The New Franklin School Appoints Pioneering Maker Educator Jaymes Dec to Spearhead Hands-on Learning for High School Students in Jersey City

September 23, 2021
Press Contacts
Alyssa Miller
AM Mediaworks

Franklin is hosting a free Design Expo, with engineering and design challenges on October 23 for teens to explore and discover their inner creator

Franklin School, a visionary private high school designed to engage students actively in their own learning and educate innovators, announces the appointment of a trailblazing educator, Jaymes Dec as the Director of Innovation. He will lead the School’s maker program when it opens in Fall 2022.

“We are thrilled to have Mr. Dec, a pioneer of the makerspace movement, join us to launch Franklin’s cutting-edge curriculum in Jersey City,” says William Campbell, Head of Franklin School. “He brings extensive experience in teaching design and technology, and inspiring students through a myriad of creative project-based learning experiences that cultivate ingenuity and confidence, as they bring their own ideas to life. Mr. Dec will play a significant role in fulfilling Franklin’s mission of educating innovators and socially responsible global leaders shaping the future.”

Franklin’s campus, located in the Newport section of Jersey City, will include a state-of-the-art makerspace where students can tinker, design, build, test, share ideas, and gain knowledge through trial, error, and invention. Mr. Dec, who helped design the space, has also developed Franklin’s STEAM-based maker curriculum to encourage innovation, foster entrepreneurship, and engage students in hands-on learning that fosters curiosity and builds collaboration and problem-solving skills. These skills, along with flexibility and resilience, are essential for success in the rapidly changing working world.

In addition to serving as Franklin’s Director of Innovation, Mr. Dec is an Adjunct Professor in the Creative Technologies Certification Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Previously, he taught technology at Marymount School New York, where he launched the first MIT-certified Fab Lab at an all-girls school. Named a “Teacher of the Future” by the National Association of Independent Schools, Mr. Dec has also gained industry recognition as President of Nerdy Derby, a non-profit that nurtures creativity in educational environments, and as Co-founder of NYC Makery, facilitating community-based pop-up makerspaces and technology workshops.

Lesa Wang, also a noted maker educator, is working with Mr. Dec to bring Franklin’s maker program to life. She previously worked with him in her role as the K-5 STEAM Coordinator and Director of Marymount Makers at Marymount School New York. Currently, Ms. Wang serves  as Head of Design and Director of Global Spark Programs at The Dwight Schools, a renowned network of independent schools worldwide and a Franklin affiliate, and continues to collaborate with Mr. Dec to inspire the next generation of innovative leaders.

Mr. Dec, who has also fostered the professional development of educators globally in the use of creative technologies, says, “Franklin is on the cutting edge in education and I am excited to be part of the School’s founding team dedicated to providing students with critically important learning experiences that cultivate design skills, which empower them to think creatively, solve problems, and shape things of their own imagination. These kinds of engaging hands-on learning experiences will set Franklin apart from other high schools.”

To provide the local New Jersey community with a feel for the type of hands-on learning Franklin is passionate about, the School is hosting a free Design Expo on Saturday, October 23, from 11 am-3 pm, at Franklin School, 100 Town Square Place in Jersey City (masks required). The experience features a range of engaging design and engineering challenges using robotics and craft materials; and opportunities for teens to experiment with digital fabrication tools, including laser cutters, digital embroidery machines, and 3D printers.

Parents and teens interested in applying to Franklin School for Fall 2022 will have an opportunity to meet Mr. Campbell, Mr. Dec, Ms. Wang, and fellow faculty members at the Design Expo to learn more about Franklin.

Franklin School, located at 88 Town Square Place in downtown Jersey City, combines world-class academics with real-world readiness to educate innovators and socially responsible global leaders. Founded by trailblazers in education Chancellor Stephen Spahn — the longest-serving head of an independent school in the U.S. — and his son, Vice Chancellor Blake Spahn, Franklin is affiliated with The Dwight Schools in New York City, London, Seoul, Dubai, Shanghai, and Dwight Global Online School. Franklin’s roots date back to 1872 when its forefather school was founded in New York City. Today’s Franklin will welcome students in grades 9-12 beginning in Fall 2022. Follow Franklin on Twitter @franklinhs1872, Instagram, and Facebook. To meet Franklin's leadership team and learn more at a virtual open house, register online or via [email protected] Franklin is currently accepting applications for the 2022-23 school year.