Mr+Emmi+1.jpg
I want to impart knowledge and a love of learning to students, and I also want to stay educated, thoughtful, and well-read as an adult.”

James Emmi

VDA Teacher since 2017

Tell me a little about your personal and educational background.
I grew up in northern Delaware and attended a Catholic school from kindergarten through 8th grade. From there, I went to the Charter School of Wilmington and graduated from Temple University in 2013. Over the course of my college years, I double-majored in English and FMA (Film and Media Arts) and also took a number of courses in Philosophy. My interest in these subjects and the arts in general have remained consistent through my childhood and adult life.

What brought you to VanDamme Academy?
During a vacation to California, I was fortunate enough to meet Miss VanDamme and to take a tour of VDA. I immediately came to love the school and its general atmosphere, so when I learned of a job opening several months later, I hastened to apply. Miss VanDamme would later boast of her “psychic" abilities, having known all along that my path and the school’s would eventually cross again.

When and why did you decide to become a teacher?
My first position at VanDamme Academy was the office manager, and I was in this role for two years before being promoted to full-time teacher. Although I already desired to teach by then, my part-time classroom experience allowed me to confirm this as the path I wanted to take. My motivation to teach is twofold: I want to impart knowledge and a love of learning to students, and I also want to stay educated, thoughtful, and well-read as an adult. Teaching at VanDamme Academy allows me to do both.

What do you do in your free time?
I am also a writer, so I spend much of my time reading and writing fiction. I also enjoy the beach and taking long hikes with my dog Plato. I am friends with several teachers at the school, and I enjoy whatever opportunities I get to spend time with them outside the classroom.