The Episcopal School in North Philadelphia

As the first full academic year at St. James School comes to a close — and the 5th grade students prepare for 6th grade — the school scheduled an opportunity to showcase some of the finer talents discovered this year.

Executive Director David Kasievich began the morning event by announcing some of the highlights of the year, including improved grades for the students and an amazing number of volunteers (in the hundreds) who made their way onto the St. James campus to contribute their time and talent.

Principal Laura Dimery took the helm, introducing groups of students to showcase their talents. First up, the entire 5th grade read aloud the school’s student oath. Then, members of Ms. Rosalee DiLulio’s “Academic All Stars” (Zamir, Ainyae and Kwamaje) read a play of their choosing. Ezekiel, Cordell and Kwamaje read a piece of their personal poetry, while dance partners Ainyae & Marquis and Jamaal & Jaleika performed several dance numbers they learned in Sue Shea’s “Dancing with the Students” 9-week program this past spring season. Lashay, Cordell, Ainyae and Ezekiel showed off their art talent. Music teacher Beth Dzwil thanked Caroline Davidson for her tremendous leadership in honing in the students’ skills on the recorder—and they really shined! Two groups performed separate pieces, while Jaleika, Cordell, and Kwamaje each performed an original piece of their own.

Upon completion of the recorder performances, Ms. Dzwil announced that the students’ love of the recorder inspired Dr. Audrey Evans to donate the instruments to the students so they could take them home and hold onto them forever. They were completely grateful for Dr. Evans’ gesture.

The showcase event wrapped with a few closing remarks by co-founders Dr. Evans and The Reverend Sean Mullen, followed by the presentation of two founding plaques for the school. One plaque names key individuals who lent much of their time and energies to getting the first year up and running (including staff, board members and volunteers). Another plaque reads the school’s mission statement. Both will eventually be hung prominently in the school’s corridors.

The event was attended by close to 100 friends, supporters, staff, board members and the students themselves. The students were truly moved by the recognition of all they accomplished this past year, as was those close to their success.