Upper School Language Arts (9-12)
The Battering Ram Faculty Advisor
Hello, my name is JD Louis. I currently reside in Phoenicia where my wife runs the Woodland Playhouse preschool out of our home. I have three children: My two oldest attend WDS and my youngest goes to school with my wife.
My educational journey has taken me on an amazingly diverse and multi-cultural adventure starting with the United Nations International School where I was blessed with the warmth and security of community. I also attended Brooklyn Friends, a Quaker school guided by the ideals of acceptance, compassion, equality, and non-violence. My passion for English as a language art was fostered at BFS, and it had a profound impact on my future educational choices. My undergraduate degree took my love of writing and literature and combined it with a contemplative education at Naropa University where my plan to pursue a career as a secondary English teacher was solidified. My travels took me to the rigorous MAT Program at Bard College, which integrated all of my educational experiences with an innovative basis for critical reflection on my educational practice. I am NY State Certified to teach English for Grades 7-12, and before coming to Woodstock Day School, I spent four years teaching at Onteora.
My passion for poetry and literature has been a guiding force in all aspects of my teaching. I enjoy teaching in interdisciplinary settings and collaborative student centered environments. While I see life asking its participants to collaborate, reflect, analyze, and explore everything and anything, I look to poetry and literature to mimic, manipulate, mold, pull, drive, create, and change our experiences and place it on a page for us to process either collectively or individually. With that being said, I am a huge advocate for creating settings in which student work can be collected and displayed. I believe the arts create community. At Naropa University, I worked on their literary journal, The Bombay Gin for four years and helped to organize multiple readings. At Onteora, I helped reinvent the high school literary journal, which we entitled Esopusupose, and sponsored a number of open mics and a school wide poetry slam/rap battle. I also helped bring the “Poetry Out Loud” recitation competition to the school. In the fall of 2011, we started work on the Woodstock Day School’s literary journal, The Battering Ram, and what a wonderful experience it has been. Please look for our latest editions around the campus and online. During the spring of 2013, we started LitCon with the idea of bringing together our talented and passionate local youth community to celebrate the literary arts.