EDUCATION: Formed in His Communion

Parent Association


St. Jerome Academy Parent Association


At Saint Jerome Academy, we are proud to have parents very involved in the life of the school.  The SJA Parent Association is made up of all the parents and primary caregivers of SJA students, and we support the mission of the school by organizing cultural events and fundraising activities.  We fully embrace the curriculum and the Scholar’s Pledge, and strive to model the virtues it presents by being a worthy example to the students, our children.  We contribute the volunteer hours which translate into traditions, fun, and joy-filled memories that lay the foundation for our children’s characters and build up the heart of this school. 

Each family is responsible for volunteering a minimum of 10 hours per semester, adding up to 20 hours total for the year.  (For families in serious circumstances, there is an option to buy out.)  We are thankful to benefit from each family’s unique talents and perspective!  Your volunteer efforts are truly valuable to the school community and especially to your children.  

To organize our efforts, the Parent Association (otherwise known as the PA or SJAPA) has a two-part board of directors:  the Executive Board and the Working Board.  They are appointed by the school administration. The PA does not set policy or bring an agenda to the table; they work to uphold the established philosophy of the school through social and fundraising events.

The Executive Board is comprised of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Communications Director.  These leaders serve the members of the Working Board.  They manage the money, resources, communication, and form the foundation that supports everyone’s efforts.

The members of the 2017-2018 Executive Board are:

  • President- Julia Dickson
  • Vice President- Jolene Bowman
  • Secretary- Jennifer Brandi
  • Treasurer- Caitlyn Buttaci
  • Communications Director- Abby Sandel
The Working Board oversees the management of the 30+ events and jobs that create the culture of the school.  These events are divided into seven categories.  The members of the Working Board are each assigned to one category of events.  They manage, support and foster the events in their area.  They recruit event Chairs and help with communication.  (Note: anyone who volunteers to Chair an event will receive full credit for their 20 hours for the year.)

The 7 Areas and Working Board members responsible are:

  • Large Fundraising Events -  Heather Lilley
  • Catholic Identity -  Kathi Kramer & Mary Buck
  • Classical Formation -  Taryn Okuma & Jane Murphy
  • Volunteer Mobilization and Communication -  Abby Sandel & Sharon Crowell
  • Hospitality -  Laura Pakaluk
  • Community Building -  Silvia Hill, Kathy Smith & Ellen Hagerty
  • Operational -  Julia Dickson

Below is a summary of the events by area.  Take a look and see where you would like to volunteer!


The Parent Association pays the expenses for the following four fundraisers for the school. The money raised at each fundraising event is deposited directly into the parish school account.

Race for Education - On Friday, October 20th, Saint Jerome Academy will hold our second annual Race for Education.  Students raise funds by asking sponsors to contribute.  Last year we raised $34,000 with this fundraiser!  Students walk or jog around local parks.  Students and classes can earn prizes for participation. Volunteers are needed to help with mailing, prep for the race, and on Race Day to staff the event.

Carpe Noctem - This major fundraiser will be held on Saturday, December 2nd. The event features two levels of shopping fun.  In addition to many talented vendors, Carpe Noctem offers various dinner options, a cash bar, children’s activities, pictures with St. Nicholas, raffles, a pop-up thrift store and more!  Many volunteers are needed to make this event a success, acting as cashiers, serving food, staffing the various activities, and helping with set-up and clean-up.

Irish Fest - Our annual Irish Celebration will be Sunday, March 4th in the Gold Room.  This event is co-sponsored with the Knights of Columbus.  Delicious food and drink, a kids’ corner, raffles, live music and Irish dancers make this a memorable afternoon. Volunteers serve food, staff activities, and set-up and clean-up. This event needs a Co-chair for this year.

St. Julie Fair - St. Julie Billiart was the founder of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, the first order of nuns at SJA. St. Julie Fair Day is Friday, May 18th. Each class will spend some time at the Fair during the school day. The Fair includes games, treats, and a fun break from the usual school day. Volunteers staff games and food booths, plus help with set-up and clean-up afterwards.


Fall Canned Food Drive - This is a school-wide effort to run a canned food drive in the city of Hyattsville. The food collected will go to a number of local food pantries.

Advent Wreath - On Sunday, December 3rd, the First Sunday in Advent, school and parish families gather in fellowship to eat a pizza dinner and to make Advent wreaths for our homes. Afterwards,  Father will bless the wreaths and there will be sung Compline in the church. Volunteers help with set-up, clean-up, and staffing the event.

Living Nativity - Each year the school reenacts the Nativity in story and song. Volunteers are needed prior to and during the event for costuming, logistics, and the cookie/hot cocoa reception. This year it will take place on Wednesday, December 20th, following our band and children's choir concerts.  

Mary’s Meals - Participation in Mary’s Meals is SJA’s Lenten almsgiving project. Children can purchase a simple meal of rice and beans, cooked and served by parents, on all the Fridays in Lent.  All money collected is sent to Mary’s Meals, an international charity providing lunches to children throughout the developing world. This will be SJA’s fourth year sponsoring the Chilanga Blind School in Malawi.

