James grew up in Port McNeill, a small town on northern Vancouver Island. Life in Port McNeill had a certain level of tranquillity and central community about it; there wasn’t much to really “do” outside of community events, hockey, curling, frequenting local shops and restaurants or exploring the outdoors. Growing up, he spent a lot of time discovering the wilderness of Vancouver Island, which inspired his growing love for nature and biology. He was a bookworm and technophile in his formative years, having a particular interest in science fiction, drawn to the technology-filled worlds where innovation was allowed to flourish. In secondary school, James loved science courses; learning and exploring how the world worked, but his second love was drama. Theatre arts provided an outlet to refine ideas about the world and himself; freedom to explore, learn, and express without reprisal, but rather praise and encouragement.
James moved to Nanaimo where he attended Vancouver Island University; spending two years studying theatre arts and political science before entering the bachelor’s of science programme. During his post-secondary education, James became involved in the Students’ Union and community programmes involving youth and education. After completing his biology degree at VIU, he enrolled into the education programme with the hope of applying his skills and experience to a field that fosters the wellbeing, social development and education of our youth. He believes that education is the best way to affect the wellness of our society, and not simply about teaching children facts and figures, but about teaching life-skills and healthy decision making. For James, education is a truly endless journey, and as he continues his voyage he aspires to help other learners reach their goals and dare to dream.