Staff Spotlight: Mrs. Laura Hassell

Position: Admissions Counselor

At STJ for: Almost 3 years

Hometown: Montgomery, AL

High school: Saint James School, class of 1998! Go Trojans!

College/Degree: University of Alabama/Bachelor of Science in Interior Design, Minor in Art History

Extracurricular: House flipping, gardening, painting

Favorite Movie: The Wizard of Oz

Favorite Food: Mexican, Tiramisu

Married to: Lee Hassell

Children: Michael is in the 4th grade and loves baseball and basketball. Hunter is in the 1st grade and loves soccer and art.

Fun Fact: My husband, Lee, and I both graduated in the same class at STJ. We started dating junior year of college and have been together ever since!

#WeAreSaintJamesSchool

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Girls in Stride!

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The girls are on the run! GOTR is a physical activity-based development program that inspires 3rd-5th grade girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident. The program uses a fun and experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running with serving the community. The Saint James School GOTR team meets twice a week for 10 weeks. Our runners complete a Community Impact Project and run a Celebratory 5K at the end of the season.

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I can’t say enough positive things about GOTR. I just finished coaching my 5th season and I am looking forward to the 6th! I love building relationships with the girls; more than anything, I love being able to see them realize what they are capable of - and do it with grace. As a coach, it is my role to lead and guide them, but they make a tremendous impact on me. I am so thankful to be able to be part of GOTR!
— Ann Aman, GOTR sponsor and STJ Alumni and Development Director
I absolutely loved Girls on the Run. Each week, we would get a lesson on how to deal with different issues. The coaches were so awesome and made everyone feel included. We got to meet other girls from different grades and meet new people. We ran each week and got better and better. I was proud to run the 5k- GOTR was one of my favorite things about Saint James.
— Meg Stough, GOTR participant and new STJ 5th grader
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#WeAreSaintJamesSchool

Faculty Spotlight: Mrs. Sabrina Hubbard

Teaches: First Grade

Taught for: I am in my 13th year

Hometown: Grove Hill, Alabama

High school: Grove Hill Academy

College/Degree: University of Montevallo/B.S. with a major in Early Childhood Education and Masters in Early Childhood Education

Favorite Book: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Favorite Movie: Breakfast Club and ALL Harry Potter movies

Favorite Food: Italian Food

Married to: Bryan  Hubbard, played on Troy’s last two national championship teams, met when he was in law school in Birmingham and I was teaching kindergarten, he proposed to me in front of my kindergarten students 💗

Children: Atchison Hubbard, Saint James alum,  sophomore at Birmingham Southern College.  Claudia Hubbard, Saint James alum, freshman at Auburn University in the honors program.

Church: Frazer United Methodist

Fun Fact: I danced at the Aloha Bowl when I was in college

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Giving Joy and Hope as “BMT Angels”

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For many years, Saint James students have helped make the Christmas party for the UAB Bone Marrow Transplant Unit patients and their families a huge success.

This year, the entire school will band together to provide Christmas presents to patients in the unit, whose families are often so physically and financially strained during their treatment that Christmas gifting becomes difficult.

It was an honor to have Kaitlyn Johnson and Sharon Jones, both RN’s with the unit, visit us and host assemblies for our elementary, middle, and high school students to discuss the program as well as how we can serve as “BMT Angels!"

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Sophie Shoults and Jesse Johnson, both 5th graders, are excited to buy for a little girl.  Sophie said “I want to get her a stuffed animal that sings ABC’s and 123’s.” Jesse said “I would love to get her a barbie with many outfit changes!”

Our Learning Specialist, Joann Reifenberg, and her husband, Ed, have ensured for years that Saint James students are involved with this project.  Ed, who was treated in the UAB unit, is in his 20th year of remission!

This project, one of our many community service projects our students participate in each year, is such a special way for our students to have the opportunity to give back to someone in need and learn the wonderful lesson of compassion.