First Holy Communion Reception - Third grade parents provide a reception for the First Communion families in the Gold Room. Help is needed setting up, hosting, and cleaning up.

Driving the Sisters - SJA is blessed to have two sisters from the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara to assist in the lower elementary classrooms two days a week.  We need volunteers to drive the sisters to and from their convent on Quincy Street near the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in Brookland on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Get to know these lovely women volunteering their time for our children!


SJA Book Club - SJA Book Club is a year-long, monthly book club primarily for SJA parents, but open to all interested members (including students) of the St. Jerome Academy school and parish community. It provides parents with the opportunity to read and discuss a classic work of literature related to the SJA curriculum and thus deepen their understanding of classical education through experience.

Book Fair - The Book Fair will be held in the Library from Tuesday, October 17th through Thursday, October 19th. Books selected support Montessori and Classical education. Volunteers are needed to help with set-up and clean-up, and to staff the Book Fair during shopping hours.


Room Parents - Each class has room parents to assist the teacher in organizing and executing class parties, historical time period feasts, and optional outside activities. (Note: most room parent positions are filled for this year. Thanks to those who have volunteered!)

Vox Newsletter - Our weekly email blast that is the primary communication of all things going on at SJA.

Facebook, Social Media, and SignUpGenius - This requires maintaining the school Facebook page and communicating upcoming events via social media. Volunteers may also set up the sign-ups for PA events.


Open House/Ice Cream Social - The Thursday before school starts is the SJA Open House and Ice Cream Social. Staffed by the PA board, this event provides parents a chance to buy used uniforms from the uniform closet, sign up for PA events, pick up school supply packets, talk with scouting and CYO representatives, and visit the classrooms to meet the teachers with their children.

Grandparents Day - Tuesday, November 21st, the last day of school before Thanksgiving, is Grandparents Day at SJA.  The Parent Association provides refreshments in the Gold Room after the school Mass. Volunteers are needed to purchase refreshments, set-up and staff the reception, and clean-up afterwards.

January Open House for Prospective Students - On Saturday January 14th, 2018, the school holds a Open House for prospective students after the Sunday 10:30 AM Mass. The PA provides doughnuts and coffee and has volunteers on hand to answer questions. Volunteers are needed to help with refreshments and greet visitors.

Blue & Gold Day Lunch - SJA’s annual spirit day is Friday, January 26th, 2018. Volunteers are needed to cook and serve a hot dog lunch.

Teacher Appreciation Tuesday, May 8th, is Teacher Appreciation Day. The PA sponsors breakfast and lunch for the staff and sells carnations to the students to present to their favorite teachers. Volunteers are needed to pick-up and set-up breakfast and lunch, and manage the carnation sales.

Spring Play Concession - Our spring musical will be Friday, April 27th and Saturday, April 28th. Volunteers are needed to purchase candy, make popcorn and run the concession stand before and after the play.

Graduation - The 7th grade parents set up a reception after the graduation Mass on Saturday, June 2nd. Parent volunteers shop for food, set up, serve and clean up.


Family Breakfast - We will celebrate the feast of Saint Jerome with a Family Breakfast on Friday, September 29th from 7:30 to 8:30 AM in the Dining Hall.  Families attend with their children before school starts.  A variety of breakfast items are available to purchase. Volunteers are needed to set-up, clean-up, and serve/cashier during the event.

Mother-Son Dance - This year's Mother and Son Dance will take place on the evening of Saturday, October 21st in the Dining Hall.  There is dance instruction provided. Volunteers are needed to set-up and clean-up, and serve refreshments during the event. This event needs a co-chair for this year.

Bingo Night - Good old fashioned family fun! Join school and parish families for pizza and Bingo on Saturday, January 27th. Volunteers are needed to set-up, clean-up, and help during the event.

Ice Skating at Wells - An afternoon of ice skating at Wells Skating Rink in College Park on Sunday, February 4th. PA sets up a concession stand for refreshment. Volunteers are needed shop for refreshments, set-up and staff the stand during the event, and return any extra items to the school afterwards.

Father-Daughter Dance - A fun evening for all SJA girls and their fathers and father figures on Saturday, April 21st. Dance instruction provided. Volunteers are needed to set-up, clean-up, and staff the event, including serving refreshments.


School Directory - The School Directory is formatted and printed by the PA. (This is staffed for 2017-2018.)
School Supplies - The PA coordinates with the teachers and school supply company to order school supply packages as a convenience to parents. Volunteers are needed to coordinate the program at the end of every school year and over the summer.

Box Tops for Education - Volunteers collect, sort, and submit Box Tops.  Free money for our school! This is an ongoing project throughout the school year. (This is fully staffed for 2017-2018.)

Uniform Closet - The PA maintains the Uniform Closet on the third floor with gently used uniform pieces for purchase ($5/piece) or exchange. This is an ongoing project throughout the school year. (This is fully staffed for 2017-2018.)

We look forward to working with you this school year! Please email or any of the board members with further questions.

Ready to earn those volunteer hours? Please take the 2-minute survey here, and we'll follow up closer to the event or activity you've selected.

The SJAPA Board









Click on the event for more information

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