St. James Academy Administrative Assistant.

Jo O’Donnell

Administrative Assistant to Head of School

jodonnell@saintjamesacademy.org


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I joined the SJA community in 2000 as the Administrative Assistant to the Head after working for 28 years in a hospital setting as a secretary and an IT liaison for the Nursing Department. Married for many, many years with two grown sons and a daughter-in-law, I spend my spare time dabbling in art and music, but my main passion is reading. There is nothing better than a compelling book! I consider SJA my second home, not because of the time I spend here, but because of the co-workers I am privileged to call friends.

Karl Alder

Karl Adler

Head of School

kadler@saintjamesacademy.org


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“Um, excuse me, Mr. Adler, but can we bring in food for our discussion on Friday?”  I was an English teacher in my first year and my students were three weeks away from taking their AP English exam.  We had just finished reading Isak Dinesen’s short story, “Babette’s Feast.”  Including some snack during the discussion of a story where food plays such an important role seemed fair enough to me, so I said, “Sure, why not?”  When I entered class on that Friday, the students were there early.  Some were rearranging the desks so that the tablecloth would fit.  A few came in from the cafeteria area where the microwaves were located and they had heated up bowls of warm crab dip.  Before I was able take attendance, students led me to my chair, handed me a plate with a crust of warm French bread, and gave me a copy of discussion questions that they had created.  I took a bite of bread, wondered if I should have lit candles in my classroom, and listened as the students began to analyze religious imagery from the story. I began to realize something special had happened during the past year.  I did not directly prepare for the feast, but I was seeing the effects of a group who felt motivated to take ownership of the classroom.  These students were celebrating something important– their own learning.  I was a relatively new teacher when my students treated me to that feast, but what I learned from the experience I have carried with me as a teacher and as a school administrator.

As a teacher, I learned that if my students were invested in an idea, they could get excited about it and empowered by it in a lot of different ways.  It was my job to build a sense of community within the classroom and to help students get excited about making the classroom into a wonderful place to learn.  My teaching style continued to evolve over the years.  Overall, I became a good listener rather than a lecturer, and that made all the difference.

Every day at St. James Academy is a ‘feast’.  Parents bring their precious children to the school’s door; students walk through the door with bright eyes, great potential, and good questions; teachers prepare their classrooms so that students can discover, explore and grow through experiences; administrators make sure that the workings of the school are running smoothly; board members work behind-the-scenes to help shape the school’s future.  Each group brings something important, and special, to our school community.  As Head of School, I try to create an environment where everyone in the community wants to bring his or her best “to the table.”  I listen to people, encourage people, and empower people, as we all work together to make our school, St. James Academy,  a special place.

Hannah Stolz

Hannah Stolz

Middle School Math Teacher

hstolz@saintjamesacademy.org


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I knew in 2nd grade that I wanted to become a teacher. I love learning and teaching (especially math!) I hope to instill that love of learning and wonder into my students. I taught in Colorado, where I am from, for 4 years before moving to Maryland. I was in Baltimore County public schools last year and I am so excited to now be a part of the St. James community that is so welcoming and supportive!

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Megan Anecharico

Kindergarten Assistant 


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My relationship with St. James first began as a parent.  We were on a journey to find the right school for our sons and we were fortunate to land in a place that we now think of as “home.”  Now as a teacher at SJA, I recognize it as a place where I can connect with my students, excite them to learn new things, and help them explore their own ideas.  I LOVE teaching Kindergarten.  I LOVE all of the “first” moments: the students realizing their independence, tying a shoe, reading for the first time, writing a word and then a sentence, finding their voice, and making a true friend.  I LOVE Kindergarten because I believe in a little noise, a lot of laughter, and tons of fun and learning!  It is an honor to educate the young minds at SJA!

Becky Forsythe

Business Manager 

bforsythe@saintjamesacademy.org


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This is my second year as Business Manager at St. James Academy.  I feel truly blessed to be a part of the St. James Community.  Please feel free to come and see me, my door is always open.