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Walk Like an Egyptian

Every year, STJ sixth graders celebrate the culmination of their Ancient Egypt unit by dressing up and participating in projects and activities. The students created a "Book of the Dead," sarcophagus, cartouche, and wrote their own Egyptian inspired poetry.

Each subject area studied various aspects of Egyptian culture and history. This multidisciplinary approach allowed each subject area teacher to focus on a specific theme and assign projects and classwork related to each subject.

Art, music, technology, and the four core subjects all worked together to provide a broader scope of learning for the students.

Each student created his or her own Egyptian ornamental collar, inspired by the ancient pharaohs and priests of the time. Students chose symbols, called hieroglyphics, to represent different objects, actions, sounds and ideas.

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For my collar, I chose the Almighty Seeing Eye, gems, and a pyramid for my collar.
— Donald Evans, 6th grade student
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Faculty Spotlight: Mrs. Erin Edwards

Teaches: 2nd Grade

I’ve Taught for: 5 years at STJ

Hometown: Montgomery, AL

High school: Saint James. Go Trojans!

College/Degree: B.A. Hospitality Management from The University of Alabama. Masters in Childhood Education from AUM

Favorite Book: American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

Favorite Movie: High Society

Favorite Food: Lobster

Married to: Charlie Edwards. We were long time friends and we graduated from Saint James together.

Children: Sam - Junior at The University of Alabama studying finance, graduated STJ. Mason - Sophomore at Sewanee, graduated STJ. Lucy-  current Junior at Saint James.

Church: Saint Peter’s Catholic Church

Fun Fact:  My dad was in the military, so we moved a lot! I went to 4 different elementary schools. At the time, it was hard, but now I am glad I did!

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#WeAreSaintJamesSchool

Building Bridges in Kindergarten

Our K-5 classes recently read the Norwegian fairy tale, “The Three Billy Goats Gruff.”  They learned all about the three billy goats that tried to cross the troll’s bridge.  The story tells of overcoming obstacles and problem solving. Our kindergartners got creative with a S.T.E.M. challenge of building bridges with Legos in the science lab. All elementary students, grades K3-5, visit the science lab each week during enrichments. The lab is a perfect setting for hands-on application of what is taught in our classrooms at all elementary levels.  

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Faculty Spotlight: Señora Autumn Jackson

Teaches: Elementary and Middle School Spanish

I’ve Taught for: Going on my fourth year

Hometown: I was born in Santa Ana, California, and I was raised in North Alabama (Arab, AL.)

High school: Arab High School

College/Degree: The University of Alabama.  I have a Bachelor's Degree in Education K-12 & Spanish.  

Favorite Book: The Bible

Favorite Movie: I have many!  I love many types!

Favorite Food: Mexican

Married to: I am married to the Band Director here at STJ (Greg Jackson).  He is a wonderful, sweet, & hard-working man.

Children: We do not have children, but we do have two fur babies.  1 small dog (Morkie) & 1 bird (Double Yellow-Head Amazon Parrot)

Church: Frazer United Methodist Church. I volunteer in the Children's Ministry every 1st and 3rd Sunday.

Fun Fact: I did my teaching internship through the COST PROGRAM at The University of Alabama in Guadalajara, Mexico at a school called Instituto Thomas Jefferson. Outside of school, I'm working to complete my thesis for a Clinical Psychology Master's degree at AUM. I have already completed my coursework.   

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Abuzz about Bees

Mrs. Taylor’s Science elementary Lab was all abuzz, as fourth grade experienced a special presentation by STJ alum Joe Barnett, a local beekeeper. He spoke about pollination, bees, and honey production.

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Mr. Barnett even brought an empty, but complete, bee hive and explained the fundamentals of what goes on in the hive. Even Dr. McLemore stopped by and helped with the presentation!

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#WeAreSaintJamesSchool

Faculty Spotlight: Mrs. Megan Deal

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Teaches: Kindergarten

I’ve Taught for: 5 years at STJ

Hometown: Pike Road, AL

High school: Saint James School. Go Trojans!

