Location: Kindezi School auditorium
Date taken: September 28, 2012
As a kid, Kathleen Jones was a teacher’s pet, a nerd, a top student. Like most kids, she enjoyed learning but she also loved school, the grades, the structure, the school year calendar. So, it’s probably not surprising that Kathleen not only became a teacher but one of the founders of a charter school.
The Kindezi School started as the dream of Dean Leeper, who Kathleen met in 2005. She shared his vision of creating a school with small class sizes, differentiated teaching and a focus on learning through creativity and leadership. Kathleen lent her organizational and logistical skills to the vision, and for five years, Dean and Kathleen worked to make the school a reality. In 2010, the Kindezi School opened in Southwest Atlanta as a charter school of the Atlanta Public School System. Now, Kathleen is one of the school’s fifth grade teachers.
“I really value creativity and imagination in my own life,” said Kathleen, who moved to Atlanta from her hometown of Panama City, Fla., to attend Emory University. “It thrills me to no end to see my fifth graders who still have that ability to imagine, who can make soup out of acorns, who can make a boat sail around a playground.”
With a class of six to eight kids, Kathleen is able to tailor teaching lessons to each child – from individual lists of vocabulary words to finding out what subject sparks a kid’s creativity to providing specific opportunities for leadership. And, with such a small classroom, all the kids can be the teacher’s pet.
Learn more about the Kindezi School online.