A Higher Devotion To Excellence Since 1952.

  • basketball

  • about girls

  • about boys

Principal's News


While you're enjoying the last couple weeks of summer, our faculty and staff are working hard to prepare for the upcoming school year! I hope your summer has been filled with a lot of rest, relaxation, rejuvenation and fun, family times!

"We will find peace, we will be builders of peace and will spread peace around us."

The theme for our 2016-2017 school year is a quote of Pope Francis. The quote was taken from an address on the 50th anniversary of Pope John XXIII's death on June 3, 2013. Given the current circumstances all over the world and the necessity for all of us to take action to create peace, this quote is very pertinent and is easy for our students to connect to and understand.


“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

This is a big week for us (and not because this is our last newsletter of the year:) This is graduation week! It is the beautiful culmination of effort by our graduates, their parents, and this community. As I mentioned at the Memory Mass last week, thirteen of our graduates have attended SJA since Kindergarten-what a testament to this community. We are proud of all of our graduates and can’t wait to see what comes next for them. They are ready!

Please keep our graduates in your prayers as they prepare to embark on their new chapter in high school. The SJA Class of 2016 will celebrate their commencement mass at 5 p.m. this Friday.

Father, we thank you so much for our time here together
For all the friends we have made
For all the days of laughter and fun
And for all the times of great discovery and learning.
We thank You for all who have given of their energy and skill
So that we can graduate today.
Our teachers and mentors
Our family and loved ones
We thank You for them and give them all to You in prayer.

As this chapter on our lives closes, so a new one begins.
We present ourselves like an open book before You.
Come and scribe Your words of life into our lives -
Fill our minds with Your thoughts
Fill our bodies with Your strength
Fill our hearts with Your dreams
That we might eternally love and serve You
This day and every day.

We ask all this in the glorious name of Jesus
Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit
World without end.


“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

From yesterday, the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A beautiful way to end the month of May, Mary’s month.

LK 1:39-56

Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. 

And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

And Mary said, "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever."

And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

Pray the Rosary
Grades 1-3 Pray the Rosary in May


“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

So much to be grateful for this week! Friday was a wonderful day celebrating Luanne. Thank you to Pat Gale, Janelle Whitton and the MANY who helped organize the reception. A note from Luanne follows. Thank you to the students who performed at Fiesta del Sol. They rocked it and were the talk of the festival! And thank you to those who worked at our booth. It was a great opportunity to share who we are with the larger community and to partner with the parish! I was also fortunate to celebrate with the SJA class of 2012 as they prepare to graduate from high school. It was beautiful to see their friendships still going strong. We wish this talented group God’s blessings as they move onto an impressive list of colleges.

Luanne's Retirement Party
Luanne's Retirement Party
Dear parents, faculty/staff, students, and alum,
I would like to thank everyone for the beautiful mass and delightful breakfast last Friday. It warmed my heart to see so many current and past SJA families and staff there! Thank you, also, for your wonderful cards, prayers, well wishes…all the beautiful sentiments being conveyed as I prepare to retire from St. James Academy.

Looking back, I am so grateful to have experienced the absolute joy of watching our two sons, Jason and Adam (SJA Class of ’98 & ’99), being nurtured and flourishing here at SJA from Kindergarten through 8th grade. I also treasure having been able to watch almost 800 other students graduate the academy and have had the pleasure of serving countless more over my 27 years here.

I have had the honor of working with approximately 60 classroom and auxiliary teachers, 20+ aides, 7 different office staff, 6 principals, 3 pastors, several parish priests, numerous parish office staff, and 10 school or parish dogs!

I would like to extend a very special ‘thank you’ to Kathy Dunn for her leadership, guidance, and support, but most of all, for her friendship these past seven years. Kathy, you are amazing! You continue to inspire me with your compassion for our students and your unending determination and courage to continually strive to make SJA better and better!

