An Overview of St. James
Our mission is to provide inquiry-based learning with a Christian worldview to prepare students for success throughout life.
Our students are exposed to a range of academic disciplines that require students to master specific information, be able to think critically about the information, and to develop the skills to creatively express themselves using the information.
The education process is founded in the truth of Jesus Christ as Savior as presented in the Holy Bible. We teach that the fullness of our humanity is expressed in baptism and nurtured by the Holy Spirit to develop each person’s potential to live in vocation loving God and loving neighbor.
Each St. James student receives
We intentionally keep class sizes small so that students receive individual attention and opportunities for small group work. Our faculty are experts at differentiating instruction and proactively planning lessons based upon students’ readiness, interests and learning profiles.
Students learn to
Think Critically and Creatively.
Problem solving skills are developed in correlation to each student’s ability to analyze, research and form conclusions about specific problems and scenarios. Through multiple approaches to a problem and review of the data of both success and failure students learn to be more confident and try new experiences.
Our experienced faculty
Educate the Whole Child.
At St. James we know that no two children are the same. We provide opportunities for each student to find their unique interests and learn to express themselves through multiple disciplines. Through participation in athletics, academic clubs, art, music, drama, and a variety of other learning experiences, a St. James graduate is a confident and well-rounded individual.
BEHIND OUR STUDENTS’ SUCCESS?
Dedicated Faculty and Staff
Sheri Meyer is the principal at St. James. Ms. Meyer has over 25 years of experience in the field of education. Over the past decade she has provided diversified services and leadership in the education industry. As an Education Leader Ms. Meyer has worked with both public and private schools to improve quality and integrate technology into the classroom. She has successfully worked with Lutheran Schools in Chicago to promote both improvement and excellence in the academic process.
Ms. Meyer holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Secondary Education from the University of Tulsa. Additionally, she holds her M.S. in Guidance and Counseling from Northeastern Illinois University.
Warren Gast has been an integral part of the St. James community since 1975. Mr. Gast serves St. James as Principal Emeritus. He also sings in the church choir and plays guitar with ”St. Jams.”
Mr. Gast earned his bachelor’s degree in Education from Concordia University, Ann Arbor and master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University, Chicago.
Lynda Adams serves the community as the Early Childhood Program Director and teaches three half-day pre-kindergarten. Ms. Adams knowledge of child development and positive discipline allow her to teach independent problem solving and social skills in her students. Through observation she capitalizes on child interest to craft experiences where students observe and manipulate to expand their current understanding and synthesize and apply new information. Ms. Adams earned her bachelor’s degree from Valparaiso University and her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the Erikson Institute in Chicago.
Sue Lichner is the Director of Admissions and Educational Operations at St. James. Ms. Lichner has 10 years of experience in the field of education. Over the past decade, she has worked in private schools as a school counselor and recruitment director. Ms. Lichner holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Additionally, she holds her Masters of Arts in School Counseling from Roosevelt University.
Martha Bulin serves St. James as our Business Manager. Before working at St. James, Ms. Bulin spent 29 years working in the Controllers Office at the University of Chicago, most recently as Assistant Controller. She earned her degree from the University of Illinois and is a CPA.
Dot Minogue is the Office Administrator at St. James. Mrs. Minogue has worked as an administrative assistance in the education field for 23 years.
Sam Herlo manages the facility and maintenance needs of St. James. Mr. Herlo’s background includes electrical, plumbing, painting and general maintenance capabilities. He has worked as a Building Manager for several Chicago residential buildings since locating to Chicago from Romania.
Amy Goody teaches five day pre-kindergarten at St. James. Mrs. Goody instills independence and confidence in her young learners while maintaining a warm and caring classroom. She earned her bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University and teaching certification from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. In addition to preschool, Mrs. Goody has experience teaching kindergarten and first grade.
Meredith Boese teaches junior kindergarten. Ms. Boese earned her bachelor’s degree in Education from Miami University in Ohio and her master’s degree in Language, Literacy and Specialized Education from DePaul University.
Jillian Hathaway teaches kindergarten at St. James. Prior to St. James she taught first grade and kindergarten at Christian Heritage Academy’s Chicago and Northfield Campuses. Mrs. Hathaway has a passion for Christian education and fostering the social, emotional, spiritual, and academic growth in her students. She earned her associates degree from Florida State University and her bachelor’s degree from Moody Bible Institute in Elementary Education and Biblical Studies.
Lora Webster teaches first grade at St. James. Mrs. Webster comes to St. James with experience in both early childhood and first grade. Previously, she taught first grade and preschool at St. Matthew Lutheran School in Hawthorn Woods, as well as served as their Early Childhood Director. Mrs. Webster earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Concordia University, River Forest. She is a rostered and called teacher in the LCMS.
Kristina Pretty teaches second grade at St. James. Mrs. Pretty balances kindness and support with the increased rigor of second grade, instilling accountability and ownership of the learning process to her students. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Child Studies from Miami University in Ohio.
Stephanie Bending teaches third grade at St. James. Previously, Mrs. Bending taught first grade at St. James and served the Downer’s Grove school district as an instructional assistant in the primary grades. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Northern Illinois University.
Kaitlyn Gardner teaches fourth grade at St. James. Ms. Gardner is experienced in differentiating instruction and integrating technology into student learning. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Western Michigan University.
Becky Gorcyca is our fifth and sixth grade homeroom teacher. In our departmentalized approach to middle school, Mrs. Gorcyca focuses on the science curriculum. Her enthusiasm of subject matter is contagious and she captures the mindset of students at age level while anticipating their needs. Mrs. Gorcyca earned her bachelor’s degree from Concordia University Chicago.
Kim May is our seventh and eighth grade homeroom teacher and specializes in English Language Arts. Coming from a broad range of experience, from jr. high – graduate level, Mrs. May exposes students to a rich variety of genres of literature to kindle their love of reading, thinking and discovery. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education- English from Concordia University and her master’s degree in Linguistics from Northeastern Illinois University.
Chris Browne teaches advanced math to middle school students at St. James.
Matt Runge teaches Physical Education and Health and serves as our Athletic Director. Whether in the classroom, gym or playing field, Mr. Runge’s focus is on the total wellness of the child including nutrition, exercise and human relationships. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from Saint Ambrose University.
Karen Gast teaches music in early childhood through fourth grade and directs the middle school Honor’s Choir. She focuses on the Orff method for music education that engages the whole child in learning music as it incorporates the natural rhythm of speech and language and builds in the movement that young children love. Now retired from the classroom where she enjoyed integrating music within all subject areas, Mrs. Gast focuses on her love of music education. She worked toward her Orff certification at DePaul University and continues her involvement in the GCAOSA, the greater Chicago Orff Association.
Linda Bruegger serves the community as our librarian.
Meghan Sleezer is the Music Director at St. James. In this role, Mrs. Sleezer directs mixed choir, hand bell choir and serves as our organist and Wedding Music Coordinator. In addition to serving at St. James, Mrs. Sleezer is a Visiting Instructor of Mathematics at Concordia University Chicago. She has been playing the organ for over ten years, her most recent position being with Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas. Mrs. Sleezer earned her bachelor’s degree in Education from Concordia University at Austin and her master’s degree in Mathematics Education at DePaul University.