205 No. Fourth Street | Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70801 | 225-387-5141 | church @ stjamesbr.org |                

A Word from the Rector

This message was sent and posted one week ago.  

Staff Announcements

Thu, May 16, 2019

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Back in February, our Vestry created four principal goals with measurable milestones to help give direction for next steps at St. James. These were four key areas that we felt needed attention over the next year or two. Click here for a reminder of the 2019 Goals.

With those goals in mind, I am excited to share two new additions to the St. James staff, starting this summer:

Shannon Gallier, Music Director (begins July 8)
Haley Schroeck, Family Ministry Coordinator (begins June 1)

Our music and family ministries are both vital to the life of St. James as they are key components to our Sunday mornings together, as well as during the week. I believe each of these new additions to the staff will help us make even further strides in mission and ministry. To help you get to know them a little better, each has a short biography, below. During the course of this summer, please help me welcome them both to the St. James family.

Easter Blessings,

Fr. Chris, Rector


Shannon Gallier, Music Director

Shannon Gallier, a native of southeast Texas, comes to us having served as Organist-Choirmaster at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta, Georgia since 2014. At St. Bartholomew’s, Shannon has overseen a vibrant music program comprised of over seventy voices spread over four choirs. Before 2014, Shannon served as Organist-Choirmaster at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Jacksonville, Florida, where he revitalized that church’s historic music program. He is an active member of the Royal School of Church Music in America, which seeks to foster the training of young singers in the Anglican choral tradition.

Shannon has served as Director, Co-Director, and Housemaster at several RSCM Summer Training Courses, and is a Mentor for RSCM America. He holds degrees in music performance and literature from Centenary College of Louisiana, and from The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Shannon has performed as an organ recitalist throughout the United States. In his free time, Shannon likes to sail, read sci-fi and history, study French, brag about the excellent cooking of his husband, Austin, and dote on his tuxedo cat, Fanny.

In describing his calling as a church musician, Shannon said he seeks to, "…help build God’s Kingdom through quality sacred music and to foster a love of the liturgy, music, and worship which lead us closer to our Creator. I look forward to meeting you all and delving deeper into the mysteries of our faith through the incredible musical tradition we have inherited.”



Haley Schroeck, Family Ministry Coordinator

Haley Schroeck is a Baton Rouge native, having attended The Dunham School, and then, LSU. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in theatre, with a concentration in theatre studies, in 2014; and, has been an active member of the southeast Louisiana theatre scene since 2011.

Haley began her work with young actors in 2014 through Theatre Baton Rouge and Playmakers of Baton Rouge, and has actively worked with them since. In 2016, she joined Missoula Children's Theatre, a national educational children's theatre, touring with them for seven months throughout the Pacific Northwest. After tour, Haley returned to Baton Rouge, becoming the Assistant Education Director of Theatre Baton Rouge, and the drama teacher at St. George Catholic School.

In discussing her excitement about joining the St. James family, Haley said, "Since the first moment I stepped into St. James, it has felt like a well of love and potential. I'm so honored to join this community and to have my passion for children and youth mix with your passion for the St. James church family. Together, I truly believe we will grow to be bigger and brighter than we already are. I look forward to becoming a part of this community, learning your hopes for these programs, and beginning our work toward making them a reality." 


This message was sent and posted one month ago.  

Head of School Announcement

Thu, April 18, 2019

Maundy Thursday, April 18, 2019


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I am sorry to have to share with you that Lauren Ray, Head of School, gave her resignation effective immediately on Wednesday and it was accepted.

Although this news is difficult to share and receive, the Board and I take seriously our role to further build our incredible legacy of academic excellence while maintaining the kind and loving spirit for which the school is known. Ultimately, St. James School is about the people: students, parents, faculty, staff, and the entire church community.

During this time of transition, the immediate attention is to who is in-charge and what comes next. First off, as the Rector, know that I am and have always been the person charged with leading the school. The Rector is in effect a CEO-type figure over both church and school. Second, Fr. Ralph will join me in concluding the school year as acting Co-Head of School. Finally, Donna Lamonte, current Director of Curriculum, will assume additional responsibilities as Assistant Head of School.  The Board, Fr. Ralph, Mrs. Lamonte, and I are confident that we will finish the school year maintaining the high standards of our school.

The Board met last night to begin developing and implementing our transition plan. At this time, the Board has identified two possible interim candidates for the 2019-2020 school year so that an extensive search for the permanent Head of School can be performed. We are committed to keeping the entire St. James family, both the school and church communities, informed every step of the way.

It is an honor and privilege to care for and educate our amazing students. Therefore, in this season of transition, we invite you to join with us in prayer for guidance and discernment. Thank you for your commitment to the students and families of St. James Episcopal Day School.

If you have any questions or concerns, the Board and I invite you to call us directly.


The Rev. Chris Duncan, Rector
St. James Episcopal Church & School
205 N. 4th Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70801
o) 225-387-5141
c) 225-270-3448


The 2018-2019 Board of Trustees:

Jill Couvillon, President (225-721-3051)
Andy McCall, Vice President (225-933-2004)
Nicole Brien, Secretary (504-495-8056)
Will Eglin, Treasurer (225-278-3006)
The Rev. Ralph Howe Jr., Chaplain (225-247-9994)
Denise Allen, Church Sr. Warden (225-936-2302)
Shannon Blakeman, Board Member (337-296-2902)
Barbara Irwin Garon, Board Member (225-802-1370)
Bahin Leonard, Board Member (225-413-2045)
Erik Piazza, Board Member (225-803-1916)
Preston Q=Petersen, Board Member (225-806-7902)
Mike Rabalais, Board Member (225-362-4759)
Nancy Roberts, Board Member (225-931-5085)
Camile Silva, Board Member (225-892-4963)
Leslie Spencer, Board Member (225-270-3776)
David Trimble, Board Member (512-619-2587)

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