As announced in our June Saber Stories Newsletter, we had a few staff members retire from teaching at the end of the 2017-2018 school year (and one staff member relocating to another state). Over the past month we have also said farewell to Mrs. Wojtyna (5th grade), who has decided to take on a new challenge outside of Saint James School.
As we prepare for the first day of the 2018-2019 school year, we are excited to welcome several new members to our staff to continue the tradition of excellence at SJS. They are all very enthusiastic to begin in their new roles and we feel blessed to have them! Please join us in welcoming the following individuals to SJS:
Mr. John J. Adams – Middle School
We are excited to have Mr. Adams joining the SJS staff teaching social studies, U.S. history, and world geography to our 6th – 8th grade (middle school) students. Mr. Adams, who will also be an 8th grade homeroom leader (replacing Mrs. Plourd who retired in June), brings a multi-faceted background teaching history, world geography, and ancient civilizations in both the Catholic and public-school arena.
Mr. Adams’ experience also includes teaching conflict mediation and extensive research on different cultures (including a Master of Arts degree in Irish Studies from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC). Students will also benefit from his wealth of experience traveling and teaching abroad.
Mr. Adams holds several additional degrees and certificates (including a Master’s in education from the University of New Haven and a State of CT Teaching certificate in History and Social Studies).
Mrs. Andréa Piotrowski – 5th Grade
We are also excited to welcome Mrs. Piotrowski in the role of 5th grade teacher.
Mrs. Piotrowski comes to us with numerous years of teaching U.S. history & world geography to 7th and 8th grade students at a magnet school in Hartford and has also served as a reading intervention specialist at the elementary level.
Mrs. Piotrowski has a Master’s degree in education from St. Joseph College in West Hartford and is certified in the state of CT to teach grades 4 – 8. She is a graduate of Saint James School and East Catholic High School. Both her children, William & Alejandra, have attended Saint James since pre-kindergarten and she has been an active volunteer in our school community over the past several years serving on the Saint James School Board and Advancement Committee.
Mrs. Piotrowski is looking forward to continuing many of the fun classroom traditions of 5th grade and building upon the established foundation of preparing our students for a successful transition to middle school.
Ms. Katrina Burzynski – 2nd Grade
This year we also are pleased to welcome Ms. Burzynski in the role of second grade teacher (taking over for Mrs. St. Jean – see below).
Ms. Burzynski comes to us from the Glastonbury school system where she served in various capacities while working on her Master’s degree in elementary education and completing her state certification.
A graduate of East Catholic High School, she is overjoyed to begin teaching in a faith-based school and is looking forward to working with students during this critically important year when they reach so many academic and spiritual milestones.
Mrs. Laura St. Jean – Pre-Kindergarten Director
Mrs. St. Jean has been a teacher at SJS since 2007, beginning in the 4th grade for a number of years before switching over to teach 2nd grade in 2014. Both of Mrs. St. Jean’s children have attended SJS since Pre-Kindergarten and are now enrolled at East Catholic High School (her own Alma Mater). Prior to joining Saint James School, Mrs. St. Jean taught kindergarten and preschool in various locations and is very excited to be back working with our youngest learners!
Mrs. St. Jean has a Master’s degree in elementary education, a Bachelor’s degree in psyco-social dynamics of learning with a focus on early education, and holds her state certification for early childhood and elementary grades.
Other New Staff Members – Pre-Kindergarten Aides, Music Teacher, & Art Teacher
Other new staff members joining our pre-kindergarten program are Mrs. Vicky LaChance (teacher’s aide) and Mrs. Mary Holmes (teacher’s aide), replacing Mrs. Bevans and Mrs. Gregory who have both moved on to full-time positions outside of Saint James School. Both Mrs. LaChance and Mrs. Holmes have prior experience working in a preschool setting and are very excited to begin their new roles in our Saint James community.
We would also like to welcome, Mrs. Corcoran (wife of Mr. Corcoran) in the role of general music teacher for our K-8 students. She brings a wealth of experience teaching music to a variety of ages in a Catholic school setting. Mrs. Corcoran will be continuing the tradition of our children’s choir and is thrilled to be working at the school where she watched her own children perform in music performances several years ago.
Last, but certainly not least, we are excited to have Mrs. Megan Rafferty joining our staff as our new K-5 art teacher. A graduate of Saint James School herself (along with her twin brother), Mrs. Rafferty has been busy planning a fun and interesting art curriculum, trying out many projects with her own daughter who is entering our kindergarten program this year.
Please note, teacher assignments will be e-mailed to parents by the end of next week.