Designing a Different Kind of School

November 9, 2018 | Craig Doerksen


As we get ready to launch Waterloo School publicly, this is a place to get updates and read thought-provoking words about education. Some of you have known about us from the beginning, while others may be just hearing about us. The Waterloo School Update will help everyone dive deeper into our vision.

What is Waterloo School? It is a new, college preparatory high school that will open in the fall of 2019 for all grades 9-12, providing strong project-based academics, supportive mentoring relationships, and a healthier trimester schedule that is better for students and their learning. Waterloo integrates academics and city engagement, mentoring students to become whole people, in relationships, in Christ.

And to start, a question for you: What does a great education do? Here are some thoughts we have about it, complete with some links to provoke further thoughts.

A great education…

Helps you become your best you.

Helps you make connections in the world.

Lets you learn from failures.

Prepares you for college and beyond.

Brings you into the Great Conversation.

Happens in healthy relationships.

Includes all of who you are, not just your mind.

Doesn’t burn you out.

Helps you flourish in adversity.

We at Waterloo have come to see that we often resign ourselves to an education that is not great in the ways described above. “The glory of God is man fully alive!” St. Irenaeus said. Can high school education today actually deliver that with all the pressures on it? We think it can.

Craig Doerksen

Craig Doerksen

Prior to becoming the director of Waterloo School, Craig provided leadership for a number of prominent institutions, including Regents School of Austin; the Bluetower Arts Foundation in Eugene, OR; and Trinity School in Raleigh, NC. Craig holds a master’s degree in English from the University of Ireland and graduated from the University of Oregon with a bachelor’s degree in English.