Norma James


Religious School Director, Norma James, grew up in Temple Beth El as one of the seven Freedman sisters. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a BS in Special Education and an MS in Educational Administration and Supervision.

With over forty years’ experience, Norma recently retired as a middle school English teacher in the Oak Ridge Schools. Although balancing a full-time teaching job and a part-time position as Religious School Director was a challenge, she enjoyed making the transition from secular education to Jewish education.

Norma believes her job is made all the better because of the amazing children, parents, and staff at Temple Beth El. A lover of music, Norma previously taught music at Beth El and currently enjoys singing with the students and the choir, and being a cantorial soloist at special events.

Norma and her husband, Wes, currently live in Maryville, TN. They have two adult children, Kevin and Meredith, both of whom matriculated through TBE  Religious School. They enjoy every opportunity to be with their grandchildren, Karl, Hannah, and Hayden. 

Norma and kids copy