Spotlight on Mrs. James

St. James Academy Reading SpecialistMrs. James began her career in 2001 teaching first grade in Virginia Beach, Virginia. After taking some time off from teaching to stay home with her children, she worked as a professional trainer and developed and facilitated professional development trainings for the Department of Education. During this time, she also received her masters of education with certification as a reading specialist from Loyola University Maryland.

Why did you want to become a teacher?

Ever since I was very young, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. I can vividly recall playing school with my “students” when I was a little girl. I was extremely blessed that I had so many amazing teachers who made such a powerful difference in my life. I hope that I am able to encourage and inspire my students to learn with joy and passion as well.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

It’s a wonderful sound to hear “Mrs. James” in the hallways and classrooms at St. James Academy; however, the best title to my ears is simply “Mom”. I absolutely love spending time with my two children, Carter and Claire, and husband, Jay. My children’s extra curricular activities account for most of my spare time. I’m their biggest and proudest fan on the soccer/lacrosse fields and in the riding ring. I also love to sail, ski, scuba dive, ride horses, and play lacrosse.

Who inspired you growing up?

My parents are my biggest inspirations! To call them just my parents is an understatement. My mother and father gave me a solid foundation in life and helped me grow into the person that I am today. They are my role models, biggest supporters, cheerleading squad, and of course great friends. They always taught me to have a sense of humor, work hard, and never stop learning!

If you could meet one famous person who would it be and why?

It would have been an honor to meet Bea Gaddy, Baltimore’s leading advocate for the homeless and poor. She is a real hero to many. She faced adversity and never let it slow her down. Despite the difficulties in her own life, she always put those who were less fortunate ahead of herself. She would want everyone to live by her mission: “Let us share with those that are not as fortunate as we, care for the young children and help our fellow humans to stand tall with pride and dignity!”

What do you want the students to learn from you?

I hope more than anything that my students will acquire a love for literacy! As a result, reading will have a powerful and positive influence on them for the rest of their lives.

Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know. 

Many years ago, I traveled to Breckenridge, Colorado. My Dad, brothers, and I had some crazy desire to ski the Imperial Bowl. We started our expedition by taking a chair lift to 10,000 feet and then proceeded to take a rope tow to 11,000 feet. I knew there was no turning back after reading the sign “DANGER: Rescue from here will be long and tedious!” We took off our skis, put them on our shoulder, and hiked an exhausting 2,000 feet. The air was so thin towards the top of the mountain that we had to stop after every step to catch our breath. After reaching the summit, we were at 13,000 feet elevation. Before skiing down, we rested for about 40 minutes to acclimatize because we were so oxygen deprived. The view of Colorado was absolutely beautiful! The ski down the mountain was worth every exhausting step to the top.

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