Staff Spotlight: Ms. Kitha Jackson


Department: Assistant Director Wonder Works/ DHR Coordinator

I've been in this field: 24 years in childcare

Hometown: Montgomery, AL

High school: Jefferson Davis High School

College/Degree: TSUM

Favorite Book: The Giving Tree

Favorite Movie: Love & Basketball

Favorite Food: Salad

Church: Mercy Baptist Church on Bell Road

Children: One fur baby, Kiwi. She is 10 years old.


Fun Fact: I love shopping for clothes and shoes especially with discounts and coupons! :) I love children even though I don’t have any because they give the sweetest hugs and kisses. I love taking pictures!

"All About Me!"

Students in grades 1-5 used various applications to illustrate “all about me” pages. All elementary students attend formal technology enrichment classes weekly.

First Grade “All About Me”

First Grade “All About Me”

I try to make my activities tie into skills from the content areas whenever possible so that is why first grade worked with handwriting while also learning to use writing tools, backgrounds and recording features in the Seesaw app.

I did an “All About Me” activity with all grades 1st -5th grade. This gave me an opportunity to get to know my new students as well as a way to know more about returning students. There was enough creative freedom built into the activity that it also gave me insight into how each student thinks and organizes his/her information. The activity allowed students to practice design skills while navigating and utilizing tools in a virtual environment.
— Tina Waggoner, Elementary Technology Teacher
First Grade “All About Me”

First Grade “All About Me”

5th grade “All About Me”

5th grade “All About Me”

4th grade “All About Me”

4th grade “All About Me”

First Grade “All About Me”

First Grade “All About Me”

We worked with Digital Citizenship skills by talking about the purposes of commenting on other students’ posts and how to make valuable, constructive comments. This fits seamlessly into our Trojan 24/7.

Commenting should be used to build people up, be curious and respectful, and help us learn something new.
5th grade “All About Me”

5th grade “All About Me”

2nd grade “All About Me”

2nd grade “All About Me”

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Catherine Winn

I teach (subject/grade) or your department: Honors English 1, English 4, AP Literature, and Yearbook

I've Taught for: Eleven years, I think? I taught my first classes at the University of Alabama when I was 21.

Hometown: I was a military brat. I was born in Abilene, Texas, but my family settled in Prattville when I was in third grade.

High school: Prattville High School

College/Degree: Bachelor's in English from AUM. Master's in Renaissance Studies and PhD in English from the University of Alabama. (Roll Tide.)

STJ Extracurricular (do you oversee a club/activity?): I will be the Interact Club sponsor this year, as well as the sponsor of Yearbook Club. I co-sponsor Young Democrats with Andy Clinton, and I help run FCA with the two awesome presidents, seniors Lucy Edwards and Katie Leigh Smith. Last year, I also ran Cooking Club and helped with the Speech and Debate team, but I am not doing those things this year!

Favorite Book: This is a dangerous question for a lit nerd! My favorite book of all time is The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley, but I grew up reading a variety of fantasy novels, ranging from Dragonlance books to J. R. R. Tolkien, from Mary Stewart's Arthuriana novels to Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time series, and I still adore these stories. My favorite Shakespeare plays are A Winter's Tale, All's Well that Ends Well, and Othello. These days, however, I love poetry the most--especially protest poetry. Warsan Shire is my current favorite. (Her poem about the refugee crisis, entitled "Home," is stunning in all of the ways.)

Favorite Movie: Amelie and A Very Long Engagement are my most favorites. They're both French, but they are gorgeous films.

Favorite Food: I love all food. I could eat Mexican food almost any night of the week, but I also like Ethiopian, Thai, Indian, Italian, and Greek. I also really, really love baking bread and coming up with different "signature" cakes for my friends' birthdays.

Married to: In the immortal words of Lizzo, I'm my own soulmate.

Children: Just one! Dresden is here at Saint James with me, in second grade. You will also see me with my niece (Ava Claire, 3rd Grade) and nephew (Cade, Kindergarten). They call me Aunt Duchess. It's the best.

Church: The Catalyst Community

Fun Fact: I was baptized as an adult (at 27 years old) in Trinity's cafeteria!



Happiness is the Journey, Not the Destination

This week, Mrs. Parquette’s fifth graders studied parts of a map. They learned about map keys, symbols, drawing to scale, and the compass rose. Finally, students drew their own map of Saint James School! Using rulers and guides, the buildings and streets were drawn to scale and labeled. Students recorded themselves giving directions to our elementary science lab using cardinal directions and distance on SeeSaw, our digital portfolio app.

Map skills promote spatial thinking, allowing students to comprehend and analyze phenomena related to the places and spaces around them. Spatial thinking is an important skills that students can develop as they learn geography, Earth, and environmental sciences. Young students also grow their language skills as they collaborate with peers, parents, and teachers and communicate about spatial relationships. Spatial thinking skills and activities like the STJ map project reinforce the skills that may allow our students to be at an advantage in our increasingly global and technological society. In a world with apps like Waze, Google Maps, and Roadtrippers, map reading has become a lost art (I know it has for me)! Mrs. Parquette and our fifth grade team works hard to prepare students for the next step and think critically.

