January 13, 2020

If the first three weeks of 2020 is an indicator of what is in store at St. James R-I Schools, high academic achievement, athletic success, and expeditious building project progress will be three of our primary themes. Student academic accomplishments are abound in the areas of Band, Choir, and Scholar Bowl. Recently, thirteen St. James students were selected to the Four Rivers all-conference band. Our choir students continue to reach new heights with students being honored at the district and state level. Two of our top choir students were recently selected to the All-State Choir. Our scholar bowl team won fourth place at a recent meet held at East Central College. Individual scholar bowl students placed fifth, tenth, and sixteenth. 

Our winter sports of basketball and wrestling have started their seasons with great success! Our varsity wrestling and basketball teams presently have winning records. Our girls varsity basketball team started their season with a 5-1 record, while our varsity boys basketball team started 9-1. Much success is happening in both the academic and sports arenas. Competition in academics and team sports help students learn to measure themselves alongside their peers. Healthy competition reinforces the idea that honing a skill is valuable not just because it will increase self efficacy, but also because becoming better at something is a reward all its own. I continue to be amazed as I watch our students proudly represent St. James R-I School District so well in various competitions. 

Lastly, the building projects have gained remarkable momentum these first three weeks of 2020. I encourage you to drive the construction sites to see the exciting progress. For those who would prefer a personal walking-tour of the projects, I enjoy giving construction tours and simultaneously showing off the great things happening throughout our schools. If you are unable to drive through or take a walking-tour, project update videos are posted on Facebook each month. Many patrons who are following us on Facebook have reported an appreciation these videos. BRANCO Enterprises will be on site this week to present updates to the building projects. They will provide a picture of the planned “road ahead” with dates for achieving major milestones and a more definitive anticipated completion date. 

All three campuses continue to provide exceptional learning opportunities for our students. I am proud to be part of such a wonderful group of educators who place students first under all circumstances. I am also proud to be part of the community of St. James. St. James R-I School District and the students under our care are fortunate to have so many friends of public education scattered throughout our community.  If you are interested in more information about St. James R-I Schools, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone at 573-265-2300 or email at mj@stjschools.org.