Monthly Archives

April 2016

Spotlight on Cub Scout Pack 116

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We asked Mr. and Mrs. Letersky to tell us about Cub Scout Pack 116.

Can you please provide a summary of what it means to be a part of the Cub Scout Pack 116?

a5a6b447-128d-481a-9f3b-2ab949a6c5e6“Being a Cub Scout means you have the strength of the entire Pack. Scouting incorporates individual achievements, personal growth, charitable activities, all encompassed in an organization that explores a wide range of activities from learning, working as a team, and bettering your community all while having fun and making lifelong memories!”

What are the goals for this program?

“The basic goal of the Cub Scout program is to mirror and extend many of the values taught at SJA each and every day. The Cub Scout Oath and Law reflect the values and principles recited in the SJA Honor Code. The Pack draws inspiration and guidance from Fr. Barton throughout the year. It is also our goal to continue the Pack’s growth as we have done over the last several years. Our growth has made us one of the largest Packs in our District. Our solid program has attracted boys from other schools, who have joined our Pack, because of the strong and rewarding benefits our program has to offer.” Read More

Stress in Adolescence

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1433441497How do I live a balanced life? How do I guide my teen to a balanced lifestyle? What is the impact of stress on the teen brain? What are the coping tools? These were the questions that were answered by our speaker Dr. Heidi Schreiber-Pan as we gathered in Macdonald Hall on Tuesday night. Dr. Schreiber-Pan explained the human brain (both adult and teen) and how they differ in responding to stress. Some of the highlights of her talk included learning about the consequences of prolonged stress on our ability to manage our emotions and human interactions, our “negativity bias” and its connection to our “evolutionary story” and how we can work with our minds to achieve inner calm with focus on the present. She reminded us that living in the past leads to depression and worrying about the future results in anxiety, but only the present moment can bring calm and feel manageable.

Dr. Schreiber-Pan offered various tools including the acronym “STOP.” S–stop what you are doing, T–take a few deep breaths, O– observe your experience, and P–proceed with something that will support in the moment.  She concluded the evening with a brief summary of mindful parenting and instilling boundaries in our children. We all left that evening feeling intrigued, challenged and curious to try out the offered suggestions and coping skills. Read More

Spotlight on Mrs. Gathman

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gathmanEducation: I studied education, and graduated with a B.A. in Religious Studies and Music from St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN. (Go Irish!) I also completed my M.A. in Christian Leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA.

Career highlights: Working to help form students in faith both in the classroom and in Chapel is truly the highlight of my career thus far.

What does SJA mean to me: SJA has become like a home for me. In many ways, this is the work I’ve felt called to do all my life but was waiting for the right opportunity to come along. It is an honor being here!

What do I want students to learn from me: I want students to know 1, that none of us is perfect and 2, to always embrace new opportunities.

What I enjoy doing in my spare time: I enjoy running, singing, hiking, reading with my daughter, playing games with my family, and laughing.

Who inspired me growing up: Whitney Houston.

If I could meet one famous person, who would it be and why: Phil Collins because then, I could ask him to play his drum solos on request. Or Michelle Obama because I admire her work advocating for women and children, and her ability to endure the last eight years with grace and poise.

Read More

St. James Academy Bursting with Pride

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“The Class of 2016 has many different strengths and personalities which bring so much positive energy to SJA. We are very excited to see how they get involved in the schools they have selected.”

— Dianne Fowler, Director of Admission

The 8th grade Leadership Seminar begins with students taking the time to reflect on their own core values. Moving forward through the high school application process and then choosing the school where those values can be encouraged and developed is a capstone experience for students at St. James Academy.

This year’s graduation class received many accolades including many scholarships and awards. Students applied and were accepted to 19 different schools!

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Beyond The Classroom– Eighth Grader Featured on WBAL-TV

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9771_1153866244648177_2556520558914240878_nDiscovery, exploration, and inquiry are encouraged at St. James Academy. Administrators and teachers foster each child’s love of learning and encourage their creativity all while trying to protect their innocence and curiosity.

One of the milestones of the St. James Academy’s Eighth Grade experience is the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program’s Community Project. This student-led initiative provides our eighth grade students an opportunity to be contributing members of society. The Community Project focuses on community and service, encouraging students to explore their right and responsibility to implement service in the community. This gives students an opportunity to develop awareness of challenges and address needs in various communities.

Eighth grader, Emily Schuster, used a 3D printer to create prosthetic hands for a program called Enabling The Future (E-nable). E-nable is a community of professionals, parents, students, and philanthropists who have come together to collaborate ways on how to assist people in need with 3D printable designs for hands and arms. These designs and 3D prints are for those who were born with missing fingers or have lost missing fingers due to war, disease or natural disaster. “I decided to 3D print prosthetic hands for E-nable because it touches me that I could be able to change a disaster victim’s life using my knowledge of technology and disaster response,” said Emily. At an early age, St. James Academy students are challenged to identify problems and create meaningful solutions.

Emily was featured on WBAL-TV 11 News. Click here to watch the story!