Courtney Fox

Second Grade Assistant

cfox@saintjamesacademy.org


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Prior to coming to St. James Academy, I was a Second Grade Homeroom teacher at RPCS for nine years. After taking some time off to stay home with my two boys, I was eager to get back into the classroom and the 4th grade assistant position at St. James was the perfect opportunity. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this extremely dedicated faculty and caring community. It’s going to be a fantastic year.

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Lucy Lynch

Fifth Grade Assistant

llynch@saintjamesacademy.org


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I am excited to share my joy in learning this year as a fifth grade assistant teacher! I hope to create a spark that encourages my students to find a lifelong love of learning! I believe in a differentiated approach that challenges each child as well as strengthens their areas for growth. I began teaching in Baltimore County Public Schools as a first and second grade teacher. After that, I was a Kindergarten teacher at Roland Park Country School before staying home to raise our children. I am a mother to two wonderful boys who will be attending St. James. We all are thrilled to be joining the St. James Academy Community!

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Eileen Gathman

Fourth Grade Assistant
Middle School Religion and Chapel Leader

egathman@saintjamesacademy.org


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I am honored to be a part of the SJA community, especially as I expand my role to include middle school faith development and chapel this year. Throughout my many interactions with students, I am proud of the risk-taking, inquisitiveness, and conscientiousness that I see exhibited throughout the halls every day. I learn so much from the students’ insights and questions and am excited to help facilitate further learning and understanding. Thank you for allowing me the gift of working with your children.

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Tim Deyesu

Athletic Director

tdeyesu@saintjamesacademy.org


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Athletics have been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember. I cherish the values and work ethic I learned through my own athletic experiences and want to provide a positive environment for St. James student-athletes as they grow and develop in our programs. My goal is to foster a better understanding of what it means to be a successful and healthy young athlete. I look forward to working closely with the parents, children and staff at St. James to create a challenging and fun athletics program that inspires students to try new things, increases confidence within each child, and helps shape the younger athletes. My kids and I are honored to be a part of the St. James family!

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Lucie Pentz

Child Psychologist

lpentz@saintjamesacademy.org


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I have always been intrigued by the way children learn, feel, think and perceive the world around them. That fascination naturally led me to become a child psychologist. There is no greater privilege than to accompany and at times to guide a child through the alternately stormy and joyful adventure of growing up. I feel privileged to serve the SJA community at large but also to get to know and help each child on their own journey through life. My hope is that as a community we will empower each child to become a life-long learner who is creative, thoughtful, discerning, generous, curious, and passionate about being an instrument of change in the world, and that we might impart to each student what St. James has described as “the wisdom from above that is first of all pure, peace loving, gentle at all times, willing to yield to others, full of mercy and good deeds.”

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Cheryl Bubier

Lower School Art Teacher  

cbubier@saintjamesacademy.org


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I am new to St. James this year and I am very excited to be teaching art in the lower school. I have been a working artist for 25 years showing my paintings and ceramics around the country. I have my M.F.A. from Pratt Institute in New York and am a founding member and the president of the Northern Baltimore County ArtFoundation. I am also continuing to teach art at Monkton Country Day, where I have been for the last three years.

Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”  My goal as an art teacher is to have the children remain an artist as long as they can.

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Nina Robbins

Middle School Art Teacher

nrobbins@saintjamesacademy.org


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I am so lucky to have a career where I get to explore the arts and unlock young minds to the talents within themselves. The possibilities are limitless; students never cease to amaze me with their creativity and imaginations.

From an early age, I was singing, coloring, and jumping on stages. It has never stopped. You can still find me painting gifts, playing drums, and singing karaoke every chance I get. While taking a break from public education, I directed musicals at kidsActing in Austin, Texas, and earned my masters degree in Art Education. Life brought me to Baltimore where I have been a stay at home. Now, I’m excited to start a new artistic journey at St. James Academy.

