Speech & Debate
SJA is a member of the National Speech and Debate Association, offering the full slate of competitive Speech and Drama events in the Spring “Forensics” season. We compete in three types of debate: Policy Debate is a co-curricular program in the fall semester, while Student Congress and Lincoln-Douglas debate are after-school programs in the spring.
Coach Mr. Walberg email@example.com
Scholars Bowl is a game in which two teams compete head-to-head to answer questions from all areas of knowledge, including history, literature, science, fine arts, current events, and more.
Contact coach Mr. Bradfield to get involved!
Thunder Service (KAY) Club
The Kansas Association for Youth (KAY) is a character-building, leadership-training, service organization directed by the Kansas State High School Activities Association. This nationally acclaimed organization provides students an opportunity to fulfill their leadership potential by planning and organizing service projects and networking opportunities with other KAY Clubs in the area.
A few other staple KAY Club projects are helping with various aspects of the Sunflower House Pumpkin Palooza fundraiser, collecting shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, organizing a drive for Giving the Basics, writing letters to the homebound, picking up trash around school, and showing appreciation to the teachers by cleaning their whiteboards.
Anyone interested can join! Contact Mrs. Curnes.
State Champions: 2018, 2019, 2020
We are a member of the Kansas State High School Clay Target League. Currently, this involves Trapshooting, Skeet, Sporting Clays, and 5-stand. Trapshooting is one of the three major sports of competitive clay target shooting sports. The other primary games are skeet shooting, 5-Stand and sporting clays. They are distinguished roughly as follows:
- In trap shooting, the targets are launched from a single “house” or machine, generally away from the shooter.
- In skeet shooting, targets are launched from two “houses” in somewhat “sideways” paths that intersect in front of the shooter.
- Sporting clays include a more complex course, with many launch points.
- 5-Stand consists of a compact sporting clays course containing 5 evenly spaced stations along a field, with 6-8 traps launching singles, report pairs, and double pairs.
- Contact Coach Arron Heinerikson
Rugby is a team game played with an oval ball that may be kicked, carried, and passed from hand to hand. Points are scored by grounding the ball behind the opponents’ goal line (thereby scoring a try) or by kicking it between the two posts and over the crossbar of the opponents’ goal.
Lord, In the struggle that goes on through life we ask for a field that is fair and chance that is equal. In all of the strife we ask for the courage to strive and to dare, and if we should win, let it be by the code with our faith and our honor held high, glorifying you in all that we do.
To get involved please contact Coach Rob Loney.
We compete at both the Varsity and JV levels in the KCMGLA league against other city programs. Our program is firmly committed to a philosophy of teaching and developing each player, and we have a very warm and positive culture.
Interested in learning more? Please contact the Coach Scott Gilman.
The St. James Science Olympiad team, led by Coach Max Grisnik, dedicates itself to students who want to pursue science beyond the confines of a classroom in a competitive setting. Think of Science Olympiad as comparable to a normal sports team like track, swimming, or soccer. As a team, we divide as individuals or in pairs to specialize in specific “events” or subjects that have varying topics from guessing how many golf balls will fit in an Olympic swimming pool to building a helicopter. After many labs or “practices”, we take our knowledge, equipment, and devices to tournaments where the team is put to the test. Tournaments are all-day competitions where schools from mainly Kansas and Missouri come together to see who is the best at particular events and the overall competition. It would be like a track meet, swim meet, or game for other sports except, instead of testing physical and technical ability, they test the ability of the mind.
Now, Science Olympiad is open to everyone. Involvement in other clubs or sports is encouraged, but you do have to have certain flexibility to make labs and meets (especially regionals and state). Finally, you do not have to be Einstein to join. You just have to have a positive attitude, good work ethic, and the desire to win.
If you would like to join, please contact Mr. Grisnik.
The powerlifting team meets 3 times a week before/after school. The team goes to 3-4 meets a year around the area and competes at the state powerlifting meet in late February or March if it works in with other sports schedules. There are entry fees associated with the club for meet entries that take place on Saturday mornings.
