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St. James' Episcopal School

St. James' News Update

October 7, 2011

Letter from the Head of School

Dear Folks…
It occurred to me the other day that one of the things I love most about Saint James’ is the children’s extraordinary understanding of themselves as intelligent human beings. All too often I’ve dealt with girls whose highest aspiration was to become a Britney Spears clone; and, for that matter, I’ve met far too many boys who want desperately to be a professional sports star despite their lack of height, muscle and ability. But not here at Saint James’.  I pondered this week what has made the difference for so many of my children in this remarkable school. At first I thought I’d found the answer in an obscure words in our Core Beliefs: “wholesome and unpretentious.” And we are that. We focus less on labels, designer shoes, and glamorous vacation destinations than any school I’ve encountered in this millennium. When the children do report their travel experiences, they tend to speak eloquently about what they learned rather than the score the Zagat Guide gave the restaurants they visited. They talk about hard work and honesty as the values they espouse, and about their families, and their and culture and customs; and not about their possessions, plentiful though they may be. And they talk about books!
But I believe the children’s desire to communicate their still limited (but clearly emerging) intellectual pursuits comes from a deliberate campaign on your parts, dear parents, to veer away from shallow role models, trite talk, and stereotypical questions. I do believe that if all we can think of to say to a little girl is how cute her ponytails look on her, that’s what that little girl will internalize as a special part of herself. And if that’s all she hears, she stands a good chance of becoming a materialistic or even narcissistic woman whose face and figure define her self-worth. When little boys share only the experience of sporting events and sports talk with their dads, they come to feel that athletics are, for better or worse, a measuring stick by which to judge a person’s value to the human race. Hence, our professional basketball players reap the financial rewards of all our hyped up and glorified views of their inherent worth…and boys who are less comfortable with sports and games stand a better than average chance of being rejected, scorned, bullied, and vilified for their perceived lack of masculinity.

Julie Hite, mother of Riley and Matthew, stopped by this week and recommended an article from the Huffington Post I think you’ll love. It echoes my thoughts, but does so with far greater depth and understanding than I can bring to the discussion. And although its focus is on raising girls who are as in touch with their intellects as with their lip-gloss, you can easily extrapolate the value of it in raising boys as well. Here’s the link. Happy reading and thinking! I can hardly wait to see you at El Capitan for the Fall Family Weekend. 


St. James' Arts Program featured in The Huffington Post

All-School Announcements

Thank you to everyone for your participation in our Kick-Off the School Year Class Parties, particularly our wonderful hosts and co-host families. We could not have done it without you! It was a great way to begin the school year and it helped us jump-start our Annual Fund Campaign.
The good news is that currently 56% of families have made their pledge to support this year's Annual Fund, but we still have 118 families who haven't made their gift.
Last years 4th Grade won the Free Dress Day for highest participation by class.  Right now, it is too close to call with 5th Grade and 3rd Grade hovering in the high-60% range.  The first grade to hit 100% will receive a Free Dress Day this year.
Parent Participation

We are entering the next phase of our Annual Fund Campaign with personal outreach to each family who hasn't yet made their pledge. Each grade level has an Annual Fund Parent Representative who will be contacting each family about their support.  Thank you to the following parent volunteers who will be help support our fundraising efforts.

Preschool Grade Representative: Valerie Seitz
Kindergarten Grade Representative: Tina Lynam
First Grade Representative: Lucy Wolff
Second Grade Representative: Seth Horowitz
Third Grade Representative: Jeff Hall
Fourth Grade Representative: Nora Houndalas
Fifth Grade Representative: Jeff Lane
Sixth Grade Representative: Stephen Bedikian

If you are one of the families who have not yet made your pledge commitment to the Annual Fund, please take a moment to complete the attached pledge form and return it to our Advancement Office.

I want to thank the following donors who have donated this week:
Jessica Bern
Eric Franco and Regina Ongchoco
Michelle and James McKinlay
Jenny Obuchi
Louis and Cecilia Park
The Rice Family
Ben Savagian
Jennifer and Jim Tennille
Luke Thornton and Elizabeth Silver-Thornton
Madison Wells
Keith and Betsy Wood

Mrs. Reveta Bowers, Head of School at CEE, welcomes best selling author, Lisa See, to discuss her novels, including her latest, Dreams of Joy on Wednesday, October 26th from 7 pm – 9 pm in the Community Center on the CEE Campus. If you would like to attend please RSVP online at
Please see the attachment for the first addition of the St. James' School Newspaper. PAW PRINTS is written by students for students with such fun sections as school happenings, reviews, trivia, and surveys.  This addition features an exclusive interview with Mrs. David. The newspaper can also be found on the school website.  Look for a new addition every three weeks.

Chris Zapata from the Saint James' Episcopal School staff will provide childcare from 5:00-6:30 p.m. for families attending the Saint James' Cafe dinner every Wednesday evening.  What a fabulous opportunity to have a night out and know that your kids can be involved in healthy, active, supervised play after they eat dinner so you can relax and enjoy each other's company.  Thanks, Mr. Z!  We love that you're providing this terrific service to our parents!

