SJS Alumni Spotlight – Abbey Wilkinson & Annie Wade

Sisters Annie and Abbey grew up in Elizabethtown in a close-knit family with two other sisters. Annie and Abbey attended Saint James Catholic School and graduated from Elizabethtown High School. Annie attended SJS from Pre – K through 5th grade, while Abbey attended from Pre- K through 7th grade.

After high school, Annie attended college at the University of Louisville, earning her BSN. She spent her first five years out of college as an RN in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Norton Children’s Hospital. She is married to Christoper Wade, and they have three beautiful children, two of which now attend SJS. After having her third child, Annie became a stay-at-home mom and is currently working toward becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).

Annie’s education at SJS taught her focus, determination, drive, kindness, compassion, and empathy. She also learned from her time at SJS that people can strive for their goals by leaning on their community. 

“It is not a solo act to greatness, but a community-driven one,” she said.

When asked what a Catholic education meant, her answer was “everything.”

“My husband often says, second to having me stay home with our children, Catholic school was the best decision,” she said. “Knowing my children have teachers who value my child as a whole gives me such peace.”

After Abbey attended SJS, she went on to become a high school science teacher, teaching at John Hardin, Central Hardin, and a school in Huntsville, Al. She and her husband have three children who also attend SJS, and Abbey enjoys every minute of being a stay-at-home mom. During nap times, she runs a sewing blog, Dress Them Dearly, which teaches others to sew classic children’s clothing. Sewing patterns are also sold on the website.  

Abbey says one of the most beneficial aspects of SJS is its dedication to having students run, participate in, and attend weekly Mass. 

“Not only are students fed spiritually, they learn the need to actively participate in the Mass to realize its fullest potential,” she said. “Through weekly Mass attendance, I learned the parts of the Mass, how to conquer any fears of public speaking/singing and the importance of discipline in faith.”

She also expressed that a Catholic education is a blessing. 

“My children will learn the importance of faith, education, discipline, and critical thinking in becoming a well-rounded member of society at large and the Catholic church,” she said.

Annie and Abbey have many fond memories of their time at SJS and are thankful their children also have the opportunity to attend. And SJS is grateful for their servant’s heart and the time and effort they put into volunteering at the school.