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Principal's News

"Be still and know that I am God"

2nd Grade Visits Ellis Island
2nd Grade Visits Ellis Island

Why I Love SJA by Molly 5th grade

My experience at Saint James Academy has always been positive. In my six years, I have been met with friendly teachers, smiling faces, and genuinely nice kids. But I'm pretty sure this year has made the top three. Mrs. Mott is fabulous and I feel like I'm learning like crazy!!!! Our music program is one of the highlights for me. Mrs. Oldham gets the whole class rocking, even the boys! And, library and computers are always fun.

Going to Mass every Friday is a real privilege. I go to an amazing school and learn about my faith! It doesn't get any better than that! Saint James is going to give me the foundation for my life: socially, mentally, musically, spiritually, athletically, academically, and emotionally. Saint James Academy is not just a school to me, it's a faith-filled home and community that will help me grow and stay with me my entire life.

Thank you so much Mom and Dad for sending me here, and helping me live God's word.


"Be still and know that I am God"

Spelling Bee Winners
Spelling Bee Winners

As part of our Catholic Schools Week celebration our students have written essays on what SJA means to them. I am delighted to share one of them here with you.

I've attended Saint James Academy for nine years. In those years, SJA has really had a big influence in my life. It has influenced me both spiritually and educationally. It has influenced me in a spiritual way by making me feel more about God. SJA has made me think about my actions and words and being more godlike. This has increased my friendships. Also, it has made me feel more optimistic about life and death. Retreat, which 7th and 8th go to, also changes your whole outlook of everything, and it makes everyone bond and get to know each other better. It also made me think that material things don't matter as much as faith, love, and friendship. Faith has made my life easier and made me have a brighter outlook on life, knowing that someone from SJA or one of my friends is there for me.

Saint James Academy influenced me educationally by making me more confident in my studies, tests, homework. Also, it has made me feel that if I need help with anything, one of my teachers will always want to help me. This school has made me think more on how education is important in our everyday life. Thinking of this, makes me want to strive to be a better student.

SJA is like my second home. I know where everything is, I know all the teachers, and I know that I am always safe here. I'm proud to be a student at this wonderful, caring, and loving school. This school has given me confidence and has prepared me for the next big step: high school. I will always remember this school and how it helped me learn many new things. Gabrielle 8th grade


"Be still and know that I am God"

Student Leadership Luncheon
Student Leadership Luncheon at Cathedral HS

As usual, our choir brought me to tears. We journeyed to St. Elizabeth Seton in Carlsbad last Sunday to begin our celebration of Catholic Schools Week by introducing ourselves and inviting them to our Open House next week. You are invited too:-) The prayer below seems so gently perfect for this special time of celebrating our faith, academy and the gifts we receive being members of this community.

May the Lord show his mercy upon you,
May the light of his presence be your guide,
May he guard you and uphold you,
May his Spirit be ever by your side.
When you sleep, may his angels watch over you,
When you wake, may he fill you with his grace,
May you love him and serve him all your days,
Then in heaven may you see his face.


"Be still and know that I am God"

SJA Surf Team
SJA Surf Team

It looks like it's going to be
- one of those weeks!

Too much work to do, too many meetings, too many things to finish! Something, actually some One inside me, is saying, Take a deep breath, take three or four deep breaths, good! Now sit back, relax and...

Be silent.
Be still.
Wait before your God.
Say nothing.
Ask nothing.
Be still.
Let your God look upon you.
That is all.
God knows.
God understands.
God loves you with an enormous love.
God only wants to look upon you with love.
Let your God love you...

- Edwina Gateley


"Be still and know that I am God"

Making Pillows
5th Grade Making Pillows

Happy New Year! I hope your Christmas celebration and time away from SJA was blessed! I also thank you for the wonderful support you give to me and to this community every day and for the many special gifts you have given to me personally. While on break I came across this article on the Catholic News Service and thought it was the perfect thing to share this first week back in the New Year.

When Pope Francis met before Christmas with Vatican employees, mostly lay people with families, he asked them to do 10 things. The list sounded remarkably like suggestions for New Year's resolutions:
  • "Take care of your spiritual life, your relationship with God, because this is the backbone of everything we do and everything we are."
  • "Take care of your family life, giving your children and loved ones not just money, but most of all your time, attention and love."
  • "Take care of your relationships with others, transforming your faith into life and your words into good works, especially on behalf of the needy."
  • "Be careful how you speak, purify your tongue of offensive words, vulgarity and worldly decadence."
  • "Heal wounds of the heart with the oil of forgiveness, forgiving those who have hurt us and medicating the wounds we have caused others."
  • "Look after your work, doing it with enthusiasm, humility, competence, passion and with a spirit that knows how to thank the Lord."
  • "Be careful of envy, lust, hatred and negative feelings that devour our interior peace and transform us into destroyed and destructive people."
  • "Watch out for anger that can lead to vengeance; for laziness that leads to existential euthanasia; for pointing the finger at others, which leads to pride; and for complaining continually, which leads to desperation."
  • "Take care of brothers and sisters who are weaker … the elderly, the sick, the hungry, the homeless and strangers, because we will be judged on this."

