Mr. James Mintz teaches one of our most popular science courses, SCH4U – grade 12 chemistry.  Mr. Mintz describes himself as, first and foremost, a scientist; He initially studied medical laboratory technology and later began teaching. His first year of teaching was at a private school, where he taught chemistry, physics, biology, and mathematics. Throughout his teaching career Mr. Mintz has taught at the elementary, secondary, and college level where he has held roles as a department head, wilderness out-trip leader, mentor, and coach for school clubs.

Mr. Mintz has retired from the traditional school setting, but his passion for teaching lives on. After retirement, he continued to work as a supply teacher and eventually began teaching in northern Canada – a part of the country he had always wanted to visit.  He spent a year and a half in Nunavut, broadening his teaching skills, increasing his knowledge of the Arctic, and learning more about the Inuit people. 

A photo from Mr. Mintz’s journey to a winter camp-out

From Nunavut, Mr. Mintz was recruited to teach chemistry in the Middle East. Mr. Mintz was soon on his way from -40°C to +40°C to begin a new adventure: teaching at the College of the North Atlantic in Doha, Qatar. Mr. Mintz learned many new social and cultural customs while teaching in Qatar.

College of the North Atlantic, Qatar

Mr. Mintz returned to Canada and continued his teaching passion in a new way – tutoring students in chemistry, mathematics, physics, and science. He enjoyed helping students improve their grades and succeeding in areas where they were previously struggling. Given his great interest in traveling, Mr. Mintz appreciates the valuable and progressive nature of Virtual High School, where he and his students can be anywhere in the world, “and yet the pedagogical exchange exists, students learn, the teacher teaches, and their shared goals are achieved,” Mr. Mintz says.

Mr. Mintz’s cedar strip kayak

In addition to teaching, Mr. Mintz enjoys sports, hiking, camping, and playing music. Mr. Mintz is trained in classical music and has sung with well-known chorale groups, in church choirs, and within quartets.  Mr. Mintz also plays guitar, piano, and harmonica, often performing as a solo artist. He is involved in his community through church groups, a drama company, and a community museum. In addition to these more leisurely pursuits, Mr. Mintz also volunteers with a firefighting crew.

In his spare time, he enjoys woodworking as a hobby. Some of his hand-crafted designs have included a cedar-strip canoe, a cedar-strip sea kayak, custom paddles, and accessory furniture. 

A life-long seeker, Mr. Mintz says, “The halls of learning exist everywhere.”

Thank you, Mr. Mintz, for your dedication to student success at Virtual High School and beyond!