Staff Spotlight: Noah
Noah has been a part of the Makutano community for much of his life. He started out his career in education at Makutano Primary, the local government school, where he served as a teacher and administrator for eight years. During his time at Makutano Primary, he was frustrated by the limitations a government school had. Students who could not afford to pay their school fees were regularly turned away, no matter what kind of promise or drive they demonstrated. The resources were scarce, and students had to share the few textbooks and supplies that might be available in each classroom. He could only shake his head at the disservice he saw happening and felt powerless to change. During that time, he said he became aware of a growing school in the community, Heritage Academy, and became curious about what was happening in the school. He saw the kids that had been turned away from Makutano Primary finding a place at Heritage, and he was encouraged to see them become permanent parts of the school. When Davis, the director, came to see him in 2014 and asked if he’d be interested in joining the Heritage staff, Noah was thrilled to be reunited with so many of the students he’d seen turned away from Makutano Primary.
The experience at Heritage couldn’t be more different than the experience he had at Makutano Primary. “Vulnerable children have a hope for a bright future unlike before,” Noah says. Where he saw students being underserved at the government school, at Heritage, he sees students having their needs more than met. Students at Heritage receive school uniforms, they are provided nutritious meals, and have access to the resources they need to take their learning to the next level. Noah says the facilities are beyond compare: where public schools were often windowless buildings with dirt floors, students at Heritage have bright, sunlit classrooms and tile floors that don’t turn to mud during the rainy season.
Most importantly, Noah says that students at Heritage are more relaxed. They feel safe and secure at Heritage, and they can just focus on learning, which is consistent. If a student is struggling, teachers are available before and after school for tutoring in addition to one-on-one time available during the school day. At-risk children who struggle because of situations in their home life have the opportunity to live in dormitories on campus, extending the safety and security for these kids even further. And when kids feel safe and secure, they not only learn more, they love more and have greater joy and fun.
Since becoming deputy headmaster at Heritage Primary, Noah has worked hard to provide even more for these kids he loves so much. He’s very committed to the school and the success of each student. In addition to his duties as deputy headmaster, Noah continues to teach eighth grade science, math, and Swahili. He said one of the greatest challenges he is addressing currently is educating the parents of the students at Heritage. He says that many of them didn’t remain in school or didn’t attend school at all, so they don’t see it as a priority. Noah hopes to work with parents to help them understand how important education is and how important their support is for their children. He is a big reason that so many children living in poverty stay in school.
Outside of the classroom, Noah is a proud husband and father of four children. He’s happy to have his children at Heritage where he feels they are receiving the best possible education. He says he hopes to further his own education by adding a degree in primary education. He thinks it will not only benefit him, but the students at Heritage Academy as well.
Noah is a great addition to our staff and is loved by students and staff alike. We’re glad to have him as part of our team!