From the Head of School
Hello! Hola! 안녕하십니까!
Welcome to SJSLA.org. I hope as you look around our website and see the faces and voices that make up our school you will see St. James’ is a truly special place. Whether I am doing my weekly read aloud with preschool or in the 2nd grade, speaking to our students in chapel, or working with 6th graders in my Faith & Citizenship class, I am privileged to see the curiosity, kindness, enthusiasm and community-mindedness of this institution every day.
St. James’ commenced its journey in a small apartment on Gramercy Place 50 years ago, with four students and one teacher. Now, this school encompasses half a block on Saint Andrews Place in the middle of the most diverse neighborhood in the world, with several buildings, 365 students and 73 dedicated faculty and staff members here to support our students’ joyful curiosity and growth. We are a school that cares deeply about the pairing of academic success and engaged global citizenship. Philosophically, we fundamentally believe that intellectual achievement and community mindedness are essential to one another.
In my ongoing conversations with middle and high school administrators at some of Los Angeles’ strongest middle and high schools, I hear regularly that our graduates are among the most academically engaged students and are well equipped to understand the challenges of our complex world. Through education, St. James’ graduates accrue the skills to make this vital and challenging world a better place for all of us.
I urge you to come and see the special work at St. James’. Our classrooms are laboratories, in the best of what John Dewey envisioned for excellent schools over a century ago; chapel is a beautiful and inclusive ritual where we emphasize that all of humankind are God’s children and welcome at his house and at his table. As an Episcopal school, we treasure those qualities of heart and mind that serve as a foundation to thoughtful scholarship. Our students are filled with joy, and regularly I see alumni who have a lifelong love of learning – which they credit with their early and formative years at St. James’.
The newly established Civil Society Institute will allow us the opportunity to engage in conversations about building an inclusive and caring republic within the larger Los Angeles community while continuing our second half-century as one of Los Angeles’ leading independent elementary schools.
In closing, please reach out to me with questions. I want you to see how incredibly unique St. James’ is – and how integral it could be for your child’s growth as a scholar-citizen.