Portrait of Principal Mary Claire Manning.


Mrs. Mary Claire

St. James



(860) 684-6677

[email protected]

Be Safe  **  Be Respectful  **  Be Responsible


Mrs. St. James has been the Principal of Stafford Elementary School since 2019. Mrs. St. James earned a B.A. in Psychology and Education from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and an M.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. Prior to joining the Stafford Public Schools, Mrs. St. James served as the principal of Highland Elementary School in Westfield, MA, for four years and previously worked as the Assistant Principal in the same school for the two years prior. Before entering administration, Mrs. St. James was a Grade 5 teacher for nine years in the West Springfield Public Schools in West Springfield, MA. Mrs. St. James prides herself on creating a safe and nurturing learning environment for both students and staff. She has extensive experience supporting English Learners in the classroom and in the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework, including work with specialized social and emotional/behavioral programs. Mrs. St. James strongly believes in the importance of collaborative engagement and use of data to create a positive and effective learning environment for both students and staff.
Mrs. St. James enjoys spending time with friends and family. She enjoys cooking, reading books, gardening, and being outdoors with her two German Shorthaired Pointers, Peeta, and Oliver. Mrs. St. James grew up just over the border in Massachusetts, where she currently resides with her husband.

Ms. Sara Varga
Assistant Principal


(860) 684-6677

[email protected]
Portrait of Assistant Principal Sara Varga.

Ms. Sara Varga has been the Assistant Principal at Stafford Elementary School since 2021. She has been an elementary educator for over twenty years and believes developing and maintaining positive relationships is the key to success.
Ms. Varga received her undergraduate degree and Master's degree in Elementary Education from the University of Connecticut. She received her 6th Year Degree in Educational Leadership from Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. She began her teaching career in Ellington as a third grade teacher and later taught second grade as well. During this time, Ms. Varga was trained as a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Coach and received the SDE/SERC Banner SchoolStatus for PBIS. She has supported student teachers and beginning teachers through her work on the TEAM Coordinating Committee. Most recently, she held the dual role of Lead Teacher and Math Specialist at Windermere School. Ms. Varga is a dedicated professional who is passionate about helping each student achieve his or her greatest potential.
Ms. Varga enjoys spending quality time with family and friends. She is an avid reader and loves to travel to sunny locations. Recent trips have included California and Bermuda. She grew up in Florida and Georgia and currently resides in Ellington with her two sons.
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