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Leigh Mayo

Second Grade Teacher

lmayo@saintjamesacademy.org


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After teaching in Baltimore County for 30 years, I am very excited to start a new adventure at St. James Academy! Although I am a “new kid on the block,” my new friends at St. James have already welcomed me as part of their wonderful family. I look forward to meeting more friends in the coming weeks and throughout the year.

Unlocking a child’s true potential has been my goal throughout my teaching journey. To instill curiosity, confidence, perseverance, personal growth goals and excitement in discovery through a myriad of experiences is the key to a positive classroom. It’s going to be a great year!!

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Kelly Wilson

Fifth Grade Teacher  

kwilson@saintjamesacademy.org


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SJA is a wonderful place to teach! Highly motivated, enthusiastic students share my passion for learning.  My SJA teaching career began as a 3rd grade assistant in 2007; then in 2011 I moved to 5th grade. A sense of community distinguishes St. James from other schools. A nurturing environment with Christian values provides a safe place for students to stretch the limits of curiosity and creativity.

My daughters, Renee and Haley are St. James graduates. We live on a 350  acre dairy farm where we raise registered Holsteins. Among other farm animals, we have over 20 peacocks. I enjoy reading, traveling and gardening.

Laura Glushakow

Laura Glushakow

Third Grade Teacher  

lglushakow@saintjamesacademy.org


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Teaching children has always given me a deep sense of personal satisfaction. As a third grade teacher, I am able to see my students grow intellectually and emotionally. I enjoy providing project-based learning opportunities, such as The Inventive Thinking Project or the Prehistoric Animal Presentation so that I may observe my students pursue knowledge through research, collaboration, and creativity, gaining self-confidence and enhancing their communication skills.

The environment at St. James fosters learning by providing  a safe place for all learners to take risks, explore their curiosities, and develop relationships. I strive to create a dynamic classroom in which students work independently and in groups. Academic support and enrichment are provided through direct instruction and learning centers, and what may appear to be chaotic, is really the learning process in action.

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Lisa Davis

Middle School Head, Resource Coordinator

ldavis@saintjamesacademy.org


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My journey at St. James Academy began when my first daughter walked through the front doors on her first day of Kindergarten in 1998. My second daughter soon followed. Over the years, the close community and mission to treat each child as an individual helped to nurture and grow each of them into mature, responsible young women.

In 2004, I was fortunate to join an extremely dedicated and enthusiastic faculty that is committed to the pursuit of excellence. As a teacher, I have discovered that helping students work through their challenges in the classroom while striving to meet their potential is as much of an education for me as it is for them. It is said that the best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. That said, I have the opportunity to learn something every day.

Lori Dembo

Lori Dembo

Lower School Head, IB MYP Coordinator

ldembo@saintjamesacademy.org


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I truly believe that education is our future as we work hard every day to help students make connections within their community, coursework, and the world in which we live. Building friendships, caring, lifelong learning and growing in a supportive environment are key to any successful community. Watching children learn and catching that “ah ha” moment on their faces is a joy like no other that fuels our administrative team and faculty every day.

Additionally, as I watched my own boys grow into productive young men I knew that the fabulous education they received was key to their current success (oldest son is a student at Drexel Medical School and youngest a junior at Penn State). They make me proud every day!

Being the Lower School Head & IB MYP Coordinator is a real pleasure and I can honestly say that SJA is like no other school. I am very grateful to be a member of such a dedicated faculty, administrative team, and supportive parent community! Go SJA!

Joe Edel

Joe Edel

IT Consultant

jedel@saintjamesacademy.org


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I’ve always enjoyed taking things apart and learning what makes them work, fixing them when they are broken, and improving them when I can.  I can honestly say that St. James Academy nurtures the gifts of the faculty and students alike.  When I am home I spend my time with my wife and two daughters. Watching my children reminds me that they like to be involved and are rarely content to sit and have something explained to them. They want the experience for themselves and they want to figure it out for themselves.  When I am presenting a lesson to students I try to keep that in mind, help when I am needed, and gauge my success on the students knowing more then I have taught them when they leave.

