It’s all in the family for the Jamells

Grad returns to the Hill, teaches J-Term with his mother


Jade Zhao

During the J-Term session “Taste and See,” which was co-taught by religion teacher Mr. Nick Jamell and his mother, Spanish teacher Mrs. Kim Jamell, students passed around a white rose and introduced themselves. As part of their conversation, they also described something for which they were grateful.

Mary Hughes, Reporter

The Hill has been a home for the Jamell family for decades. 

This past semester Mr. Nick Jamell ‘13 became a member of the staff as a religion teacher and carried on the tradition. He was able to join his mother, Mrs. Kimberly Jamell, on the staff and they both recounted how great this experience has been thus far.

Mrs. Jamell worked on the Hill when she and her husband were expecting a baby would be named Nick and to us would be Mr. Jamell. After a medically shaky beginning to Mr. Jamell’s life, the school provided a support system for Mrs. Jamell. “He had to have open heart surgery when he was nine days old and just the way Cathedral treated my husband and me, just how they were so kind to us. I just really understood that Cathedral was a family place” Mrs. Jamell said.

With the family history and supportive environment, it was only natural for Mr. Jamell to come here for high school. Having his mother as a teacher provided Nick with an unusual high school experience. “It was fun. It definitely helped that students like her. It also made life easier, I would drop stuff off in my mom’s room and use her room as a second locker. It was nice having her around,” Mr. Jamell said.

Mrs. Jamell and Mr. Jamell’s educational journey together began years ago. Mrs. Jamell taught Mr. Jamell in high school. “Actually I had her twice. I had her for a class we no longer teach called modern tech, then my Spanish teacher second semester left and so my mom switched from teaching modern tech to teaching Spanish. So I had her fourth quarter,” said Mr. Jamell.

Before Mr. Jamell joined Mrs. Jamell on the Hill as an adult, he knew he needed a career change. During the pandemic, Mr. Jamell realized he was in need of a Catholic community. “A big part of why I wanted to come back here was to just get back to Cathedral (and) get back to a place where I could live in a Catholic community and feel like I’m actually in a community where people at least profess the faith and believe largely what I believe,” Mr. Jamell said.

Mr. Jamell has always admired the family and tradition on the Hill. So when a job opportunity opened this past summer, Mr. Jamell applied. The position was filled, but due to delays with Fr. Emmanuel’s arrival on campus, Mr. Jamell was hired just days before the start of the school year. “I got a call two days before school started from my mom saying ‘Hey, I think (Principal) Mrs. (Julie) Barthel is going to text you and see if you can come in, they might need some help with the religion department,” Mr. Jamell said.

Teaching J-Term together was definitely the highlight so far.”

— Spanish teacher Mrs. Kim Jamell

Last semester, Mr. Jamell filled in for Fr. Emmanuel, and when Father began to focus more on campus ministry, Mr. Jamell was able to stay on the Cathedral staff. Now Mrs. Jamell and Mr. Jamell can experience teaching as colleagues for the first time. 

This has been an enriching opportunity for both of them. “There’s been a few great things about it. One is sometimes we get to have lunch together and that’s kind of fun. But teaching J-Term together was definitely the highlight so far,” Mrs. Jamell said.

At the beginning of the semester, J-term was offered on the Hill for the first time. Mrs. Jamell and Mr. Jamell were able to teach a class together for those two weeks. They led “Taste and See” side by side, an enrichment class that provide instruction about faith and food. “It was focused on faith and food and kinda Indianapolis culture. We looked at several aspects of different ethnic influences in Indianapolis,” Mr. Jamell said.

This was Mrs. Jamell’s favorite experience with Mr. Jamell thus far. She said that she loves seeing her son express his religious knowledge and intellect. “Teaching J-Term together was definitely the highlight so far. He knows so much about religion and our faith that I don’t know, so I feel like I have learned a lot from him. It was just a really cool experience as a mom to get to teach with (her son),” Mrs. Jamell said.     

The Hill has always a place that focus and family, and Mrs. Kim Jamell and Mr. Nick Jamell are a shining example of generational excellence at their school.