"Be still and know that I am God"

Making Blankets for Seniors
Making Blankets for Seniors
What Shall We Give The Children (courtesy of Parents in Prayer)

What shall we give the children?
Christmas is almost here.
Toys and games and playthings
As we do every year?

Yes, for the magic of Toyland
Is part of the yuletide lore
To gladden the heart of childhood,
But I shall give something more.

I shall give them patience,
A more sympathetic ear.
A little more time for laughter,
Or tenderly dry a tear.

I shall take time to teach them
The joy of doing some task.
I'll try to find time to answer
More of the questions that they ask.

Time to read books together,
And take long walks in the sun.
Time for a bedtime story,
After the day is done.

I shall give these to my children,
Weaving a closer tie,
Knitting our lives together,
With gifts that money cannot buy.

"Be still and know that I am God"

Cyndi Peterson
Wonderful friend to SJA. Cyndi Peterson,
speaking to our students about how to fully
celebrate our liturgies with reverence.
As we light the second candle on the Advent wreath,
let's pray for the gift of faith...

For the deepening of faith in those who have it...
for the gift of faith for those who seek it...
for the strengthening of faith in those who doubt...
for any whose faith is shaken or broken...
for stronger faith that leads us to act...
for harmony and unity among people of different faiths...

God, give us:
the faith we need to help us live,
the faith we need to help us love,
the faith we need to help us believe,
the faith we need to give us hope,
the faith we need to act...
the faith we need to to speak up and speak out...

Give us faith that leads us:
to share what we have in serving the hungry;
to work for peace and to keep it;
to establish justice for the poor and oppressed;
to restore the beauty of your creation...

God, give us faith in you
and in our neighbors
and in ourselves...

Amen. (from Austin Fleming)

"Be still and know that I am God"

Anti-Bullying Assembly
Anti-Bullying Assembly

Monday morning at assembly we began our celebration of the season of Advent. Our students were reminded that the liturgical church year begins with Advent, a time of waiting, hoping and preparing for the coming of Christ. We began with one of the many special Advent customs and traditions, the Advent wreath. We blessed our wreath and then prayed the prayer for the first week of Advent. I invite you to include this custom in your family tradition if you do not already do so. I'm happy to share a suggestion for the complete tradition if you are interested. Also, please see the Advent Calendar below for further suggestions. The first week prayer we used:

Lord God, we come to you with excited and grateful hearts as we begin a new church year and season. Thank you for this Advent time. It's exciting to be nearing Christmas! And it's good for us to slow down and enjoy each other more. Fill us with your peace. Make us better and better people. Teach us to more deeply appreciate one another. Help each of us to tell others more often how much they mean to us. Make us aware that you walk with us each day. Help us to be grateful and joyful. Make our hearts strong and brave and generous. We love you, Lord. Amen


"Be still and know that I am God"

8th Honor Roll
8th Honor Roll

With a thankful heart I wish each of you a Thanksgiving holiday filled with family, friends and the graces provided by our Holy God.

Today I thank God
for the gift of the Church: that wounded, rag-tag, joyful company of sinners and saints whose faith is our strength, binding us to one another in Christ...

Today I thank God
for all the people around, behind and before me: the ones who gave me life and shaped my life; those who bring me joy today and hope for tomorrow; and I thank God, too, for the people I've not yet met...

Today I thank God
for the simple tools I have for doing his work: words, wonder, witness, wit and wisdom- roughly in that order!

Today I thank God for you, my readers!
Aliased, named or anonymous commenting or silent: you are solidly more than half of an enterprise that brings me more joy and peace than you know. For being here, for reading, for commenting, for sharing and spreading my posts, for coming back again and again: I thank God for you!

"Be still and know that I am God"

Veteran's Day Assembly
Veteran's Day Assembly

Veteran's Day—Thank you to all who have offered service to our country! Thank you to the Young Marines and parishioner Jack Thomas who helped us honor all who serve. Thank you also to veteran Charlie Mullins who helped organize this meaningful assembly.

Conference Week—We look forward to meeting with each of you over the next 3 days. We are a team in this process of educating your children and understand that our time of conversation is a valuable tool for all of us. This is a wonderful opportunity to share with you your child's progress, plan for the future and answer questions. Thank you for partnering with us.


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!