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St. James' Episcopal School

St. James' News Update

February 24, 2012

I have to admit I feel really grimy every Ash Wednesday. The thought of a big smear of ashes on my forehead makes me want to head for the nearest washcloth and a big bar of Ivory soap. I know I’m supposed to wear them with pride, but basically those ashes on my brow are more of an endurance test for me. Why, then, are the children so inexplicably comfortable in their dirty foreheads? I asked myself this question a hundred times on Wednesday. Even the ones who got an extra special dose of ashes, so big that it trickled down their noses and dusted their upper lips, even they seemed perfectly content to have been “ashed.” At first I thought they were just more used to getting dirty. But then I realized it was like some sort of a secret handshake, a token of “belonging” in an adult society. The kids just shone with the knowledge that all of us looked the same and had heard the same message together in chapel. We were equals, members of the same club, pilgrims treading the road of life together. And they were glorying in the sense of community those ashes had created. I tried to hang in there for the sake of our little secret society; but at 1:30, a full hour after this brilliant revelation, I was still dying to have someone hose me down, scrub me clean, and send me on my way all shiny and fresh. 
And then there’s the ever-present conundrum of how one explains Lent to anyone under the age of eighteen without sounding like a voice of doom crying from deep within the Dark Ages. Father Paul called Lent a time to “build bridges” between people rather than giving something up. I love that gentle approach…far gentler than any of us remember from our youth when fire and brimstone was likely to erupt at the mere mention of the word “Lent.”   The good nuns at Our Lady of Perpetual Guilt (the name I’ve used for my elementary school for so many years that I now can’t remember the real name of the place) taught me to give up everything I loved during the six weeks of Lent. For me, that meant I had to leave behind chocolate, cookies, cakes, pies, and the key to my roller skates. They called it “fasting.” And was there ever feasting when that fast ended and Easter finally rolled around again!
But here’s a little quotation I found today that seemed to me a perfect lesson for children and adults this Lenten season:
“Fast from greed, feast on sharing;
Fast from hating, feast on loving;
Fast from teasing, feast on kindness;
Fast from anger, feast on patience;
Fast from noise, feast on silence.”
It’s so simple and painless, yet so inspired that it seems amazing no one has captured the spirit of Lenten preparation for the feast of Easter in this light before. And unlike the outward symbol of the ashes we received this week, this lesson will never need to be washed away. If we want the children to take pride in being members of our club, our grown up secret society, let’s let those words be our club’s pledge. We can all be proud to join the ranks of those who fast from injuring the fragile feelings of others and feast on the joy of, yes, building bridges.                       

Deborah David

All-School Announcements


Enjoy a spectacular breakfast prepared by the Dad's of St. James'. This community event will take place this Sunday, February 26th at the St. James' Parish Hall from 9-10:30 a.m. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children, free for children under 3.

Preschool Groundbreaking Celebration!!!

Yesterday morning our adorable Preschool students, dressed in construction vests and hard hats, serenaded our community at a wonderful Groundbreaking Ceremony. Over a continental breakfast, Marilyn Wells and Heidi McLean, Co-Chairs of the Board of Trustees, welcomed everyone. Debbi David thanked the Board of Trustees for their support, acknowledged Preschool Founder, John Green and other special guests. Debbi also announced two leadership gifts for the Preschool Capital Campaign with a very special thank you to the Minsun Suh and Gyugn Si, and the California Community Foundation. Debbi presented Preschool Director, Katarina Matolek, with a special Time Capsule collection from each grade at the big school. The finale was a special performance by our wonderful Dolphin and Tiger students. Please click here to visit the website and to see pictures covering the ceremonial event.

Visit our website to watch the video!

We invite Fifth Grade parents to Coffee with Debbi David on Monday, March 5, 2012 at 8:30 a.m. in St. James' Hall. We will discuss middle school matriculation and other important issues. Please RSVP to Mrs. Wright-Bey at

PSF Celebration Event -- Save-the-Date: On Wednesday evening, March 21st from 6:00-7:00pm, the St. James' Parent Community will come together to celebrate the contributions of the PSF Program. This reception event will introduce the new PSF Executive Committee Members as well as profile the volunteer opportunities available with the upcoming schedule of events to complete this current school year as well as start to build committee chair positions and committees for the 2012 / 2013 school year. Come early and join us for dinner at the St. James' Cafe from 5:00-6:00pm.  


Wednesday, February 1 thru Wednesday, February 29th
Art Exhibit (all month)
Mondays, Feb 27
"A Day in the Life African American History"
Tuesdays, February 28
"Tuesday Trivia"
Wednesday, February 29 - THE GRAND FINALE! - This is an early dismissal day
Skate Night

We would like to acknowledge the following donors who have donated since our last publication.  
Clan and Mihea Hahn
Mrs. Casee Kelly
Mr. Michael King and Mrs. Sharolyn Davis-King
Katherine Woodward Thomas
Mr. Keewon Jung and Mrs. Kyunghwa Park

The St. James' School Spring Event will be held on Saturday evening, April 28, 2012.
We'll be lighting up our community with great food, good friends, and other special surprises.  And we'll be spotlighting the things we love about St. James' School — our kids, our creativity, our love of learning. You won't want to miss this special event!
The Spring Event has been a successful fundraiser helping to provide financial resources for our new Science Lab, our Art Room, and more. Details on the event to be announced soon.

Elementary School Announcements


On Friday March 2, at 8:15 at our Community Gathering we'll feature a brief presentation by the Super Duper Arts Camp who will be running our summer program at Saint James' this coming summer! The camp will be a six-week summer program and will offer full-day coverage for your children. The Super Duper Arts Camp is one of the most popular in the city and we're honored to partner with them in this innovative way. Come hear all about the camp and catch the spirit of their inimitable, boundless joy and energy. Don't miss the Super Duper Arts Camp on March 2, 2012, at 8:15!

Friendly Reminders


Just a reminder that at the Saint James' Cafe on Wednesday evenings from 5:00-6:30 p.m., Chris Zapata from our staff provides childcare so more families can enjoy attending (and can finish their dinners in peace!). As always, that supervision involves helping the children make good choices and follow some simple, basic rules. Mr. Zapata asked that you help him out by reinforcing these behavioral standards:
  • Nothing should ever be thrown into the turtle pond and the turtles should not be touched.  Some bite; and the rest probably want to.
  • Children should not bring electronic games and devices to the Cafe. They'll inevitably get lost or broken.
  • Swiping someone else's toys is often the trigger for spats and arguments and is always discouraged. 
  • Children may not attend the Cafe without their parents.
  • Excessive horseplay or running while eating can lead to very dangerous situations. Please ask the kids to cease and desist.
  • Smile. God loves you and we love you. We just have to clean this up a little. :-)


The Preschoolers get ready to perform at the Groundbreaking Ceremony.

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