Elementary School Announcements

  • Please arrive at school with your luggage on Wednesday, Oct. 12 by 8:10am, the bus will leave at 8:40am.
  • Students should have one bag that contains their clothing and toiletries, and another bag that has their sleeping bag and pillow in it (both should be labeled).
  • Students will also need a small day bag in which to carry their reusable water bottle, sack lunch (for Wednesday only), chapstick, sunblock, pencils, etc.
  • We will return to St. James between 3pm and 4pm on Friday, Oct. 14
The Book Club will meet Thursday, Oct. 13 during lunch recess. All Fifth and Sixth Grade students are welcome to attend.

The Sixth Grade Middle School Admissions Workshop will be on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 6-7 pm. We will discuss choosing the best school for your child, deadlines, ISEE testing, paperwork, and other issues related to completing the application.  Please make every effort to attend this important event.  Contact Ms. Arrington at with questions.

Dear St. James’ Parents:
We have revamped our recognition program for our K-2 students this year and are calling it “Pat On the Back” So, while the older children in grades 3 through 6 are recognized at our Community Gatherings for their admirable character during the previous month, the younger children need more immediate feedback and recognition. It’s too hard to wait a full month to recognize their kind and loving behavior, or to congratulate them on the progress they have made toward reaching a goal they or their teachers have set, or the incredible effort they've given to producing an outstanding project.  They receive this praise routinely in their classrooms, but it is truly a special event to come up the stairs (or down the hallway) to receive praise from me.
Last week, I had several K-2 students come to my office with their teachers to receive a ‘pat on the back’, (literally and figuratively) along with many spirited “high fives” and hugs for the ways in which they demonstrated respect, caring, honesty, responsibility, or citizenship. Additionally, the entire kindergarten class received a ‘pat-on-the-back’ from the PE department. Way to go, kindergarten!
My goal is to see every K-2 child at some point in the year. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact your child’s teacher or me. And please look for the cutout of a handprint to show your child has been to see me for all the right reasons!
Adriane Rothstein
Director of Lower Elementary

Last year's Kindergarten created amazing bird andfish paintings that reiterated shapes they learned during earlier lessons. Come see this colorful exhibit that also continues in Ms. David's and Ms. Rothstein's offices.

Art Committee Co-Chairs Rhea Rachevsky and Olga Roth are looking to match volunteers and help dates for three major events; the Halloween Mask Parade (October), the Annual Art Show (May) and the Artwork Return (June). Please contact Rhea at or Olga at for details.

Calling all cartoonists and storytellers. Husky Highlights is looking for cartoon submissions for its pages. Also stories about anything interesting you did over the summer. If you have a fun cartoon or story you would like to share in your school magazines, please send it to Lucy Norland at

PSF Announcements

We need volunteers for Korean BBQ, Bake Sale, & Game. Please contact the parents below if you would like to volunteer:
Korean BBQ:        
Stephanie Kim,
Bake Sale:            
Kimberly Rolfe,
John Schlotterbeck,
Anita Hayden,

Calling All St. James Bakers-What's Your Specialty? It's that time of year again for the Annual Larchmont Fair Bake Sale and we need your help. We need all of St. James' wonderful bakers to commit to baking your best cakes, pies, cookies, etc., including specialty items, i.e. vegan, non-dairy, etc. This year, in addition to selling items at the fair, we will be pre-selling baked goods as part of our fundraiser. If you are able to bake whole items for the pre-sale, please let us know by Thursday, October 13th.  Please be sure to specify the name of the specialty dessert, and how many of each item you are willing to make; for example: 4 -Lemon Jello Cakes. Cakes and Pies will be pre-sold whole and cookies will be sold by the dozen. As we have in the past, we will also sell smaller items, such as individual cup cakes, cookies, homemade candy, and other small desserts, at the actual fair, so if you are not able to commit to making whole pies, cakes, or cookies by the dozen, we will welcome your donation toward the Larchmont Fair day sale. Please Email Kimberly Rolfe, Bake Sale Chair ASAP at  Thanks for your support!

Friendly Reminders

Join other parents as we consider long-held claims of the Christian faith and our questions about those claims. We meet on the following Tuesday mornings 8:30 - 9:30 am in the Parish Meeting Room (2nd floor, Parish Building):  Oct. 18, Nov. 1, 15 & 29, Jan. 10 & 24, Feb. 7 & 21, Mar. 6 & 20, April 17, May 1 & 15.  Every one of all beliefs is welcome and encouraged to come anytime throughout the year.
Join us after school for a simple supper provided by our parish chef Julia Rhoton at St. James’ Café, located in the Parish Hall on Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. All school families are invited. Look forward to seeing you there! Suggested donation $5.

Head of School Debbi David poses with one of our many Student of the Month Award Receivers
Debbi David presents a Student of the Month Award

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Fun times on the playground
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