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|The hallmark of Saint James School’s academic program is our core curriculum, which is designed to provide a sound foundation in all disciplines and to prepare our students for further study at a four-year college. Both rigorous and supportive, the academic program stimulates and challenges students to develop their strengths and to cultivate and improve skills in other disciplines. All students are grounded in the basic skills and content of traditional liberal arts and sciences. Advanced Placement courses are offered for able and interested students who wish to pursue subjects in greater depth. Electives are offered to upper-form students for enrichment and the exploration of new interests. |
To foster the self-discipline of effective time management and study habits, students work in their dorm rooms, the library, or the study hall room. A dedicated faculty inspires, teaches, and encourages our students to meet a particular challenge or strive for an ambitious goal. They are available to students either by appointment or informally, and students are urged to seek out a teacher whenever they need extra help. Small classes, typically 10 to 12 students, ensure that each student is engaged and actively involved in class.
"...challenge and inspire them to be leaders for good in the world." - Academics
Mary Stevens is in her seventh year as Latin Teacher. The North Carolinian is not alone, however, as her twin sons Patrick and Steven Hart are fifth formers. The former public school teacher talks about the transition from public to private school, what she likes best about teaching and having her children in class.
You were teaching Latin at a North Carolina public high school prior to Saint James?
MS: I taught Latin at Pine Forest High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina. I was looking for a better opportunity professionally and also one for my sons. A friend of mine teaches at Woodberry (Virginia). He suggested I look into a boarding school community, which I had never considered before.
This is your seventh year at Saint James…something must have clicked?
MS: It’s tough being away from family, but Saint James School is a great school community and the school has been great for the boys. We have grown closer together. And it’s great to live in a different place that is so rich in history and natural resources. I love to go out exploring and hiking on the AT (Appalachian Trail).
What about teaching differences in the classroom?
MS: It’s a different way of teaching because of the small class size. I can help the students a lot more. And that is what’s so gratifying – always finding a way to help a student. My goal is not to give up on anyone.
Have you seen the fruits of your labor?
MS: Being the only Latin teacher, you are with them from the very beginning to the very end. I have had students take AP (Advanced Placement) Latin who I didn’t think stood a chance of taking it and they excelled in it. You develop a close relationship with them and get to share in their succesess as a result of their time and effort.
Have you had your sons in class?
MS: Yes…(laughs) I tried to get them to call me Ms. Stevens, but they rolled their eyes and said ‘Mom’ instead. It’s been very rewarding to see my boys develop into young men in a great school community.