Know Your Vestry – Jim Duke

Photo Credit: Dominic F. Urrutia, LQHS Class of 2017

Jim Duke is a member of the Vestry Class of 2020 and served as Junior Warden in 2018.

Jim has attended St. Margaret’s since 2000 and attends the 10:00 service primarily and the Saturday evening service occasionally. He is single and shares his home with his three parrots, Jordan, Juneau and Jojo. He says, “It’s like having three toddlers simultaneously.”

Jim is a graduate of Kansas State University, the University of Wyoming and California State University, Long Beach. While an undergraduate at K-State, he served in the Student Senate with current United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom (and former United States Senator and Governor of Kansas) Sam Brownback. He is an avid sports fan and has attended the World Series, the Stanley Cup finals, the NBA finals and the NCAA West Regional finals. He loves to travel and see new places. Jim said, “When the travel bug bites, you’re infected for life.”

Jim retired after a 38-year career in education in June 2017. During his career, Jim worked as a teacher in Wyoming from 1979 to 1986 before leaving the snow behind to move to Southern California. He worked in the Coachella Valley Unified School District from 1986 to 2001 and was CVUSD Teacher of the Year and finalist for Riverside County Teacher of the Year in 1997. In 2001, he joined Desert Sands Unified School District as the Librarian at La Quinta High School and served in that position until he retired. As a high school librarian, he was active in the California School Library Association and served as President of the Southern California Region in 2007-2008. He was very involved in the sports program at LQHS as the stadium announcer for football and wrestling, along with a few seasons of baseball and basketball. He also announced wrestling for Shadow Hills for four years. On a rare occasion he may be seen wearing his six CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) championship rings, two for La Quinta football, three for La Quinta wrestling and one for Shadow Hills wrestling. He says, “No, they’re not Super Bowl rings, but I’ve been asked that at St. Margaret’s more times than I can remember.” He also has experience as a broadcast journalist, which “made it an easy transition to announcing sports at school.” In addition he is a CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) Accredited Cruise Counsellor. 

At St. Margaret’s, Jim serves as a Reader and previously served as a Eucharistic Minister. He is a member of the Worship Committee and is licensed by the Bishop to lead Morning and Evening Prayer. In addition, he is the editor of St. Margaret’s News, creator and host of “St. Margaret’s in a Minute,” a weekly podcast, and serves as the public information volunteer, sending newsworthy items about St. Margaret’s to the local media and assisting with the parish’s social media accounts. 

When asked about St. Margaret’s, he said, “The Rector once asked me to tell him what keeps me coming back to St. Margaret’s. I told him it’s a wonderful place to worship, the music is amazing and our congregation is filled with people who love God and each other. And if that’s not enough, I’m a direct descendant of St. Margaret–where else would I go?”

You can reach Jim by email at SMCN@stmargarets.org.

This is the second article in the series Know Your Vestry for 2018. We hope that these articles will help you learn more about your Vestry. The next article will appear in March.