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Kim Gailey

Fifth Grade Assistant

kgailey@saintjamesacademy.org


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As a 2015 graduate of Lebanon Valley College, I am thrilled and honored to begin my teaching career at such a special place as St. James Academy. I will be a fifth grade assistant teacher and co-chair/leader of the after school program. I look forward to collaborating with parents, other teachers, and students to maximize the wonderful opportunities St. James has to offer.

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Sandi Uehlinger

Prefirst Teacher

suehlinger@saintjamesacademy.org


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I strive to make my classroom the kind of place where I’d want my own children to learn- a place where all students are encouraged and loved. Where excitement, laughter and discovery are as much a part of the curriculum as reading, writing and arithmetic.

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Elena Baranowski

Marketing and Summer Camp Director

ebaranowski@saintjamesacademy.org


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I am very excited to be at St. James Academy. It’s an amazing place that fosters creativity, collaboration, independence, and wonder. I love the passion and enthusiasm that each student brings to our community. I have no doubt that they will be successful leaders in their future endeavors.

In my role as Marketing and Summer Camp Director, I have been working with the faculty and staff to create our website! Having the opportunity to showcase what St. James is all about is very exciting! I hope you find our site engaging.

Dianne Fowler

Dianne Fowler

Director of Admission

dfowler@saintjamesacademy.org


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Knowing from a young age that teaching and working with children was my career goal, I have been fortunate to love my work every day! St. James Academy has provided me the opportunity to grow professionally and personally. Meeting prospective families and sharing in parents’ joy of watching their children thrive and grow in this vibrant independent community is gratifying. It is a particular pleasure to assist our 8th grade students in their preparation for the high school process and hearing about their future life adventures!

Away from SJA my husband and I enjoy traveling and exploring quaint shore towns in Maryland and along the east coast. Our granddaughter Caroline keeps us hopping (literally) and we await the joy of welcoming more little ones into our family.

Judy Connelly

Judy Connelly

Director of Development  

jconnelly@saintjamesacademy.org


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I will always feel a special connection to the family that is St. James Academy. SJA has been my home away from home since I arrived as a new parent. I quickly became involved in this active community serving as Patrons’ Association President, then as Secretary of the Board of Trustees. Seventeen years ago the Academy created the Development Office and I assumed the role of Director. I have participated in almost every aspect, event and activity of school life. The spirit, commitment, and dedication of our families, faculty, trustees, and alumni continue to amaze me. Lasting friendships, enduring values, and love for learning are just a sample of our many blessings.

As Director of Development I have watched our facility grow from 10,000 sq. ft. to over 100,000 through several Capital Campaigns, the initiation of our Endowment Fund and Planned Giving Program, yearly increases in our Annual Giving Campaigns, and the formation of our Alumni Association. My collaborating with the Patrons’ Association leadership is both  rewarding and exciting. All of us reap the benefits of their outstanding fundraising, friendraising, volunteerism, and commitment to the children and teachers. I am thankful to be part of the St. James Academy family.

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Amy Gorham

School Nurse

agorham@saintjamesacademy.org


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At St. James Academy I get to know each student.  There is something unique and special I find in each of them.  My role is not only to help keep these children healthy and in school, but to teach them how to stay healthy.  U. S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, MD, sums up my philosophy of school nursing in the following quote, “You can’t educate a child who isn’t healthy and you can’t keep children healthy who are not educated.”

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Donald Wolcott

Band Director/ Instrumental Music Teacher

dwolcott@saintjamesacademy.org


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My love for music began when I was introduced to the piano at age four. I discovered the joy of teaching as a teenager working at summer music camps and teaching private lessons. I studied jazz piano performance at Towson University, and I remain an active performer in the Baltimore/Washington area. My connection with St. James Academy began in 2007, when I played in the pit orchestra for SJA’s first spring musical, The Wiz.  As I returned for other productions and concerts, I quickly discovered what a special school this is. I could not turn down the wonderful opportunity to join the faculty in 2012, and I am delighted to be back for another year at SJA.

