became the owner and Artistic Director of Cadance Academy, formerly owned by her mother Linda Jess. In 2006 she earned ed her Hatha Yoga certification. She also obtained certification in CDTA Acro, Zumba, Zumbini and continues to attend many workshops and training sessions to keep her teaching methods up to date including teacher training at the National Ballet School of Canada. Under Gaea’s direction, Cadance became the first dance academy certified by the Nova Scotia Department of Education to grant High School Matriculation credits to its ballet students upon completion of their CDTA intermediate or advanced ballet exam. Gaea continues to share her passion for dance, health and wellness throughout the Annapolis Valley and beyond.
NATALIE WEEKES | Communications Coordinator
I am originally from the UK but grew up in Germany, and have spent most of my life away from my country of birth. My background is in Marine Biology & Coastal Ecology (with an accidental emphasis on turtles), and I have always been devoted to environmental conservation. I am also an IB graduate, and have worked together with a number of international schools around the world.
My passions lie in sustainability, conservation and connectivity. I also hold a great interest for technology, and love exploring Social Media to connect with people and organisations from around the world.
Natalie holds a B.Sc. (Hons) in Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology from the University of Plymouth, UK.