Milestones in our life, such as this, allow us to reflect. My heart is filled with gratitude to have been a part of this warm, beautiful, faith-filled community since 1989. My wish for all of you is that you treasure your time here as I have. This is a very special place with extraordinary faculty and staff that truly give of themselves and share their gifts with your children with open hearts. I have been, and continue to be, so blessed!
With love,

“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

Got a Moment?

In the heat of the moment,
   give me your grace, Lord...

On the spur of the moment,
   give me your grace, Lord...

At just the right moment,
   give me your grace, Lord...

When not a moment's to spare,
   give me your grace, Lord...

At an opportune moment,
    give me your grace, Lord... 

When every moment counts, Lord,
   give me your grace...

From one moment to the next,
   give me your grace, Lord...

In my weakest moment, Lord,
   give me your grace...

In an awkward moment, Lord,
   give me your grace...

In the moment of truth,
   give me your grace, Lord...

At an inopportune moment,
   give me your grace, Lord... 

From one moment to the next,
   give me your grace, Lord...

In just a moment,
   give me your grace, Lord...

At any moment now, Lord,
   give me your grace...

The St. James Vocal Academy will be performing at Fiesta Del Sol on Saturday, May 21 from 9:30-9:50.   And we are hosting a booth at Fiesta Del Sol this year! It is a wonderful opportunity to share our school and parish with the greater community. Please sign up for a shift or two! May 21st and 22nd-it should be fun! Sign-Up for SJA Fiesta Del Sol Volunteers

Due Today! 1st Annual SJA Mother Son Bowling Night – Saturday, May 21st from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at the Kearney Mesa Bowl. Prizes awarded! Please see flier posted below for more information and to make your reservation! Form and payment due in to the office by Wednesday, May 18th! Please contact Lisa Ronco with any questions or concerns. Hope to see you there!


“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

Last week we were able to honor some special people in this community at a Diocesan dinner. Leslie Beswick (30 years) and Luanne Sobieski (27 years) were presented with retirement awards. And Ms. Nielsen was presented with the “Catholic Diocese Exceptional Teaching Award.” Her award was presented by the Director of Soles from USD and two of her professors. Congratulations!!

 Catholic Educators' Banquet
2nd Annual Bishop Cirilo Flores
Catholic Educators' Banquet Award Winners

I hope you were able to join us last Friday for the very special tradition of May Crowning. It is a double treat as the 2nd grade assists with the liturgy and joins the school in the full celebration of the mass for the 1st time. The 8th grade honors Mary in a special crowning ceremony. Touching and lovely.

May Crowning
May Crowning

“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

The Star Polisher

I have a great job in the universe of occupations.
What do I do? I'm a star polisher.
I have a very important job.
If you want to know how important,
Just go out at night and look at the stars
Twinkling and sparkling.
You see, I'm a teacher.
The stars are the children in my class.
My job is to take them in whatever shape they're in
And shine and buff them and send them out
To take their places as bright little twinkling
Beacons in the sky.
They come in my room in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they're bent and tarnished, dirty
Crinkly and broken
Some stars are cuddly, soft and sweet.
Some stars are prickly and thorny.
I tell them that the world needs them.
I tell them they can be among the brightest
Shiniest star in the sky.
And the world will be a better place because of them.
Each night as I look at the sky,
I’m reminded of my very important job
And awesome responsibility.
I go and get my soft buffing clothe
And my bottle of polish
In preparation for tomorrow
And my class of little stars.
By Leah Becks

We are so spoiled by you this Teacher Appreciation week! We have been decorated, given beautiful notes and flowers, morning drinks, our cars are being washed… Thank you so very much! It is our joy to partner with you in the education of your children. Thank you for the gifts this week and for sharing your children with us!

First Communion – How beautiful that our 2nd Graders received their First Eucharist last weekend and joined us in full communion with the church.  It was a very special liturgy.  Thank you to Ms. Williams for her loving preparation of the students, to Mrs. Oldham and her choirs for the music on a busy weekend, to Frs. Howard and Ricky for presiding, and to all who worked to make sacramental day holy and blessed. 