Ashley Oleszczuk

Admission Associate

aoleszczuk@saintjamesacademy.org


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I am excited to start this new chapter of my life as an admissions associate. I can’t wait to introduce this wonderful school to prospective parents. I have always had a love of working with children and I am thrilled to continue it here.

One of my favorite things about SJA is how students are viewed as individuals and develop into strategic thinkers. Everything about SJA is purposeful, including, the projects students complete and field trips they attend. Even though students are held to an exceptional high academic standard, SJA still allows them to enjoy playing outside and sledding (I love that!). 

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Helen Kessler

Physical Education Teacher

hkessler@saintjamesacademy.org


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I have loved to run and exercise all my life and have found teaching children my joy. I find myself very fortunate to be able to combine my two passions while working at a school for the last 14 years that values community, education, and the physical growth of each individual student.

James Walsh

James Walsh

Science Teacher


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This will be my 8th year teaching, but my third at St. James.  I am extraordinarily proud and excited to be a member of the St. James Academy community. Prior to becoming a science teacher, I was an aquarist and diver for the National Aquarium in Baltimore for ten years.

It is my goal this year to use science as the medium through which students will learn the skills required to be successful in their future academic endeavors.  Hopefully, I will also inspire a few of them to pursue a future in the sciences.

Jennifer James

Jennifer James

Reading Specialist

jjames@saintjamesacademy.org


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I am passionate about teaching children to read and write. It is my mission to help students achieve reading success and develop a love for literacy.

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Liza DeBolt

Middle School Math Teacher

ldebolt@saintjamesacademy.org

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I graduated from Lehigh University with a B.S. In Finance and worked at Black and Decker for two years, where I met my husband, Tom. Through volunteer work with Junior Achievement, I realized that I had a passion for teaching and learning and decided to pursue it. In 1999, I earned a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Reading Certificate from Johns Hopkins University.

I taught grades 3-8 and piloted an advanced Algebra class while teaching at two innovative charter schools in Baltimore. After our first child was born, I was able to continue my involvement with schools and stay connected to current instructional practices through my role as a program coordinator at The Living Classrooms foundation.

I am thrilled to be in the classroom again teaching math, and I look forward to working with students, families and colleagues at such a special place!

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Brooke Riegel

World Language Teacher


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St. James Academy is an amazing place! I am honored to be alumna of the school as well as a past parent and current faculty member. I have the privilege of being the Lower School World Language teacher. Our global community is becoming smaller and more attainable each year. It is a thrill to be a part of a school that embraces this concept, encouraging the students to not only be engaged in the learning and appreciation of, but also facilitates interaction with peers from around the world. Bravo, SJA!

Colleen Case

Colleen Case

Music Teacher

ccase@saintjamesacademy.org


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Teaching music is introducing children to a friend they will have for life. Some may perform or compose, teach or be in the music business, attend concerts or listen to recordings, or do all!  Like a good friend, music will be there to accompany them in their endeavors. Finding a way to introduce children to musical concepts, vocabulary, and skills in a concrete and fun manner is a challenge I enjoy. Each class incorporates many activities and learning paths.

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Randi Martin

Music and Performing Arts Teacher

rbradley@saintjamesacademy.org


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I have been teaching voice and acting in the Baltimore/DC area for the past thirteen years. Before I came to St. James, I was a full time vocal instructor and Regional Camp Director with the National Music Workshop. I am currently a Masters Degree Candidate at Loyola University.

Believe it or not, my eighth grade yearbook actually states, “In 10 years, Randi will be directing musicals for a living.” I feel so blessed that this prediction came true, and that I have been able to make my passions my career. What a joy is it is come to work and make art on a daily basis!

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Amy Heffernan

Kindergarten Teacher  
aheffernan@saintjamesacademy.org


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I love working with children and being a kindergarten teacher here at SJA is a dream come true. Kindergarteners are so full of life and wonder. Their excitement is contagious, and it pushes me to be the best teacher that I can be. We are so fortunate to be a part of the St. James community. The teachers, parents, and students all working together! We are a family!

