Courses: English IV & English II Pre-AP; Public Speaking & Debate
Degree: BA: Our Lady of the Lake University '07
Mr. James Courtney is a man of diverse talents, traits and interests. Born and raised in San Anto, his 33 years of life have been filled with blessings. His mom was a special education teacher with SAISD for 30 years and his dad a U.S. Census worker, hearing aid specialist, fisherman, living room philosopher and the best darn Little League coach ever.
After attending high school at Madison HS in NEISD, where he excelled in Language Arts, Debate and Tennis, he attended Our Lady of the Lake University, where he double-majored in English and Philosophy. Making Dean's list every semester, Courtney famously earned A's in every single class but one (that pesky B in Logic) and contributed consistently to the school's literary community, presenting academic papers at conventions, publishing his poetry and leading writer's workshops. Throughout his high school and college stints, two particular passions remained, and still remain, his callings: writing poetry and philosophical analysis (of almost everything, because “the unexamined life is not worth living.” -Socrates).
Regarding his approach to writing poetry, Mr. Courtney says: “It’s not the moments or the meanings, but the fine fibers of each that interest me as a poet. Are my poems disposable for their brevity and fuzzed/flighty focus? Sure. But, these throwaway poems are no more disposable than the universal themes they poke at and side-step or the formulaic conventions they taunt, but never fully flout.”
Despite being accepted into several PhD programs in Philosophy, Courtney felt strongly called to teach high school upon completing college. He believes that the best way to shape (save?) the future is to educate and inspire young people to be active, curious and critically thinking participants in society.
He has been a full time teacher since the 2008-2009 school year, spending five years in a public charter school before finding his home at IWHS.
Currently, Mr. Courtney is blessed with an understanding, intelligent and loving partner Felicia and a beautiful/brilliant daughter Emerson Ocean. He teaches English II PreAP as well as Speech and Debate, also co-sponsoring the school's Debate team and sponsoring the Music Appreciation Club. Additionally, as of the 2015-2016 school year, Courtney teaches Revolution Prep SAT courses for the students.
When he’s not at his day job, Mr. Courtney writes about Music, Arts and Culture for the San Antonio Current and does online SAT Tutoring for Revolution Prep. His hobbies include spending time with his family, reading, cooking, hiking, seeing live music, writing poetry, watching the Spurs, studying art, and obsessively watching all the NFL Football he can.