The powerlifting team is a great opportunity to compete for your school and show off the progress that has been made through hard work and dedication. Practices run in association with other sports and activities and is very flexible in training times. Additionally, there is time to grow in your faith as each practice will start and end with prayer and usually ends in some spiritual lessons.
Contact Tom Radke with any questions.
The purpose of the chapter shall be to:
- Inspire and recognize those students who have shown outstanding ability in art;
- Foster excellence and a dedicated spirit to the pursuit of art;
- Further creative abilities and talents of the Society’s members, as well as the school’s entire student art enrollment;
- Aid members in working toward the attainment of their highest potential in an art area;
- Bring art to the attention of the school and community;
- Increase awareness of art in relation to other areas of the school curriculum; and
- Further aesthetic awareness in all aspects of the school’s total program.
Contact Mrs. Terra Henderson (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can include you in a group text that will announce meetings and reminders.
Big Sister/Little Sister Club
Big Sister Little Sister is a club designed to relieve the stress of high school and an opportunity to grow in sisterhood with girls in every grade. The concept of the club is to have your “sister” be your friend and mentor throughout the year.
Interested in joining? Contact Mrs. Leon.
The Coding Club exists to foster community within our building for students who enjoy coding and tech-related activities. We learn together and collaborate. We also attend competitions like the K-State Hackathon and help each other with independent projects. Join us anytime!
The Coding Club meets six times throughout the school year in room 703 during Thunderblock.
- Sept 5
- Oct 25
- Dec 1
- Feb 1
- March 22
- April 25
Listen to morning announcements for reminders or date changes.
Mentor: Mrs. Lemmon
Email: email@example.com with questions or to join our mailing list.
President: Lucas Frias
Cumulus (Previously: Academy Ink)
G.R.A.C.E., which stands for Girls Respond Actively to Christ’s Example, is a faith-sharing group for high school women at St. James Academy. The group meets weekly on Monday nights, when school is in session, from 7-8:30 p.m. to pray together, foster sisterhood, build positive friendships, grow our faith by sharing our faith, and encourage and hold each other accountable. Meetings are mostly separated by grade level but occasionally combine all grade levels. Seniors, Juniors, and Sophomores meet weekly and Freshmen meet monthly. This club is student-run but also includes the mentorship of multiple female faculty members who attend the meetings on Mondays. G.R.A.C.E. is sponsored by Ms. Feder, Ms. Surface, Senora Toledo, Ms. Harpole, Ms. Petz, and Mrs. Walters.
Interested in joining? Please Contact Mrs. Walters.
Mass Ministries is a unique activity and club at St. James Academy, in that it is not something you choose, but rather something that you feel God calling and choosing you to do through prayer. Mass Ministries include the following ways to serve both God and His people through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass:
1) Proclaiming the Word of God as a Lector;
2) distributing Holy Communion as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist;
3) assisting the priest at Mass as an Altar Server;
4) setting up for Mass as a Sacristan. If you feel God calling you to one of these ministries, you can email Fr. Mark for more information.
Men of SJA
We, the Men of St. James, are committed to growing in our faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. We pledge to embrace authentic masculinity in all aspects of our lives, while striving to achieve these goals by being men of prayer, virtue, and brotherhood.
We e-mail out all of our upcoming activities to all male students throughout the year. For more information, feel free to contact Fr. Mark.
The SJA Piano Club is made of student pianists of every level. We seek to:
- Appreciate God’s endless beauty as expressed through the music of our time and of the past. We cooperate in His genius by expressing His gift through our individual interpretations and by sharing those expressions with others.
- Create a space for pianists to gather and share as a community what might otherwise be a solitary activity
- Encourage each other through mentorship and peer critique when preparing for performances and competitions which are outside of school
- Highlight the variety of musical activities within the larger school culture, especially for those students who are unable to incorporate music classes into their schedules
- Provide school-related performance opportunities such as:
- Prelude music for Performing Arts Department concerts
- Open house
- Monthly Thunder Block Showcases where students perform for students in a casual environment
Contact Mrs. Christy L’Esperance (firstname.lastname@example.org) to inquire about joining.
