The Saint James School Council acts as a leadership group to promote the school and its programs and assist the principal with finance, recruiting/retention, strategy, and special projects.

Parent Attendance at Meetings
Parents and other guests are welcome to attend and observe St. James School Council meetings. Our monthly meetings follow a specific format and we would like to make you aware of what to expect before the meeting begins. If you would like to have an item added to the agenda, a short written summary should be given to the Chairperson or Principal two days prior to the meeting. The night of the meeting, you are welcome to join us in our opening prayer and then the Chairperson will introduce you to the rest of the Council. Following this introduction, you may quietly observe the Council while it is in session. When your agenda item is ready to be discussed, you will be invited by the Chairperson to present your issue. You will have plenty of time to speak and Council members may ask questions for clarification. Once you have presented, you are free to remain at the meeting until the Executive Session portion of the meeting begins. At this time, all visitors are requested to depart the meeting. Someone from the council will respond to you at a later date; please understand that the issue(s) you raise will not be immediately resolved at the current meeting. For additional information, please see the School Council Bylaws, which are posted here on the website or contact the Chairperson or Principal. Thank you in advance for sharing your time and concerns with us.

2020/2021 School Council Members:

Cathy Avecilla is in her second year on School Council and first serving as Chair. With her husband Ryan, she has 3 daughters at St. James. Olivia is in 5th grade, Emma is in 2nd grade and Abby is in Pre-K 4. Cathy has worked in product marketing for 20 years and is currently at Weber. Cathy is looking forward to serving the St. James community and representing the thoughts, ideas and opinions of fellow SJS parents to the administration!.

Emily Hill is in her second year on the School Council and is serving as Vice Chair. Her husband Mike is a SJS alum, and they have three children attending St. James: Evelyn is in 6th grade, Georgia in 4th and Bode is in 2nd. Emily has been a teacher for over 15 years and is currently an adjunct professor of Education at Harper College and a Student Teacher Supervisor through ISU. She is looking forward to a great year working with the school community.

Becky Dufern is serving her second year as president of the FSA. She and her husband Ryan have three children, Gillian in 8th grade, Maddie in 6th grade, Caitlin in 3rd grade. Becky herself is a proud graduate of SJS, class of 1990! Mrs. Dufern is a Library Media Specialist in AHSD25 teaching at Olive-Mary Stitt, Westgate, and Ivy Hill elementary schools. She also volunteered to coordinate the entire SJS library program for many years developing programs like the Bulldog Book Award and the Battle of the Books. She is looking forward to making up for lost time since last year had so many restrictions. FSA has many amazing events and opportunities planned for parents and families to come together in fun, social, and faith based activities this year! Let’s FIND A WAY to make 21-22 the best year!

Chris Salituro Teaches high school at Stevenson in Lincolnshire. Married to Sofia who is a pediatrician in Arlington Heights and Buffalo Grove. Has two daughters at St. Viator and one daughter at St James in 6th.

Christy Horn

Michelle Goreham is excited to be joining the School Council this year. She and her husband Jon have three boys at St. James: Harvey (2nd grade), Blaine (Kindergarten), and Archie (PreK 4). During her free time, she enjoys coaching CrossFit at Elite Athletic Development in Arlington Heights and volunteering at St. James School.

Abbie Gutzmer is in her first year on the school council and together with her husband, Eric, have 2 children attending St. James: Ellie (4th grade) and Will (2nd grade). She works at Vernon Hills High School where she teaches math, supports administration through her work on the SIP team, and coaches volleyball. She is a 1992 graduate of St. James and is excited to have this opportunity to work with the parents and staff of this wonderful school community.

Elizabeth Berger is excited to join School Council this year as she and her family are new to the St. James Community. Elizabeth and her husband Adam, have two daughters attending St. James for their second year – Grace (6th grade) and Anna (3rd grade). Elizabeth volunteers in the Bulldog Library, and coaches 6th grade girls basketball for AHYBA. Elizabeth works as a Paralegal for a boutique law firm in Chicago. She is excited to be involved with the St. James Community!

Jim Kestler is a litigation attorney and is serving his first term on School Council. He is married to Jackie and they have 5 sons (Sebastian, 2nd grade; Henry, Kindergarten; Benjamin, PK4; Leo and Luke: 2-year old future Bulldogs). They have been St. James parishioners since 2016 and love the close-knit and active church and school community.


School Council Constitution & ByLaws (Updated as of 4/21/21) 

Meeting Minutes

School Council Meeting Minutes 11-10-21
School Council Meeting Minutes 10-13-21
School Council Meeting Minutes 9-8-21
School Council Meeting Minutes 8-11-21
School Council Meeting Minutes 6-9-21
School Council Meeting Minutes 5-12-21
School Council Meeting Minutes 4-7-21
School Council Meeting Minutes 3-10-21
School Council Meeting Minutes 2-10-21
School Council Meeting Minutes 1-13-21
School Council Meeting Minutes 12-9-20
School Council Meeting Minutes 11-11-20
School Council Meeting Minutes 10-14-20
School Council Meeting Minutes 9-14-20
School Council Meeting Minutes 5-13-20
School Council Meeting Minutes 4-8-20
School Council Meeting Minutes 2-12-20
School Council Meeting Minutes 1-8-20
School Council Meeting Minutes 12-11-19
School Council Meeting Minutes 11-13-19
School Council Meeting Minutes 10-9-19
School Council Meeting Minutes  9-11-19
School Council Meeting Minutes 2-13-19
School Council Meeting Minutes 1-9-19
School Council Meeting Minutes 12-12-2018
School Council Meeting Minutes 11-14-18
School Council Meeting Minutes 9-12-18
School Council Meeting Minutes 8-8-18




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