College/Degree: Auburn University, Bachelor of Science Dual Degree in Human Development Family Studies and Early Childhood Education

Favorite Book: The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst

Favorite Food: White cheddar popcorn and chocolate covered blueberries

Married to: Grayson Deal ( Montgomery native). He is a data analyst at Alfa 

Children: My son Gray, 2 years old

Church: Yes, we are involved and active at First Baptist Church Montgomery

Fun Fact: I love Pure Barre! I teach with my teaching assistant, Lucy Daniel, and she is fabulous.

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Today is the Day! Applications are Live Online!

Today is the day! Starting November 1, the 2019-2020 admissions season officially opens. Saint James School PreK3-12th grade applications are now available online.

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#WeAreSaintJamesSchool

First-round admission decisions for PreK3-Kindergarten is February 14, 2019.

First-round admission decisions for 1st-12th grade is February 21, 2019.

We encourage families to visit our campus and experience our amazing school! Please call us at (334) 273-3021 to schedule a private tour of campus or register for one of our many admissions events. We can’t wait to review your child’s application and meet our future Trojans!

It’s a great day at STJ!

Faculty Spotlight: Mrs. Kiki Hughes

Teaches: American History, AP US History, AP Human Geography

I’ve Taught for: 6 Years

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

High school: New Canaan High School and Rolling Hills High School

College/Degree: Vanderbilt University (BA in history) , UAB (Masters in History)

STJ Extracurriculars: SGA Sponsor, Youth in Government Sponsor

Favorite Book: The Sunne in Splendor by Sharon Kay Penman

Favorite Movie: Star Wars

Favorite Food: Seafood

Married to: Yes. Married to a Montgomery native. We were set up on a sorority mystery date in college.

Children: Two children. The oldest is at Auburn studying Communications. The youngest will be finishing up high school in 2020.

Church: First United Methodist Church

Hobbies: reading, Pure Barre, and walking my dog. I love everything Disney! I will be running the Disney World Half Marathon in January. 

Fun Fact: I lived in England for three years.

 #WeAreSaintJamesSchool

#WeAreSaintJamesSchool

National Mole Day

Happy Mole Day! National Mole Day commemorates Amadeo Avogadro's Number, 6.02 x 10^23, which is a basic measuring unit in chemistry. Each year, on October 23rd, schools throughout the United States and around the world celebrate Mole Day with various activities related to chemistry. Mole Day was created as a way to foster interest in chemistry and S.T.E.M. fields at large.

Saint James sophomores and juniors celebrated Mole Day by creating their own mole themed projects.

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I look forward to this date each year! It is rewarding to see my students use their artistic talents. I get to see a different side of them that I would not normally see in my class.
— Dr. Amanda Ousley, chemistry teacher
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Each class had a party to celebrate. It was fun to get a chance be creative in a science class.
— Leland Talbert, chemistry student
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Faculty Spotlight: Mr. Zach Beard

Teaches: 4th grade (Reading, Writing, and English)

I’ve Taught for: 9 years

Hometown: Montgomery, AL

High school: Jeff Davis

College/Degree: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education

Extracurricular: Director of STJ TV. Check it out!

Favorite Book: James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

Favorite Movie: Can't choose only one, but I do love Christmas movies

Favorite Food: Pizza

Married to: The woman of my dreams. Blair Beard, she is a graphic designer for Bell Media.

Children: Yes, Jace Beard. He's 11 months old and is the most chill kid ever. He currently loves crawling like an inchworm and chillaxin in our pool.

Church: Frazer United Methodist Church

Hobbies: I love playing football, basketball, and soccer, but I mainly just watch my favorite teams do it now. I also like traveling, hiking, and camping.

Fun Fact: I love writing children's stories.


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#WeAreSaintJamesSchool

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!! 

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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!

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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! 

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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).

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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.

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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

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