Our goal in Sewing Club is to provide service to others using our sewing skills. People that are interested in Sewing Club should have some basic sewing experience. Sewing club is a fun social activity that meets every Wednesday at 7:00 A.M.! We get together to work on projects that we later donate to local charities such as Advice and Aid, Safe Home, and assisted living centers. If you have any experience with sewing and would like to use your talents in a way that benefits the community, think about coming in!
Please contact Mrs. Nunn with any questions.
Sew New Seeds Club
Our purpose is to grow in relationship between Senior and Freshmen girls. To create bonds rooted in faith, fellowship and sisterhood! This club is focused on one-on-one time with senior and freshman girls.
If you are a freshman or senior girls interested in joining please contact Mrs. Denton.
Thunder Broadcasting Network
The Thunder Broadcasting Network is the official broadcast streaming home of St. James Athletics. TBN offers live coverage of many home events (athletic/non-athletic) and plans to grow during the upcoming years. The broadcast link will be sent out via @Sja_Gameday on Twitter to access the event and every event will be available after its showing On Demand. The link will provide live access to that SJA event; including video, sound, updates, and commentary.
Interested in joining the Thunder Broadcasting Team? Contact Mr. Grisnik.
Thunder for Life
Thunder For Life is a club that promotes the dignity and sanctity of life; the club participates in a variety of activities that honor life from the moment of conception to natural death. Some activities include the 40 Days for Life prayer service, Pro-Life movie nights, Life Chain, and Wyandotte Pregnancy Center volunteering. As a part of Thunder for Life, students are also invited to go to Washington D.C. and participate in the March For Life!
Meetings are about once a month before or after school; if you are interested, please contact email@example.com and stay tuned for an announcement about the next meeting.
Google Classroom: 14w9eq3
Verso L'alto (To the Heights) Club
Students will meet once a month to listen to a student witness about a Saint. After we will discuss how the Saint impacts us while eating snacks! Open to boys and girls in any grade.
If you are interested in joining please contact Ms. Brancato.
We are a club that seeks to connect students to the environment by giving them a sense of place. We will explore the outdoors, discuss local environmental topics and contemplate how our Catholic and Christian values compel us to be good stewards of our natural resources.
“Today, however, we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” ― Pope Francis, ENCYCLICAL LETTER LAUDATO SI’ ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME
Join our Google Classroom, code: f6zctxu
Contact Mr. Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
American Sign Language Honor Society
Our primary mission is to encourage and recognize high academic achievement in American Sign Language studies for high school and college/university students. The American Sign Language Honor Society seeks to enrich the learning experience of those studying ASL.
For more information, please see Mrs. Hurd.
National Art Honor Society
The purpose of the NAHS chapter is to inspire and recognize those students who have shown outstanding ability in art, bring art to the attention of the school and community, and serve the community using our artistic skills and talents.
Some service-type projects that we do yearly in the National Art Honor Society are Memory Projects,(portrait drawings for children in crisis or poverty situations throughout the world) and decorative clay crosses for Catholic Charities (and they have a project for us to help decorate their office spaces this year with drawings of the Corporal Works of Mercy), among other services such as face painting and posters and murals for various parish school auctions, Lemon-out face painting, & painting pumpkins for Sunflower house. Your science teachers have a project they would like help with as well and that will be one of our first projects.
How do I qualify?
The main requirements are: 12 points from the above type services EACH YEAR, 95% Visual Art Gpa, 90% overall GPA. (Yes, freshmen can join!!!) It is open to all years.
You cannot begin to earn points or join the National group, however, until you have enrolled in an art class at SJA. I will keep track of the projects you do and when you have your points you will receive a certificate. At that point new members may start writing it on your resumes. Previous members can write on for each previous year. The National Association requires a $5 dues, which we will collect at our first meeting. (Details on date coming soon!) Probably Blue time of Thunder block Wed/Late start Watch for a following email.
Even if you are not interested in being part of the Honor Society or you have just not been able to take Intro to Drawing yet, you can still participate in any of the projects we do; you are more than welcome and don’t have to be members to create and serve with us! You can do all the fun art stuff as an ‘art club’ member without the grade requirements.
