Student Government Association Gives Back

Hello, my name is Trinity Hunter and I have the honor of serving as the SGA President of Saint James in my final year of high school. 

Our Student Government Association been thriving. Since the end of last year, we have managed to double our members from thirteen to twenty-six. We have continued to be committed to serving the community and Saint James as best as we can. 

Our first initiative of the year was the Booker T. Washington Magnet High School change drive. Early in the school year, BTW experienced a major fire. While it is a blessing that no one was hurt, one of their buildings was still destroyed and with it. Student art work, art tools and materials, and technology devices were lost in the disaster. Members of the STJ SGA stood outside all over campus one Friday morning and collected change from parents, students, and teachers alike. Amazingly, we were able to gain $1500 to send to BTW!! 


I can honestly say that my time in the SGA has been some of my favorite memories. It has given me experience leading a group and public speaking ability from the school convocations. But most importantly, it has given me the ability to talk to people and maintain relationships with them along the way. I am forever grateful to Saint James to have gotten this opportunity. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the school year holds!

Go Trojans!


After the change drive, it was time to get to work on our annual Community Day of Service. Every year, the high school is tasked with going out into the community and spending a day volunteering. This day could not happen without the SGA. For two months, we planned for Community Day: calling businesses, assigning students and teachers alike, and designing T-Shirts. On October 5, the high school branched out across the Montgomery area to make the community a better place for all that lived in it. 

Our next project is Fall Festival. It is so exciting to be able to participate in the uniquely Saint James tradition that is Fall Festival. It is a great night of fellowship between Saint James families and has become a stable in the lives of many students. Every year, SGA is in charge of the raffle. We are excited to give out great prizes this year to those whose names are drawn! 

comm day collage.png


Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead!

Choo! Choo! ... All Aboard the K3 Train! Mrs. Browning and Mrs. Dickens’ Pre-K3 classes made edible trains in the Imagination Station while studying the letter “T.”  They learned about all types of locomotives and transportation. This fun activity and tasty treat also reinforced recognizing shapes. STJ’s elementary Imagination Station is a fully-stocked design lab, offering a space outside the classroom to build, discover, and practice S.T.E.A.M. skills (science, technology, engineering, art, and math).

train collage.png


Faculty Spotlight: Mrs. Diane Buckner

I teach: 6th grade math, exploring math

I’ve Taught for: 30 Years

Hometown: Born in Savannah, GA and grew up in Western North Carolina

High school: Tuscola High in Waynesville, NC

College/Degree: Western Carolina University and The University of NC in Chapel Hill/ Elementary Ed and Intermediate Ed with Mathematics specialty

Extracurricular: Math Club/Team Sponsor

Favorite Book: Cold Mountain

Favorite Movie: The English Patient

Favorite Food: Shrimp

Married to: Married for 37 years to Frank, a retired college professor/administrator and United Methodist minister

Children: 2 daughters, both STJ grads:  Melissa, the oldest, is married with 2 children, lives in the DC area and is finishing a PhD program;  Christina, the younger, lives in Mexico City where she teaches a English and works in a theater.

Church: First United Methodist Church

Fun Fact: I have a long-haired dachshund named Franz.

buckner collage.png

Faculty Spotlight: Ms. Becky Dickens

I Teach: PreK-3 half day; Targeted Learning Instructor

I’ve Taught for: 8 years

Hometown: Braggs, Alabama (Lowndes County)

High school: Lowndes Academy

College/Degree: Jacksonville State University; BS in music education

Favorite Book: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society; The Nightingale

Favorite Movie: Sleepless in Seattle

Favorite Food: Pizza!

Children: My 8th grader, Lizzy, loves performing and being on the stage. Her favorite subjects are English and history. My son, Jimmy, is in 5th grade and loves all sports, but especially baseball. His favorite subjects are math and science.

Church: First Baptist Church Montgomery

Hobbies: Singing - you can see me every once in a while on the stage at the Cloverdale Playhouse in one of their benefit cabarets.

Fun Fact: I was Lowndes County Junior Miss (now Distinguished Young Woman) in 1996

dickens collage.png

The Great Marshmallow Challenge

Elementary 5th grade students put their their teamwork skills to the test in Mrs. Simon’s classroom while participating in The Great Marshmallow Challenge.

