St. James Catholic School sits up the hill on Dunsmore Avenue and, for some, is just waiting to be discovered. But those families attending the school have already discovered what St. James is planning for this year to make it one to remember for its students.
On Sunday, Aug. 23, St. James invited all of its school families and even the church parishioners to enjoy a picnic in the park to welcome them back to school. Every family brought food and some of the dads cooked hamburgers, hot dogs, and sausages for everyone to enjoy. Parents spent time socializing and hearing what others had done over the too short summer. Students were excited to see their friends and play in the park while enjoying the day before school started on Aug. 31.
The new PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) president Sue Henderson shared the afternoon with her family, commenting on how excited she and her family were about the new school year and how they couldn’t wait for it to start.
Joining Henderson in the PTO is co-president Deon Cavender who has three daughters returning to St. James.
St. James is greeting more than new students. This year the school welcomes new teachers, a refreshed look to its library and some unique fund raisers and events. New to the staff is kindergarten teacher Betsy Savant.
Savant is not a stranger to St. James; she taught at the school many years ago. Savant said that she is “thrilled and excited” to be teaching full day kindergarten, something not many schools offer in the La Crescenta area. In addition to teaching, Savant is an active parishioner of the St. James community and has taught elementary grades for many years. She has an advanced degree in reading instruction.
St. James is also gaining a new eighth grade teacher, Lisa Knatcal. Knatcal has taught for the last 12 years in the middle grades, junior high and the university level. Maureen Moran is the school’s new second grade teacher. She has worked for LAUSD and is active in her parish.
St. James principal Susan Romero has been working hard these last few weeks to get ready for the new school year. “I am looking forward to this school year, especially to be able to share with the accrediting committee during their formal visit, what a great learning community we have here at St. James,” Romero said.
St. James is still accepting applications for the 2009-10 school year. For information and to take a tour of the campus, call (818) 248-7778.
Contributed by Tricia Flynn