St. James Episcopal Day School

Teacher Stories

Mrs. Shahla, 3rd Grade

Kathleen Shahla

Kathleen Shahla

Third Grade Teacher


1. What do you teach at St. James Episcopal Day School?

"I teach ELA and social studies, but think of myself primarily as a reading teacher.  I teach children to love books."

2. What do you love about St. James?

"St. James is home to me. Over 30 years ago, I chose to send my children here, and it’s been a part of my life ever since. From Carnival in the fall, to the Christmas program in December, to the Fifth Grade Commencement and the end of school Plaquemine luncheons in the spring, these special events at St. James, milestones really, have been an important part of my life."

3. Why do you like teaching at St. James? What motivated you to become a teacher at St. James?

"I love teaching at St. James. Like many of my predecessors, I never applied for a job at SJEDS.  I was on the Little Playground when the Head of School came up to me, handed me an application and told me to fill it out (There are wonderful stories about where each of those teachers were hired – many in the carpool line).  I started teaching at St. James when my youngest child was a student here, and I have loved every moment of it. I wanted to be a part of a community that believed in loving and nurturing children. I chose to send my children here because of the quality education—I wanted the very best—and one that embraced the arts, and I found an entire school of dedicated teachers who didn’t just teach your children, but helped raise them too.   I chose to teach here so that I could continue that tradition."

4. What is a unique experience, talent, or interest that you bring to your classroom to help shape the learning experience of your students?

"I am a reading teacher who loves to read. Reading has always been an important of my life, and it is truly a blessing that I am able to share that love with my students and observe how literature empowers students as they interact with what they read. I believe that one of the greatest gifts a parent can give a child is to read to that child and encourage a love of reading in the home."

5. What sets St. James students apart from students in other schools?

"The students at St. James don’t just come here for an education. They come here to be a part of the St. James family. Even though the students often matriculate into different schools when they leave, they form strong relationships here that last a lifetime."

6. What do you want your students to gain from having known you?

"I want them to grow their passion for reading and become stronger writers.  I want them to love learning and be life-long learners.  I want them to believe in themselves and know they can achieve whatever they want.  I want them to know that they are loved and that when they leave — that for however long they are gone, they will always have a home here."

7. Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself? Perhaps a fun fact?

"Even though I have lived a good portion of my life in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, I am originally from Dallas, Texas. Like all Texans, I am proud to be from the Lone Star state."

Mrs. Kathleen Shahla, 3rd Grade Teacher

St. James Stories

"There is no better place in the city of Baton Rouge to ensure that your child will receive the 'total package' for success than St. James!"

The Krupala Family’s Story