2nd grade class First Holy Communion
2nd grade class First Holy Communion

“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

Did you know that today is National Secretary’s Day? (I’m not really sure that is the PC name for it:). I am so grateful for Luanne! Not sure how we will cope without her, but appreciate every minute we have with her and are so grateful for the many gifts she has shared with this community over the last 27 years!! Thank you also to Mrs. Pena who frequently operates in secretary capacity and Mrs. Cooper, our new Office Manager!

A prayer for our 2nd Graders as they make their First Communion this weekend:
May you always know the peace of Jesus
The light of His love
And the joy of His life within you.

Thank you to Ms. Williams and parents for the beautiful preparation of our students. We are so excited for the students to join us fully in the celebration of the liturgy! Be sure to join us for Friday mass on May 6th for Mary’s Crowning. We celebrate both our 2nd and 8th graders in a joyful tradition.

Our Rock the School Concert was amazing! The talent and passion of our students was shining! Thank you to all who participated and attended and helped with the evening. A special thank you to Mrs. Oldham for sharing her passion with our students and giving them the opportunity to grow and shine.

Rock The School
Rock The School

“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

I write today with a grateful heart! Luanne has received some really good health news! While there is still some work for her to do, it is not the dire news she was told to expect. While I guess we could choose to claim the doctor who gave the initial diagnosis was wrong, I am sure it is the power of our prayer! Thank you to all who have kept Luanne and her family in your prayers!

Rock the School Concert Tomorrow – Hope to see you all! Doors open for the 2016 Rock the School concert at 6:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall on Thursday, April 21st. Please come support our amazing young musicians, all ages welcome. A ready-to-rock audience is important as the performers! Students have chosen songs to perform including a variety of artists from David Bowie, Green Day and The Muppets to Adele and Taylor Swift with many surprises that you don't want to miss. And don't forget as part of Earth Week, bring your filled own personal reusable water bottles marked with your name; single use water bottles will be not be available. Pizza slices will be available for purchase while supplies last.

Parents in Prayer Host 8th grade boys and dads
Parents in Prayer Host
8th grade boys and dads

“Be kind to one another”
Ephesians 4:32

Dear God, 

When I cannot see you, 
remind me that you never lose sight of me... 

When I cannot hear you, 
remind me that you never miss a word I pray... 

When I cannot reach you, 
remind me that you hold me in your arms...
When I cannot find you, 
remind me that you always seek me..
When I cannot wait for you,
remind me of your patience with me... 

When I cannot trust you,
remind me that you never give up on me...

And when I cannot, well, whatever . . . 
remind me that you can, you do and you will for me,
for love of me...


Bring A Friend To School Day was a great success! We had about 20 friends spend the day with us and reports are good! Everyone, including current students, seemed to have a wonderful day. I think this was a great new way to share the beauty of our community. Please continue to share news of our school with people you connect with, especially our lower grades! Thank you!

Mobile Friendly If you are receiving this note on your phone, please check out the new mobile friendly version. Thanks to Mr. Powell, our website and newsletters now are ready for your mobile devices! (Google likes us better now too:)

Parent Council – all are welcome to join us in the parish Ministry Center at 8 a.m. tomorrow for this month’s Parent Council meeting.


Kathy Dunn & Christine Lang
Principals, St. James Academy

Schedule Tour

Kind Words About Us...

"One of the greatest benefits of a St. James Academy education is the commitment of faculty to continued personal growth."

"St. James Academy promotes a spirit of enthusiasm that fosters a sense of community thereby maintaining a strong Catholic mission."

"St. James Academy did an excellent job at incorporating a variety of supplemental texts, materials and methods to meet the needs of the students and their various learning styles!"

"They integrate Christian values into the curriculum, with an emphasis on spiritual development, positive approach to discipline and community building activities."

St. James Academy is a private Catholic school in North County, San Diego. If you are searching for the premier preschool, elementary school or junior high school in proximity to Encinitas, Del Mar, and Solana Beach, contact us today!