Leah Saunders (SJCS ’17) Claims National Championship with Emory University

Emory’s volleyball team won its second-ever national championship on Saturday, Nov. 17, where Knight alumni Leah Saunders (SJCS ’17) contributed eight kills to help her squad claim the title!

Following the UAA Championships earlier in November, Saunders was named to the 2018 All-University Athletic Association Team, where she was awarded the conference’s Most Valuable Player. See below for her excerpt from the full write-up on emoryathletics.com and congratulations Leah!

Sophomore Leah Saunders (Simpsonville, SC), highlighted Emory’s selections by being tabbed as the conference’s Most Valuable Player, the eighth member of the program to earn that distinction. The 5-foot-8 Saunders earned her initial first-team berth to the all-conference team, and has averaged 2.67 kills and 2.36 digs over 91 sets of action. The owner of 11 contests of double-figure kills and five double-doubles (kills/digs), Saunders is coming off a solid showing at the UAA Championships, hitting .303 (29-5—78) while registering 11 terminations against Carnegie Mellon in the semifinals and 10 vs. Chicago in the finals.  She has ranked as the club leader in both kills and digs in three matches this year.  She has come through with eight outings of 10 or more digs and is fourth on the team with 27 service aces.

SJCS Youth In Government Delegation Brings Home Honors

The SJCS Youth in Government (YIG) delegation had great success this year in the state capitol. The delegation, representing St. Joseph’s for our 17th year, once again received the Premier Delegation Award. St. Joseph’s has brought this high honor home every year since we began participating and speaks to the incredible time and efforts put forth by every single students in the delegation.

Special thank you to Lizzie Latham for providing such wonderful photos!

This year, our students took home a new honor by setting a new school record for most signed bills, 13 of the 24 written. The following students had their bills signed by the Youth Governor:

Lauren DeLo & Sydney Nobarak
Jenna Maunsell & Gracie Lawton
Ava Keating & Abbie Panuccio
Abby Seidel & Adrianna DeLacruz
Emily Mulholland & Rachel Marlar
Ellie Cassidy & Maria Clark
Spencer Marchant & Lee Eberly
Karen Shenouda & Maurena Supra
Eleni San & Camille Ferguson
Sam Nixon & Julia Arnett
Preston Saad & Ishan Lal
Eli Challis & Sandon Brown
Michael Ann Pace & Mackenzie Manfredi

Outstanding Bill Awards
Eleni San & Camille Ferguson
Brendan Dunlavey & Mclean Armstrong

Outstanding Statesman Awards
Andrew Walajtys — Premier House
Spencer Marchant — House

Outstanding Appeals Attorney Award
Davis Cooney

Elected Youth Secretary of Education
Ishan Lal

Students were also selected to attend the very competitive summer programs. Both the Committee on National Affairs and the National Judiciary Competition are programs that students have to apply for, be recommended to, and then selected. The following SJCS students were chosen:

Committee on National Affairs
Maegan White
Katelyn Supra*
Emma Kate Seckinger*

National Judiciary Competition
Maegan White
Jessica Gerac

*indicates alternate

All 77 students participated in a variety of roles. We had eleven leadership positions, twelve attorneys on two attorney teams, and one appeals pair. Davis Cooney was the only appeals attorney selected at YIG to argue the Constitutional Bill Challenge, and Ishan Lal won the election for Youth Secretary of Education. Thank you to Mrs. Megan Koon and Dr. Steven Jones who coached the attorneys, and to Mr. Jamie Swingle, Mrs. Greshan Charlton, and Mrs. Meby Carr who worked with the legislative pairs.

‘He’s earned everything’ – Andre Stoddard (SJCS ’14)

‘He’s earned everything’
Wofford fullback Stoddard overcomes missing fingers to be a force on the field

By Todd Shanesy – Article from the Spartanburg Herald Journal

In youth league football, Andre Stoddard sensed that other kids — adults as well — were rudely staring at him with unabashed curiosity and sometimes even making shameful comments.

Stoddard was born without the three middle fingers on his left hand.

“I noticed people doing that,” Stoddard said. “But I always thought it was just because I wasn’t very good at football. Actually, I was terrible.”

