Fine & Performing Arts

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instrumental Arts

Vocal Arts

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Visual Arts ProgramS

St. James Visual Arts offers a wide variety of classes; from drawing & painting to architecture & interior design. We are excited to help students craft their skills & take them to the next level.

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Theatre

Speech & Debate

Visual Arts

Instrumental arts

Vocal arts

Meet our faculty!

Joe Walberg
Director of Speech & Debate, Social Studies Teacher

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Joe Walberg
Director of Speech & Debate, Social Studies Teacher | Mother Teresa

Joe Walberg is a Parent, Teacher, Coach, Mentor, Nerd, Believer, Ultracrepidarian, Cartophile, and head coach of the Speech and Debate team of St. James Academy. He was the 2017 recipient of the SJA Teacher of Excellence award, a 2020 Fellow of the Duc in Altum Catholic Schools Collaborative, and the 2022 District New Coach of the Year for the National Speech and Debate Association. He and his wife Erin are raising two lucky-but-unimpressed children, Leah and Jack.

What have you that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift? - 1 Corinthians 4:7

Certifications

History Government and Social Studies 6-12, Speech/Theatre 6-12, Business 6-12, Technology Education 6-12

Education

University of Kansas: B.G.S. Political Science

Avila University: Master of Arts in Education: Teaching and Learning

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St. James Academy Band Director Mrs. Helen Harrelson
Helen Harrelson
Director of Instrumental Music

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St. James Academy Band Director Mrs. Helen Harrelson

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Helen Harrelson
Director of Instrumental Music | Benedict | Band and Orchestra

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace

Certifications

Postgraduate Degree in Secondary Education, OPEN University DMA Candidate, Salford University

Education

Royal Northern College of Music: BMus (Hons)

University of Missouri Kansas City: MA

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Jason Cole
Director of Choirs

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Jason Cole
Director of Choirs | St. Peter

Jason Cole (B.M., Tennessee Tech; M.M., University of Kansas) is a choral composer, arranger, and music educator. His arrangement of the hymn I Will Trust in the Lord was premiered at the 2017 National American Choral Directors’ Association Conference and his setting of O Gracious Light is now available from Cantica Nova. During the Summer of 2018, Jason was selected as one of the winners of a composition contest celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Hong Kong Children's Choir. Jason was also the winner of the 2019 Hymn competition held by the Widow's Corporation for the Episcopal Church of Pennsylvania in celebration of their 250th Anniversary. In addition to composing, Jason has served as a music educator for over 17 years and is currently the Director of Choral Music at St. James Academy in Lenexa, KS and the choir director at Keystone United Methodist Church in Kansas City, MO. He resides in Overland Park, KS with his wife MacKenzie and daughter Ginny.

Always Crescendo

Certifications

Composition and Choral Pedagogy

Education

Tennessee Technological University: Bachelor of Music Education

The University of Kansas: Master of Music Education

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Terra Henderson
Visual Arts Teacher

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Terra Henderson
Visual Arts Teacher | St. Peter | National Art Honor Society, Art Club

I have taught at St. James Academy since its second year in operation (2006) and taught before that for nine years at Maur Hill–Mount Academy, formerly known as Maur Hill Preparatory School in Atchison, Kansas. I teach all art mediums including drawing, painting, ceramics, a little printmaking and some sculpture, but my favorite is is teaching those with no artistic skill at all in drawing, because I, too, drew stick people before I came to discover that drawing is a LEARNABLE skill through the book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. It was because of this book that I became a high school art teacher rather than an elementary school teacher, which is what I’d wanted to be since 1st grade.
My husband, Cameron, and I were married in 2004 and we have two sons. Mason and Caden both attended Sacred Heart in Shawnee, where we are parishioners, and then will both attend high school here at St. James Academy.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Education

Emporia State University: BSE Bachelor of Science in Education

Emporia State University: Master of Science

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Sarah Wright
Director of Theatre; Drama

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Sarah Wright
Director of Theatre; Drama | St. John Paul II | Theatre Department, Improv Club

Sarah Wright is thrilled to be teaching at her alma mater. She has worked in the professional and educational world of theater/film for the past 10 years in Kansas City and Savannah, GA. When not directing and teaching at the Academy, she directs for First Act Theater Arts, acts in the KC area, and hosts a podcast with her husband called The PlayWrights. Sarah resides in Shawnee with her wonderful husband, Will, and her two kittens, Harvey & Sawyer.

"Humanity in every age, and even today, looks to works of art to shed light upon its path and its destiny." - Pope Saint John Paul II

Education

Benedictine College; Bachelors Theatre Arts and Journalism & Mass Communications

Savannah College of Art and Design; Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Performing Arts

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Sherri Denton
Art Teacher

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Sherri Denton
Art Teacher

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Theo Musick
Assistant Director of Bands & Drumline Instructor

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Theo Musick
Assistant Director of Bands & Drumline Instructor

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Jeannie Nunn
Sewing Teacher

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Jeannie Nunn
Sewing Teacher | Peter | Sewing Club

I am married and have two children. My daughter and son-in-law both work at St. James and are the parents of my grandsons. My son lives in Olathe. Working at St.James Academy is a blessing. The position of Thunder Sewing Teacher combines my love of sewing and my love of teaching.

"Don't let your ego drive your decisions."

Education

Washburn University: Education

Baker University: MA Education

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Millie Hill
Choral Music Accompanist

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Millie Hill
Choral Music Accompanist

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Will Wright
Social Studies Teacher, Technical Theatre Director

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Will Wright
Social Studies Teacher, Technical Theatre Director

Married to Sarah Wright (SJA Theatre DIrector)

Education

Benedictine College; Social Studies & Secondary Education

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Dena Rickert
Yearbook, Seminar Instructor. Performing Arts Coordinator

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Dena Rickert
Yearbook, Seminar Instructor. Performing Arts Coordinator

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David Kaemmer
Orchestra Teacher

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David Kaemmer
Orchestra Teacher

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Herschel McWilliams
Jazz Teacher

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Herschel McWilliams
Jazz Teacher

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