School opened September 8th with High Mass and the lovely instruction given by Father Purcell". With this sentence, Sister Louise Howell, D.C., announced to her superior in Emmitsburg, Maryland, that Catholic Elementary School Education had begun in Johnson City, New York. Founded by Fr. William Purcell, its roots go back, however, almost to the institution of the parish in 1900 when in order to provide for the religious instruction of the children, the Sisters of St. Joseph had served as catechists, commuting weekly from Binghamton. Throughout the years, St. James had maintained a strong commitment to faith community. To that end, the faculty and staff have gathered together for prayer, liturgy, retreat, and sometimes meals. By forming themselves after Christ, they believe they can better form Christ in their students. Today St. James Middle School remains strong with an enrollment of 165 students in grades four through eight. Serving the families and parishes of Broome County, St. James is a collaborative environment focusing on the fundamentals of thinking, reading, writing, music, art, and arithmetic.