Joey Rhodes – Engaging Students Through Science

Year: 2021 — Territory: Nunavut
Certificate of Achievement Recipient

Inuksuk High School
Grades 9 to 12 - science
Iqaluit, Nunavut


“Joey is an integral part of the education fabric here in Iqaluit. As a math and science teacher, he remains a guiding force for a generation of students seeking to go on to post-secondary education eventual careers in STEM. But Joey has not limited himself to academic activities where he involves students in a plethora of projects and initiatives. He is also a very dynamic member of the community. He shares his love of sports by organising and running a community-wide basketball program, not to mention his amazing leadership with his student robotics program where he has taken robotics teams to nationals Skills Canada Competitions.”


Teaching Approach

Joey’s approach to teaching is based on keeping students engaged in activities that may not be immediately part of the curriculum but are complementary to academic activity. He has demonstrated time and time again that a teacher can make a student stay connected by providing them with a challenging yet supportive environment. He offers a class setting where students feel confident to express themselves and understand the value of respect and openness to others.

In the Classroom

Nowhere else in Nunavut will you find a classroom with a boa constrictor, two geckos and a robotics shop. Joey teaches some difficult courses, including chemistry and mathematics. Having live animals in his classroom brings excitement to that whole wing of the school: students visit his class even when they’re not being taught by Joey. The animals aid Joey in making those personal one-on-one connections that are so important in building relationships in an educational setting. In addition to teaching a robotics class, Joey also runs an after-school extracurricular robotics club that is totally self-funded through various fundraising activities. The hands-on robotics gives students the opportunity to use concepts and skills learned in other classes such as math and physics.

Joey makes learning fun and gets very high satisfaction rating from students. His classes also tend to have very low differentials on departmental exams, which demonstrates they are well prepared.

Outstanding Achievements

Joey has provided a great deal of leadership and commitment to his students in the almost two decades he has spent working in Nunavut. He has held a number of positions with the Nunavut Teachers Association(NTA)including secretary treasurer of the Central Qikiqtani Regional Executive, local union representative for Inuksuk High School, and is currently the vice-president of the NTA. Joey’s involvement with the union has helped improve education in all of Nunavut to the benefit of students. He has also served in the past as department head for the science and math departments. In 2015, Joey was the founding member of the Nunavut Science Educators Committee which seeks to provide support and improve STEM teaching throughout Nunavut. Also since 2015, Joey has been the coordinator for the annual Science Fair held at Inuksuk High School. Since 2017, Joey has been the contact for Actua Science Outreach and the organizer of the annual Nunavut Territorial STEM Competition.

Get in touch!

Inuksuk High School
501 Niaqunngusiariaq
Iqaluit, NU X0A 0H0
(867) 979-5281
Facebook: @inuksukhighschool
Twitter: @InuksukHigh