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Gregory Wright

English Teacher

gwright@saintjamesacademy.org


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One of my favorite quotes/metaphors about the positive impact teaching can have was popularized by Sir Isaac Newton when he stated that, “if I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”.  Learning is so much more than a collection of facts and concepts.  It is a process of being “raised” to see and achieve great heights of your own potential.  Being an alumnus of St. James Academy, I can attest to “how far up I was raised” by the teachers, staff and community.   I embrace the opportunity to be a part of this process for the students of St. James Academy.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my wife, dog and two cats.  I enjoy reading and writing.  I love short stories, poetry, non-fiction, the Orioles, Ravens, Capitals and Maryland Terrapin sports.

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Nina Theofiles

English Teacher

ntheofiles@saintjamesacademy.org


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I believe in educating students as not only future professionals, but as scholars in a world that will continually ask questions. Students who are critical thinkers and learners, able to demonstrate and present what they have learned, will be more fulfilled in every aspect of their lives as well as enhancing each experience they encounter. St. James Academy propels students to the next level with individualized attention and unique interactions. I am so excited to continue my journey here!

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Ellen Baralo

First Grade Assistant
ebaralo@saintjamesacademy.org


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As a teacher I know the importance of reading, writing and arithmetic.  As a parent I know the importance of knowing my children are happy and safe at school.  St. James Academy has provided that for my boys and so much more.  After many years of teaching, I took some time off to be at home with my children.  Then after enrolling my children in SJA, I knew it would be a wonderful transition back into the classroom for me. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a teacher assistant in this close-knit community and to share in the learning and growth of my own children at the same time.

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Jennifer Smith

Mathematics/Science Teacher  

jsmith@saintjamesacademy.org

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Chris Maddix

Humanities Teacher


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When teaching, I find Emerson’s definition of success to be helpful, particularly:
“to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends”

  • to find the best in others
  • to leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition
  • to know that one life has breathed easier because you have lived

These are measures of success to which I hope my kids will aspire.

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Carol Fry

Facilities Manager

cfry@saintjamesacademy.org


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I came to St. James Academy in 1989. This summer was my 25th year of getting the school ready for opening day. While most everyone is off for the summer that is our busiest time. There are a lot of tests that must be done to stay in compliance with the state. We clean everything and even places you would not imagine. Did you know the elevator shafts must be keep neat and clean? We have the fire alarm system, water, kitchen and the elevators all tested.

I enjoy taking care of the St. James building and working to make all the events that take place happen and run smoothly. After all these years, even with all the additions, I know this building by heart.

In my “home life” I am busy with my other loves, my bunnies.  I am on the board of our national club which has been working for the past 11 years to get our breed of lion heads recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association. I show on the northeast circuit going into 5 different states.  To unwind at night after work, some folks will watch TV, listen to music or read.  I’m happiest in my bunny barn cleaning and taking care of everyone. Can you tell I love to clean!!

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Elliott Buck

Fifth Grade Teacher

ebuck@saintjamesacademy.org


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As an alumnus of SJA, I understand the unique and exceptional experiences students encounter here everyday. I strive to instill and nurture in my students the potential of all individuals to succeed, while promoting integrity and self-esteem. Everyday I strive to use creative and innovative methods to engage and educate.

I am an avid skier and head out west several times a year for freestyle skiing. I prefer to be outdoors whenever possible to hike, mountain bike, climb, and camp. As part of a close-knit family, I spend a lot of time with siblings, cousins, and my wife and child.

Amy Kaltenbach

Amy Kaltenbach

Fourth Grade Assistant

akaltenbach@saintjamesacademy.org


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My earliest recollection of a budding teaching career was during my childhood afternoons at home. I loved to beg my friends to be my students!  My friends did not “play” for long.

Many years later, as I was looking for a co-ed elementary school for my own children, a friend suggested St. James Academy in Monkton. I found not only a perfect learning environment for my two children, but I found a place to flourish and share my love of children and academic excellence.

