About St. James

School Vision Statement

Equipped with an intellectual and spiritual foundation, our students will excel in high school and throughout life as life-long learners and leaders who are committed to bringing Christ’s love to their families and communities.

St. James Lutheran School offers preschool through 8th grade students innovative and engaging coursework in a Christ-centered environment that shapes their intellectual, spiritual, and physical well-roundedness.

Ultimately, 95% of St. James students are accepted into their first choice Chicago high school.

A focus on personalized education.

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.

Thinking critically and creatively.

Class sizes are kept small so that students receive individual attention and opportunities for small group work. Employing an inquiry-based approach, our faculty are experts at differentiating instruction and proactively planning lessons based upon students’ readiness, interests, and learning profiles.

Educating the whole child.

 No two children are the same, which is why 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.

Dedicated Faculty and Staff
Pastor Joel Hess
Sheri Meyer

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.

Email smeyer@stjames-lutheran.org

Warren Gast
Principal Emeritus

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.

Email wgast@stjames-lutheran.org

Lynda Runge
Early Childhood & Children's Ministry Director

Lynda Runge 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.

Email ladams@stjames-lutheran.org

Dot Minogue
Office Administrator

Dot Minogue is the Office Administrator at St. James.  Mrs. Minogue has worked as an administrative assistance in the education field for 23 years.  Our students love Mrs. Minogue – she takes care of us all!

Email office@stjames-lutheran.org

Martha Bulin
Business Manager

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.

Email mbulin@stjames-lutheran.org

Sam Herlo
Facility Manager

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.

Email sherlo@stjames-lutheran.org

Sue Dees
Director of Admissions and Educational Operations

Sue Dees is the Director of Admissions and Educational Operations at St. James. Mrs. Dees has over 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.  Mrs. Dees 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.

Email slichner@stjames-lutheran.org

Lyndsey Crandall
Early Childhood Teacher and Counselor
Julie Hess
Early Childhood Teacher

Mrs. Hess teaches the 5 half and full day early childhood class.

Email: jhess@stjames-lutheran.org

Amy Goody
Junior Kindergarten 3 day teacher

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.

Email agoody@stjames-lutheran.org

Katie Wenzel
School Counselor

Ms. Wenzel is the school counselor and also is an Early Childhood aide in Mrs. Runge’s 2 half day class.

Email kwenzel@stjames-lutheran.org

Anu Van Scyoco
Kindergarten Teacher

Anu Van Scyoco teaches Three Day Preschool at St. James and is beginning her first year in teaching. Mrs. Van Scyoco is skilled at establishing meaningful relationships with her students and creating incredible adventures through hands-on learning in a safe and loving classroom.  Mrs. Scyoco grew up in Minnesota and moved to Chicago to attended Moody Bible Institute. She student taught last year at St. James and graduated this past May with a bachelors degree in Elementary Education. We are thrilled to have Mrs. Scyoco join our St. James family.

Email avanscyoco@stjames-lutheran.org

Jillian Hathaway
Kindergarten Teacher

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.

Email jhathaway@stjames-lutheran.org

Lora Webster
First Grade Teacher

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.

Email lwebster@stjames-lutheran.org

Brittani Mosinski
Junior Kindergarten Teacher

Brittani Mosinski teaches junior kindergarten. She has her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Northeastern Illinois University with a minor in fine arts with a focus in metals and painting. She also has a masters in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University where she wrote her thesis on the uses and benefits of environmental print in the classroom.

Email bmosinski@stjames-lutheran.org

Stephanie Bending
Third Grade Teacher

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.

Email sbending@stjames-lutheran.org

Kaitlyn Gardner
Fourth Grade Teacher

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.

Email kgardner@stjames-lutheran.org

Kristina Pretty
Second Grade Teacher

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.

Email kpretty@stjames-lutheran.org

Matthew Runge
Physical Education and Health

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.

Email mrunge@stjames-lutheran.org

Becky Gorcyca
Middle School Teacher

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.

Email bgorcyca@stjames-lutheran.org

Kim May
Middle School Teacher

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.

Email kmay@stjames-lutheran.org

Miriam Armstrong
Bookkeeper & Middle School Math Teacher

Ms. Armstrong teaches math and computer programming in the middle school as well as working in the accounting department for the church and school.

Email marmstrong@stjames-lutheran.org

Karen Gast
Music Teacher

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.

Email kgast@stjames-lutheran.org

Kristen Lelm
Middle School Choir Director
Sara Henning
Church Communications
Linda Bruegger

Linda Bruegger serves the community as our librarian.

Meghan Sleezer
Music Director

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.

Email msleezer@stjames-lutheran.org

Elena Barberia
Kindergarten Teaching Assistant & Before Care Supervisor
Kara Liu
Early Childhood Teaching Assistant
Jennifer Mercantonio
Kindergarten Teaching Assistant & After Care Supervisor
Amber Gilliam
Junior Kindergarten Teaching Assistant
Kirsten Barbieri
Early Childhood Teaching Assistant
Lisa Gomez
Early Childhood Teaching Assistant, Sunday Nursery & Mini-Mavericks
Emily Pierce
Early Childhood Teaching Assistant & Recruitment


Together, we can prepare your child to love learning, love God, and love others.


Have questions or want to learn more about St. James?

We look forward to meeting you and showing you all that St. James has to offer your family.

Funding a quality education requires more than just tuition; it requires the support and generosity of the whole community.

St. James Lutheran School

2101 N Fremont St Chicago, IL 60614   |   Phone : 773-525-4990     Fax : 773-326-3645

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