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Peer Leaders- Leading the Way

The Saint James School High School is proud to continue the tradition of the Peer Leader Program for all incoming STJ freshmen. Each new 9th grader is paired with a senior student who embodies compassion, school spirit, strong communication, and love for learning. These students are known as the Peer Leaders.

Peer Leaders oversee small-group advisory sessions during the first semester of the school year and help facilitate a smooth transition into high school.

Each summer, the selected seniors attend a retreat training to learn how to be Peer Leaders. Since the kick-off at the retreat, all of the Peer Leaders have been ready and willing to work hard and prepare for the 9th graders. June Garzon, high school counselor and Peer Leader advisor, is thrilled with this year's peer leader group and the work they have done to welcome our high school Trojans.



The peer leader retreat helped me to better understand what being a leader truly is. It taught me how to explore things beyond my comfort zone and allowed me experience new things in the process.
— India Bond, senior
2019-2020 Peer Leaders: Trinity Goff, Joe Higgins, India Bond, Gracie Sullivan, Nayoon Kang, Katie Leigh Smith, Andrew Sadie

2019-2020 Peer Leaders: Trinity Goff, Joe Higgins, India Bond, Gracie Sullivan, Nayoon Kang, Katie Leigh Smith, Andrew Sadie

The Peer Leader Retreat was held at Butter & Egg Adventures in Troy, AL on Aug. 4 and 5. The students participated in various team building activities and learned how to be effective leaders.


On Friday, Aug. 16, the Peer Leaders guided the 9th graders through various exercises and assisted and encouraged the 9th graders throughout the day. Students practiced communication, positive decision making, collaboration and working together, and had a blast getting to know each other!

The Saint James School Peer Leader program is designed to enhance the freshman experience within a framework of organized activities, experiences, and discussions.

STJ Class of 2023

STJ Class of 2023

The Peer Leader Retreat was so rewarding because I got to see the students in my advisory open up and try new things. The best part is they had fun while doing it!
— Gracie Sullivan, senior

Faculty Spotlight: Mr. Andy Clinton

I teach: 10th grade English, 10th grade Honors English, 9th grade English, Visual Storytelling (a filmmaking elective).

clinton collage.png

I've Taught for: This is my eleventh year teaching at Saint James School and my twentieth year teaching overall.

Hometown: Wynnewood PA, a suburb of Philadelphia

High school: Lower Merion High School, class of 1994.

College/Degree: Haverford College, Class of 1998. B.A. in English, University of Iowa M.A. in English, University of Iowa M.A.T. in English Education.

STJ Extracurricular: I sponsor Write Club, a creative writing club. I co-sponsor the Young Democrats Club.

Favorite Book: I’m an English teacher — I’ve got stacks of favorite books! But let’s say “Cookie Monster and the Cookie Tree."

Favorite Movie: Far too many favorite movies to list. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Toy Story, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, any Muppet movie.

Favorite Food: Jelly beans and burritos (not together).

Married to: Joyce Kelley, English professor at Auburn University Montgomery.

Children: One daughter, Hazel, in second grade at STJ.

Fun Fact: Well, in my free time I am a freelance puppeteer who sells custom puppet greetings on the internet. True. Also, when you see me in public it’s most likely that my shoes will not match.




Last week during STJ Wonderworks, elementary students were thrilled and mystified by a guest magician. Sleight of hand, disappearing acts, and various magic tricks made for a rousing afternoon of fun. Squeals of delight echoed the halls when a rabbit appeared in a top hat! STJ Wonderworks, in addition to everyday programming, invites guest speakers and performers throughout the school year to interact with students and provide additional enrichment.

The magician was so funny. I want him to come back!
— Hunter Hassell, 2nd grade

The Saint James after school program, STJ WonderWorks, is a service provided for students enrolled at Saint James School. The program coincides with the school calendar and is open to students from Pre-K3 through fifth grade. Sessions are offered from noon until 5:30 p.m. Extracurricular activities such as dance, chess, Abrakadoodle art, piano, ukulele, and soccer are offered at an additional fee. These activities are subject to change and ages may vary for the activities offered.



Faculty Spotlight: Mrs. Sana Burney

burney 1.jpg

I teach: High School Biology

I've Taught for: This is my first year

Hometown: Houston, TX

High school: Pearland High School

College/Degree: B.S. in Biology and a Minor in Chemistry

STJ Extracurricular: Boy Scouts Troop Leader

Favorite Book: To Kill a Mockingbird

Favorite Movie: The Pursuit of Happyness

Favorite Food: Sushi

Married to: Dr. Basil Burney

Children: Zain (2nd grade) and Zara (K4)

Fun Fact: I am bilingual in Urdu/Hindi and English

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The "Pie of Life" - There's Nothing Sweeter!


Today in 8th Grade Advisory, students constructed a pie chart illustrating how they spend their time each day. With homework, sports, chores, after-school clubs, and spending time with friends, there is little free time leftover. As our eighth graders prepare for the workload of high school, it is helpful to analyze how efficiently time is spent doing the things we need to do (and the things we want to do for fun). How much of the evening is spent watching TV or looking at the phone? Are we getting as much sleep as we need to be rested and ready for the day? Activities like “pie of life” charting helps students work on time management and better organize their daily schedules. Advisory time allows students to study their calendars, write down assignments and meetings, and prepare for the coming week.