We usually have several competitions you can compete in during the year, which also can be counted for “points”. Our first ongoing competition will be working on projects for the Archbishop art Exhibit (due date Feb. 1st as we have to narrow to 10 entries)- The theme this year is: “Eucharist, May We Never Lose Our Wonder”.
We communicate most everything that will be happening through GroupMe chat. You can email me if you are interested and I will “invite” you via email, and you can accept by adding the app. Feel free to email me to invite you to this even if you are THINKING about joining, because we rely on this over announcements, emails and such. I am also asking you to join the google classroom: ktfu4s6 where I will post access to the google doc that shows how many points each member has and get links to various competition requirements, etc.
Email Mrs. Henderson with any questions.
National Honor Society
Selection to the National Honor Society is an “honor recognized throughout the nation” and “is both the public recognition of accomplishment and the private commitment to continued excellence on the part of the new member” (National Honor Society Handbook, 15th edition, p.23). Qualification to the NHS is based upon outstanding scholarship, character, leadership, and service to the school and community.
Academic scholarship is based on the student’s cumulative , weighted grade point average; potential members need a cumulative, weighted grade point average of 94.5 or higher, as of the end of the second marking period of the eleventh grade school year. Students meeting this criterion will then be informed of the responsibilities and obligations of NHS membership, and given the opportunity to support their candidacy for National Honor Society membership by completing an application packet. Students will thus have the chance to illustrate how they meet the other criteria of membership: leadership, service, and character.
For more information, please see Mrs. Kolich.
National Speech and Debate Honor Society
The National Speech & Debate Association’s Honor Society recognizes middle school and high school students for participation in speech and debate activities. Students earn distinction through speech and debate competition, as well as community service, public speaking, and leadership activities. Members are eligible to join the Honor Society once they have earned the required number of points.
For more information, please contact Mrs. Ishmael.
Spanish National Honors Society
The Capítulo Santiago (St. James Academy Chapter) of the Spanish National Honor Society promotes the study and teaching of the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures, both within the building and throughout the greater community. Members of the Spanish National Honor Society dedicate several hours throughout the year to Spanish tutoring at St. James and at Holy Cross Catholic School. Events include hosting a Latin Dance Night, visiting the Day of the Dead Altars at the Mattie Rhodes Gallery, enjoying authentic Hispanic foods at local bakeries and restaurants, and hosting a Cena Familiar (Family Dinner) at St. James for Hispanic families within our community, when we enjoy Latin dancing, authentic food, and Spanish conversation.
Students enrolled in Spanish 3 Honors or above, who have earned a grade of 90% or greater in their last semester of Spanish, and who also have an overall GPA of 94.5% or above, are invited to join. Members must receive a teacher recommendation and maintain an active status in working towards the success of our events such as tutoring, and the family dinner.
If you have any questions, please see Senora Toledo.
Science National Honor Society
Science National Honor Society
We are very pleased to offer our students the opportunity to join the St. James Academy charter of the Science National Honor Society. Admission into this honor society is open to all juniors and seniors who meet the following requirements.
-Must have taken at least one Pre-AP/Honors science class during their freshmen or sophomore years.
-Must be enrolled in at least one Honors or AP science class, during their junior or senior years.
-A member must maintain a 90% weighted cumulative GPA overall and a 92% un-weighted science GPA. (As shown on PowerSchool.)
-Students must complete four years of science classes.
-If you meet all of these requirements, you are invited to apply for membership in SNHS. Complete the attached application and return it to Mrs. Heinerikson by the date posted on the application
After being accepted into the SNHS, you will receive an invitation to a Welcome Ceremony where the science department will “honor” you for your years of hard work. You will receive a certificate of accomplishment and more details about membership.
This honor society is intended to be an opportunity for the school to honor you for your hard work in the science department.
If you have any questions, please see Mrs. Heinerikson.
Tri-M Music Honors Society
The Tri-M® Music Honor Society is the international music honor society for middle level and high school students. It is designed to recognize students for their academic and musical achievements, reward them for their accomplishments and service activities, and inspire other students to excel at music and leadership.
For more information, please contact Mrs. Harrelson.