People stare and talk about Stoddard now because he is so good.

Stoddard, a senior fullback at Wofford College, was preseason All-American and recently named first-team All-Southern Conference. The Greenville native (St. Joseph’s Catholic) has rushed for 912 yards this season and 1,737 yards in the past two seasons. His career total of 1,884 yards ranks among the top 20 in program history.

With 88 yards Saturday in a 2 p.m. second-round FCS playoff game at Kennesaw State, he would become only the fourth Wofford player to reach 1,000 in a season during the school’s Division I era. He would join Kevious Johnson (2004); Eric Breitenstein (2010, 2011, 2012); and Lorenzo Long (2016) in accomplishing that feat.

“That’s just a byproduct of playing and winning,” Stoddard said. “I just want to be a better version of myself and give this team an opportunity to compete for a national championship. I want to get better as an individual. Whether that means rushing for a thousand yards or not, I’m comfortable as long as I’m helping my team.”

Wofford senior fullback Andre Stoddard has rushed for 912 yards this season. [JOHN BYRUM/FOR THE HERALD-JOURNAL]

Stoddard is certainly a grown man now. He is 5-foot-10 and 240 pounds, with legs so powerful they move entire piles of bodies toward the first-down marker.

Wofford head coach Josh Conklin, a former college linebacker, was asked how he would try to tackle Stoddard.

“With a lot of people,” he said.

Stoddard’s body, even one like his, has taken a beating this season. That’s what happens to Wofford fullbacks as they absorb brutal hits on every snap, whether they have the ball or not. And when he is tackled, teams have gone with the Conklin line of thinking and done it with a lot of people. Stoddard didn’t play in the final regular-season game against Presbyterian and had 11 carries last week against Elon for only 44 yards, including 20-yarder, with a 17-yarder called back because of penalty.

Freshman fullback Nathan Walker has played a key role this season and especially during the past two weeks with a combined 175 yards on 22 carries. It could be that Stoddard plays a lesser role again Saturday with hopes of him healing up even more for a possible third straightquarterfinals game or beyond.

“Andre has just been a staple for us,” Conklin said. “He’s a guy who has that consistent mentality and attitude. He just goes about his business. When he gets his touches, he gets the big yards, the tough yards. … He doesn’t expect anything. He just believes that he is going to go out and earn it. In football and in life, he’s earned everything he’s gotten.”

That mentality certainly goes back to his youth days.

“I started playing when I was 5 years old,” Stoddard said. “I was always the smallest on the team. My dad is a huge football fan. We’d always play in the back yard. With me being so small, it took some convincing for my mom to let me play on a team. My dad and I finally convinced her. But I wasn’t very good. I played defense and I would just kind of get smacked around. At some point, I challenged myself to not get smacked around anymore.”

The challenge of having seven fingers inspired him to practice harder.

“It definitely forced me to work 10 times as hard as the other kids because I was being forced to make up for the lack of three fingers,” Stoddard said. “I’ve always convinced myself that it was just about putting in the extra time. It will never slow me. I know that whenever I put my mind to doing something, I can do it. I may have to do it a different way. But I can get it done.”

FRIDAY: Jr. Beta Club Movie Night, Elf

The St. Joseph’s middle school Jr. Beta Club invites you to come get in the Christmas Spirit and raise funds to benefit Birthright of Greenville! We will be hosting a movie night this Friday on campus and watching the Christmas classic Elf! All middle school students are welcome.

6:45-8:45 PM



The $6 admission includes hot chocolate & a snack (to be charged to your school account) with additional concessions available for $1 each.



SJCS Theatre Team Places First in SCTA Tech Olympics

During November, the South Carolina Theatre Association hosted their fifth annual Tech Olympics. This event allows theatre students to demonstrate their accuracy, speed, and efficiency as well as creativity, ingenuity, and teamwork in executing technical theatre skills in the areas of Lighting, Stage Management, Wardrobe, Stage Crew, and Rigging.