Staff Spotlight: Mrs. Laura Gibson

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I teach : K3-5th grade counseling

I've Taught for: This is my first year teaching at Saint James, but previously traveled to schools across 7 counties to teach guidance lessons as a guest in their schools

Hometown: Military dad, so moved a lot as a child until 5th grade when we moved to Wetumpka, AL

High school: Edgewood Academy

College/Degree: Auburn University for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Auburn University in Montgomery for Master's of Education in School Counseling. WAR EAGLE :)

Favorite Book: Can't remember the last time I read anything that wasn't for my counseling program, but before school I used to love anything by Jodi Picoult

Favorite Movie: Titanic, The Notebook, Armageddon (clearly anything that makes me cry ha!)

Favorite Food: Anything Mexican

Married to: Mark Gibson for 6 years

Children: Grayden is in K4 here with Mrs. Capiouto and Mrs. Martin, and Willa who just turned 7 months

Church: Centerpoint Church in Prattville

Fun Fact: I've lived in 7 different states and countries to include Alaska, Japan, and Panama!



We've Got Spirit, Yes We Do!


It’s a great day to be a Trojan. On select Fridays, our students, faculty, and staff sport their favorite STJ spirit wear. Some students choose their favorite team t-shirt, jersey, or polo. Our elementary students cheer on the Trojans in STJ cheerleader uniforms and spirit jerseys. We are in a sea of blue and gold!

spirit day 2.png

Fall is in the air (even if the weather doesn’t feel that way)! Students, grades PreK-3 through 12, can’t wait for football season. Seven days to go… but who’s counting? Join us next Friday as Saint James faces Bayside Academy at 7pm on Carlisle field on the STJ campus. Go Trojans!



Pre-K3 is the place to be!

Did you know Saint James was originally founded as a preschool? Our roots, dating back to the 1950s, are in early childhood education. We are honored to be the River Region’s experts on the emotional, social, and academic needs of this precious age. Our PreK-3 students met on the preschool playground to greet their new friends and get acclimated with STJ before school begins. Our little Trojans can’t wait to be part of the Saint James School family!



Welcoming our New Trojans

In the days and weeks leading up to the first day of school, current families have been hosting welcome parties to greet our new students and their parents. Starting a new school can be nerve-racking, but at STJ we ease those fears and welcome our new Trojans with open arms! Each class had a party to welcome them to Saint James. Students played, enjoyed sweet treats, and met new friends. It’s a great day at STJ!

5th grade welcome party

5th grade welcome party

STJ students and siblings playing at the 5th grade welcome party at Tipping Point

STJ students and siblings playing at the 5th grade welcome party at Tipping Point

Pre-K4 welcome party

Pre-K4 welcome party

3rd grade welcome party

3rd grade welcome party

6th grade welcome party  #WeAreSaintJamesSchool

6th grade welcome party


The countdown is on!

We are only 10 days away from the start of the 2019-2020 school year. Our maintenance staff has been hard at work preparing campus for the first day of school. All summer, we’ve been painting, waxing floors, making repairs, cleaning carpets, and replacing lightbulbs so our buildings will be in tip top shape.


Of course, we can’t wait for the big reveal of the STJ Commons, our new dining facility. The crew is finishing the last-minute details this week. It’s a great day at STJ!



Welcome! 환영 bienvenida! أهلا بك wamukelekile! 欢迎

This week, STJ Student Ambassadors, along with the MBA Conversational English School and volunteers, welcomed international school-aged children and their families to Montgomery. Camp America, held annually at First Baptist Church of Montgomery, is a day-long event with fun, games, and the “how-tos” of what to expect when they begin school in Montgomery.

The Conversational English Ministry teaches English to international adults. The program provides hospitality, preschool childcare & transportation. Conversational English is a ministry made available to The Air War College at Maxwell AFB and any international students in the River Region who wish to practice and improve their English.


Our STJ Student Ambassadors assisted with English language exercises and visited with children experiencing America for the first time. We are so excited to have so many new families in our community.



We're Back!

After a brief hiatus for maternity leave, Ms. Bartlett has returned and the admissions blog is back! Check in with us to see the exciting things going on at STJ this summer! We can’t believe school starts in one month. Campus has been bustling, but there’s nothing like the first day of school. We can’t wait to see our Trojans!

Elizabeth Hill, born February 2019.

Elizabeth Hill, born February 2019.

Future Trojan! Class of 2037!

Future Trojan! Class of 2037!

Roy G. Biv

This week, second graders worked with prisms to learn how white light is refracted to produce a rainbow.  On a bright day, students were able to “make” their own rainbows using rectangular prisms in our outdoor science lab.

When light passes through a prism, the light bends. As a result, the different colors that make up white light become separated. This happens because each color has a particular wavelength and each wavelength bends at a different angle. The colors that appear are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet (the colors of the rainbow- “Roy G. Biv”)!