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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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.

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#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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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

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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.

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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.

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 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. 

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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