James Friesen

James Friesen

Vice Principal/Teacher

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James was born in Edmonton, Alberta but spent much of his childhood in a nomadic mode, spending time in twelve different schools and living in four different countries. He is now in a state of semi-permanence in Winnipeg. He and his wife LeAnn have two children, Alex and Kate, who both graduated from Westgate and who are now trying to figure out life at Canadian Mennonite University. James graduated from CMBC with his Bachelor of Theology. From there he received his B.A. in Religion and Mathematics at the University of Manitoba, and his B.Ed. in Mathematics, English, and Religion from the University of Alberta. In 2000, he finished his M.A. in Religion, focusing on a Christian response to religious plurality. From 2000 to 2003, James was granted a leave for an MCC term. James and his family's experience living in Gaza and Lebanon is still close to their hearts. Since then, James has been able to revisit his former home, leading eight Westgate study tours to the Middle East. He has also connected Westgate students with Muslim and Christian students from a school in northern Israel, the Mar Elias Institution, a school that is trying to work at peace building by breaking down the barriers of religion and politics. A few years ago, James began his new role as Vice Principal. He has missed being in English classes with the grade twelves, but is still involved in teaching the grade ten Christian Studies course, a course which looks at our multi-religious world. He has found his new administrative responsibilities to be challenging but also a lot of fun. He has felt blessed to be part of an administrative team that is guiding a healthy and life-giving school. In his spare time, James likes to play soccer and read books written by dead Russians. His musical interests are fairly narrow, ranging all the way from Bob Dylan to Neil Young, both of whom have made their virtual presence in his classes. In the future, he hopes to live abroad again as well as finish his childhood goal of visiting every continent by sailing to Antarctica.