Given only 20 dry spaghetti noodles, one yard of tape, and one yard of string, the students were challenged to build the tallest tower.  Their creations would be tested to stand up, unattended, when a single marshmallow was placed on top. The timer started and groups worked quickly to devise a plan and put it into action.  

Groups that used triangles and unique wide bases were successful, some with heights as tall as 21 inches!  Even though a few towers fell, groups didn’t give up hope. By working together and regrouping, many pulled through and their spaghetti towers stood.

“I enjoyed this challenge because it gave us a chance to interact with each other and experience what it’s like to engineer and design a structure.”- Benjamin Green, 5th grade

marshmallow challenge.png

This Ted Talk video was shown, which explains the challenge and dives deeper into teamwork. Mrs. Simon explained, “in Middle School there are even more team projects, so this gives elementary students some experience, all while enforcing strategy and teamwork.”

These students surely could be our future architects and engineers!  Ms. Simon engages all elementary students, Pre-K3 through fifth grade, in character building lessons and core value teachings of Saint James.

The Gr Ma Ch pic 3.JPG


Perfectly Prepared with “The Pillowcase Project”

Emergencies and natural disasters can hit any time, and in some cases without warning. Having a disaster preparedness home kit is essential for any family. As we commemorate the anniversary of 9/11, upper elementary students welcomed HandsOn River Region to experience an interactive assembly about disaster preparedness.  Experts spoke to the students about safety skills and how to be better prepared in the event of an emergency. Students decorated and assembled disaster kits out of pillowcases brought from home.

collage pillowcase project.jpg

 The Pillowcase Project is a preparedness education program that teaches children about personal and family emergency preparedness. Students become better equipped to handle hazardous situations and ready to build their own personal emergency supplies kit.  This initiative grew from stories of Loyola University students who packed their emergency belongings into a pillowcase during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. 

Pillowcase pic 6.JPG

Firefighters from the Bell Road fire station also attended the assembly and received a giant round of applause when introduced.  It was a wonderful chance to give thanks to our area’s first responders all while keeping up the initiative to build communities of character at STJ!


See learning firsthand with Seesaw

Have you ever thought “I would love to be a fly on the wall” when thinking about your child and their classroom?  It would be amazing to see what they are doing each day! It is now possible, with the Seesaw app!

seesaw app logo.png

Since STJ introduced Seesaw four years ago, elementary students have been given an avenue to document their learning creatively through technology.  Students share their amazing photos, videos, drawings and notes with parents via the app. Some of the best parts of the day are getting notifications from Seesaw!

“Seesaw is an amazing tool allowing students to share all types of learning experiences with teachers and parents.  It provides an authentic purpose for learning, creativity, expression, and reflection.”  - Tina Waggoner, elementary technology teacher

Seesaw is just another tool Saint James School uses to educate the whole child and share with families the amazing work our students do in the classroom each day!


Good Manners and a Smile are Always in Style

The lovely ladies and dapper gentlemen of Kindergarten put their manners unit to the test this week at the annual K5 tea party. Dressed in their formal party attire, the students processed into their classrooms two by two. As the ladies were escorted to their seats, our young men tucked their chairs in and joined their companions at a beautifully decorated table fully equipped with imaginary place settings. The honorable guests enjoyed fancy bites and practiced their table etiquette by passing items, sharing, and using their nicest manners. Hudson Selbee, a student in Ms. Ali King’s class, explains to “always say please and thank you.”


Our three Kindergarten classes learned all about using polite manners and will continue to practice their skills throughout the year. As Saint James builds communities of character focusing on the education of the whole child, we start these practices early. A strong foundation of integrity, courtesy, and generosity begin with our littlest learners.



Blinded by the light!

What do you get when science meets arts? Beautiful sun prints! On a bright Alabama summer day, freshman physical science students witnessed endothermic reactions first-hand. With light-sensitive paper and everyday items from the classroom, Mr. David Beach’s class created their own art prints with nothing more than UV rays from the sun and a tray of water. The experiment was a two-for-one, as physical and chemical reactions both occurred.


Doing the experiment is more fun than just reading about the lesson. You learn a lot more.” Patrick Hobbs, freshman

Experiments like this bridge the gap between science and art. As a school that specializes in DBAE, discipline based arts education, Saint James provides hands-on experiments to each level, grades PreK3 through twelve.