Community May 7, 2012

Harry Weekes (Science)

Age: 43
Family: Wife, Hillary, and three children, Georgia, Penelope and Simon
Pets: A dog, two cats, a smattering of fish and an ever-expanding flock of chickens
Occupation: Head of The Sage School 11/12 Grade Team teacher


 After teaching biology and science for nearly two decades at The Community School, which was founded by his parents, Harry founded The Sage School in Hailey three years ago. The 6th through 12th grade school is committed to adolescents, experiential education, and developing self-awareness through community action and humanitarian and ecological responsibility.


You’re a very passionate educator. Did you always want to be a teacher?

I never intended to teach. I’m as much of an accidental teacher as you’ll ever find. My former biology high school teacher asked me to sub for him and it was just a good fit for me.


What’s the key to being a good teacher?

It's cliché, but it's really about paying attention to the students. When you know where they are mentally, emotionally, physically and socially then you can help them engage the content and curriculum. Then they can really learn.


Enrollment and applications to the school have been skyrocketing. What’s been the key to your success?

People think of learning as only a cognitive experience but it’s much more than that; it’s emotional, it’s physical. Kids want to explore and we let them explore. As humans we’re natural tinkerers and that’s why a lot of our projects are hands-on. So the kids are having good experiences here and are telling others about it. We also get seen. The students here are getting out and are active in the community.


Is the Wood River Valley a good place for education?

We’re lucky to have such a culturally rich community and we explore it. We want our kids to be doing meaningful work here.


Favorite motto?

Never hurry. Never rest.


Favorite ice cream?

Häagen-Daz coffee. I have to watch myself. I could eat a whole pint in one sitting.


Do you have any heroes?

David Orr from Oberlin College who wrote, ‘‘Earth in Mind.’’ Jim Henson, Gary Larson and Gene Rodenberry


What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I like to walk, to draw, to water color, to write, to cook, to read. I love playing with my wife and kids.


Do you play any sports?

Hockey. I used to play for the Suns.




Favorite ”kids” food?”
All of them. I’m a dad. I like pizza crusts and left over mac and cheese and Chicken Dinos. I like it all.

This article appears in the Spring 2012 Issue of Sun Valley Magazine.