S2:E16 Why Small Schools are Epic, with Jeanne Wilks

What is the true value of small schools? In what ways might we break up larger schools into smaller units, and why? What is the value add of an education that is both secular and faith-based? Why is teaching a sacred act and in what ways can bad teachers be destructive to the lives of kids? What is the core of the debate between content and skills and how are skills different from strengths? What do we do about kindergarten teachers quitting their jobs, citing top down “seat time” mandates as…child abuse? And in what ways did teachers become learners again because of Covid-19? These and other questions are addressed in today’s episode. My guest is Jeanne Wilks who served as the Interim Head of Holy Nativity – a small, independent school in East O’ahu – from July 2019. After leading the school during the challenges of transition and COVID-19, the board appointed her permanent Head of School. Someone who knows Jeanne well said she is grounded in her beliefs, possesses a hold-your-ground kind of confidence (but is humble), is gently persistent, is an optimist and is possessed of the ability to trust and empower. What a testament! Wilks holds a masters in Private School Leadership from the University of Hawai’i and has been an independent school administrator since 2013. She also has a background in audio engineering and food science. Most of all, she is a team builder who has, according to folks who know her, navigated a terrible pandemic using her fantastic listening skills and ability to build trust. From the Holy Nativity School website we read that the school has a rich history of providing a personalized approach to learning in a small, intimate, setting for students starting school as three year-olds and continuing on through the 6th grade. Small classes, nurturing teachers, challenging curriculum, and integrated technology create the foundation that has continually encouraged outstanding achievements as HNS students display the inherent pleasure of lifelong learning. As always, post-production is provided by Daniel Gilad of DG Sound Creations. To learn more about Daniel, or to hire him for your next music gig, check out his website and Facebook URL. Please stay safe and bring compassion into the world!