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Mary McLaughlin

Fourth Grade Teacher  

mmclaughlin@saintjamesacademy.org


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I love to wake up each morning knowing I am going to SJA to teach the future.  Walking the halls, hearing the jibber jabber  and laughter puts a huge smile on my face!  Each child brings a unique gift to the class that is embraced and challenged.  Not only do I find it a great place to work, I also have chosen SJA as a place for both of my children to attend.  The warm, nurturing environment and caring faculty and staff is what makes each day absolutely perfect!

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Ivy Hill

Third Grade Teacher
ihill@saintjamesacademy.org


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As an educator I strive to encourage excellence in my students and myself.  All students deserve an exceptional education.  I believe that every student should be treated as an individual. I believe all students can be successful.  Students should be given the time they need to learn.  Effective learning takes place best in a positive and safe environment.  Success requires teamwork between teachers, students, and parents based on mutual respect and trust.  Finally, I believe as a teacher I have a small window of time to help nurture a desire for learning in my students.

Carolyn McCombe

Carolyn McCombe

First Grade Assistant  

cmccombe@saintjamesacademy.org


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I have been an Early Childhood Educator for the past 27 years. I have had the priviledge for the past 8 years to assist in Mrs. Unkle’s first grade classroom here at St. James Academy. Our motto in First Grade is to respect each other, try our best everyday, work as a team, learn from our mistakes and celebrate each others success. Most importantly our first grade students are given a loving environment to succeed in and I love being a part of that every day here at SJA.  I believe the best part of teaching is that it matters. The hardest part of teaching is that every moment matters every day!

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Lauren Unkle

First Grade Teacher
lunkle@saintjamesacademy.org


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Teachers who love teaching, teach children to love learning! I love being a teacher and have wanted to be one from the time I was little. I hope the children I teach find as much excitement in learning as I do in teaching! I have been a teacher at St. James for 15 years and I am the parent of an alumni! The St. James community has been, and will continue to be, an important part of my life.

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Alison Glace

Second Grade Teacher


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This is my third year here at St. James Academy and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of such a wonderful community! Having attended Maryvale Preparatory School myself, I truly appreciate the value of a private school education and am excited to be a part of such a tight knit group of students, faculty, staff and parents.  I am a graduate of James Madison University where I earned my degree in Early Childhood Education, and I am also currently working on a master’s degree in Special Education at Towson University.  Prior to coming to SJA, I taught preschool for 3 ½ years at Step by Step Children’s Learning Center in Sparks. In my spare time I love to travel, bake, and scrapbook. I look forward to a great year in second grade!

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Denyse Fiero

Prefirst Assistant  

dfiero@saintjamesacademy.org


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I felt the magic of St. James Academy from the first moment I walked through the halls and met so many welcoming faces. I immediately knew that this school was the right fit for me. Students are able to learn and grow in a risk free and nurturing environment. I love that St. James students contribute and are connected to their own neighborhood; as well as their global community.

I am a mother of three children. I have an Early Childhood degree from Towson University and an Associate’s Degree in Graphic Design from Catonsville Community College. I previously taught kindergarten as the lead teacher in a public school in Baltimore County. In my role as an Art Director and web designer, I designed educational materials and games for World Class Learning Materials.

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Anne McAvoy

Kindergarten Teacher

amcavoy@saintjamesacademy.org


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The Kindergarten year at St. James Academy is one of exploration, discovery and wonder. Kindergarten days are filled with exciting opportunities to acquire new skills and safely take risks while learning about ourselves and the world around us. Kindergarten moments are filled with curiosity, smiles, laughter, tears, joy, challenges, triumphs, accomplishments and friendship.

