Staff Spotlight – Mrs Kourtis Prep School Librarian
February 10, 2023

Staff Spotlight – Mrs Kourtis Prep School Librarian

Who is the Prep school teacher without a classroom?
Willard Scott, TV personality, actor and author said “Librarians have always been among the most thoughtful and helpful people. They are teachers without a classroom.” This issue our staff spotlight falls on our wonderful Librarian Mrs Kourtis who has been curating and organising our Library and inspiring and encouraging the children’s interest and love of books and reading for more than 10 years..

What attracted you to working at St James?
I like the way St James cares for the pupils on many levels and not just from the perspective of drumming in an academic education. This felt important to me and to be a part of working in that way was very appealing.

What do you love about your job as Librarian?
Being allowed to read so many fabulous children’s stories and share them with the children – their enthusiasm and delight is infectious – and having the chance to work with such a lovely group of staff.

What was your favourite subject at school and why?
Ancient History – I loved all the Greek and Roman myths and the epic stories like the Odyssey and the Iliad.

Just read, would you recommend it and why:
I’ve just re-read The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper – if that counts. It was on the radio over Christmas as a play and I wanted to read it again. It’s a classic children’s story of good and evil, with a liberal dose of magic, Merlin and traditional folklore and it makes me think of my younger self with fond nostalgia.

Favourite book?
I can’t have just one! The Swallows and Amazons series will always be special as my Dad used to read them to us as bedtime stories. As a young adult, Jane Eyre was one of the first books that made me realise how clever writers could be, but latterly I think probably The Choice by Edith Eger.

What do you like doing in your spare time?
I really enjoy walking – especially in nature and usually with our lovely dog, .
Do you have any hidden talent or secret skills?
If I do it must still be hidden from me, but I used to do a lot of singing. Oh yes, and I’ve managed a youth boys rugby team!

What animal would you be?
An Owl – mysterious, wise and quietly observant, all while being fluffy!

Do you have any wise words or sayings that you would like to share or that you find inspirational?
I’m afraid I can’t attribute my quote as I didn’t write down where it came from at the time, but I have it stuck up in my wardrobe at home so that every day when I open it I’m reminded.

“You can’t control how others receive your energy. Anything you do or say gets filtered through the lens of whatever personal stuff they are going through at that moment, which is not about you. Just keep doing your thing with as much integrity and love as possible.”

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The Pause

At St James, we feel it is important to introduce our pupils to stillness and allow them to discover how to be inwardly free and deeply at ease within themselves. A short period of 5-10 minutes at the beginning and middle of every day is allocated to quietude in which pupils may meditate, contemplate or simply be still – according to their own spiritual inclinations.

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