Teaching at St. James Academy is instinctual, given the ties I have developed as a parent, parishioner, and member of this community over the past twenty-one years. I am excited by the daily challenges, growth, and renewal that are inherent in teaching kindergarten. No two days are ever the same! I appreciate the freedom and flexibility to revise and plan my curriculum according to the needs of our individual students while responding to the evolving trends in education. Young children learn through engaging in active exploration and discovery. Their natural curiosity enables them to absorb new knowledge like a sponge. I am devoted to the exploration and balance of ever-increasing uses of technology while staying true to a developmentally appropriate early childhood experience. I feel privileged to teach in an environment where the social, emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual needs of the students are valued and nurtured. SJA’s devotion to professional development and life-long learning for the faculty are inspirational.

The St. James Kindergarten experience is an adventurous journey to be treasured and shared among students, teachers, and families as well! Whether immersed in a cooking project as we eat our way through the alphabet, successfully reading a book for the very first time, identifying the variety of Maryland birds that inhabit the lovely landscape of SJA, or the thrill of conquering the monkey bars, our students are involved in active exploration. My three children, Liz, Audrey Lane, and Will attended SJA from Kindergarten through eighth grade. Our St. James years have shaped our development, while creating a solid foundation on which to build and grow. We all feel incredibly blessed to be a part of the St. James community!

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Sharon Sansosti

Media Specialist /Librarian

ssansosti@saintjamesacademy.org


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Reading and the love of literature is the path to a lifetime of learning, opening new worlds of knowledge to our children.

Everyday is a new adventure when we meet new literary friends, solve mysteries, explore, and find just the right book. You might even find Middle School students sharing good reads over a cup of cocoa during The Next Page, our literary Cocoa House. Technology is an integral piece to our library/media center which connects our students with the global community. With that in mind, we guide our children to become safe users of the Internet both at school and at home.

Our visiting author/illustrator program has made unforgettable connections with our students from Kindergarten through Middle School. One of our many memorable visits and a highlight of my career was with Ms. Patricia Polacco. I will always be touched by one of her inspirational messages that everyone is gifted; we just open our gifts at different times.

I am truly blessed to share my days with such a dynamic community of students, parents, and faculty. Family and friends, travel, gardening, and sunny days on the beach with a good book are also special blessings in my life.

Catherine Hutton

World Language Teacher  

chutton@saintjamesacademy.org


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St. James Academy has a very special place in my life.  My family and I became members of Saint James Church approximately 17 years ago.  My two daughters, Kristin and Holly, both attended SJA.  Their experiences here were wonderful.  I cherish my memories of seeing them in the halls, in the gym, or out on the fields throughout their school day.  Teaching gives me the opportunity to have a positive impact on students.  I hope to inspire each individual student to face their challenges so that they can reach the top of their potential.

Patricia Swanson

World Language Teacher

pswanson@saintjamesacademy.org


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Living abroad while growing up, I found speaking other languages a necessary part of my life. Introduced to French in fourth grade, I fell in love with the sound of the French language. It had always been my intention to teach French to students at an early age, but it was not until I joined the faculty at St. James that I was given the opportunity to start a program, which has now expanded to two languages from kindergarten through eighth grade.

It is my hope to instill in students the excitement and empowerment of learning another language and to peak their curiosity and open their minds to cultures around the world.

Nancy Dewlin

Reading Resource Teacher

ndewlin@saintjamesacademy.org


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I can’t stop smiling!  I am thrilled to begin my second year at St. James Academy as a Resource Teacher!  The warmth and enthusiasm from the dynamic faculty and staff has been incredible.

After 25  years as an active member at St. James Episcopal Church, my focus has been faith, family, and fellowship.  As an educator, I am excited to share my energy and expertise with the children at St. James Academy.

After many years of experience, as a Resource Teacher, I know that a good lesson has a solid plan with a strong objective.  I know that the best lesson is one that allows you to grasp a teachable moment when children predict, question, share, and wonder about something they are curious or knowledgeable about.

When you can expand on a child’s idea and extend their thoughts to allow critical thinking, and see their smile, that’s what teaching is all about!    Helping children to become engaged, share, learn, and grow is my passion…grinning from ear to ear …at St. James Academy!