At this year’s event, the team representing SJCS included Carson CrockettPhilip Mosley, Luke Perham, and Dante Wells. In the separate events, St. Joe’s placed third for the Rigging and Stage Crew events and first for the Stage Management event. Additionally, Philip Mosley placed first in Lighting. Overall, for the fastest combined time in all six events (hanging and focusing a light, sewing a button, knot tying, cable roll relay, taping a ground plan, and folding a drop), the SJCS team placed first in the state with the fastest combined time.

Additionally, Luke Perham participated in the technical theatre audition and interview process for SC college and university theatre programs. Among the eleven programs in attendance, he received callbacks to ten of the schools.

St. Joe’s Gathers for Friendsgiving Celebration

On the Friday before Thanksgiving, over 150 people from the St. Joe’s family – students, their families, teachers, and staff – gathered to celebrate the holiday together with a Friendsgiving potluck hosted by Campus Ministry. The evening ran several hours with great conversation and energy, families sharing their favorite dishes and enjoying each other’s company.

The evening included a musical program with performances by senior Dante Wells on the piano, and senior Mary Lynam on the guitar accompanied by Jacob Kiser and Philip Stapleton.

After the meal, two individuals shared their stories of how Campus Ministry at St. Joseph’s has impacted their lives. Parent Mark Ferrell shared his story of how involvement in the community has been helpful for him and his family, and senior Anthony Cinquemani described how Campus Ministry became the means of finding the answer to his search for friends and meaning in high school. Gabe Lewis closed the evening by leading the group in song. Thank you to everyone who came to join in the evening’s fellowship and to the volunteers who made the night so enjoyable for all!

Knights Welcome Visitors for Grandparents Day

St. Joseph’s welcomed more than 230 guests for Grandparents Day during November. The annual celebration has become one of the largest events held on campus each year and is a wonderful highlight in the community life of the school.

This year, the morning began with an invitation for grandparents to arrive early if they wished for a special mass with chaplain Fr. Jonathan Duncan. Immediately following, grandparents were welcomed to the beautifully transformed gymnasium for beverages and a welcome from Headmaster Keith Kiser, and the Heads of the Middle and High Schools, Dr. Steven Jones and Mrs. Wanda Jaraczewski. SJCS grandparent and frequent visitor John Hoffman also spoke about his family’s experience at St. Joe’s and shared about the importance of supporting the school.

The students arrived in the gym to visit and had the opportunity to take their grandparents on school tours if they wished, as well as a chance to have their picture taken together. Lunch followed, served by many wonderful parent volunteers, along with a student musical program.

Thank you to all the grandparents for joining us on this wonderful day, and to the many hands that made it possible!

Athletic Signing Commits to Three Division I Programs

First athletic signing of the year knocks it out of the park with Knights athletes committing to three Division I schools! Knights Volleyball seniors Lauren DeLo commits to playing for Ole Miss while teammate Katie Culumovic signs to rival school Mississippi State, while Liam Walker signs to Purdue University for Swimming.

Congratulations to all the student athletes, their families and coaches on taking this next step!

Volleyball wins eighth straight state championship

The Lady Knights won their eighth consecutive title Saturday as they defeated Oceanside Collegiate, 25-15, 25-12, 25-12, for the Class AA championship at White Knoll High School.

Read the following article from The Greenville News, and congratulations Knights and Coach Jan Carino on a fabulous season!

“The eighth one is just as exciting as the first one,” Carino said. “I have been coaching for 20 years, and that is how long it has taken for us to build the program to where it is today. The only difference is the expectation of others. We are expected to win now.”

In a match that took a little over an hour, the Knights (33-13) were led by their triumvirate of seniors.

Senior Katie Culumovic, who has committed to play at Mississippi State, has spent much of her life involved in the Knights’ dynasty as she started as a team manager in the fifth grade.

“Every year is a little different,” Culumovic said. “We knew coming in how strong their (Oceanside) hitters were going to be. We are a very confident team. We have strong practices, and we are confident in what we do. It has been a privilege to be a part of this program.”

Culumovic finished the match with 14 assists.

Senior Lauren DeLo, who is committed to play at Ole Miss, played in her first state title match with the Knights as she had to sit out her junior year after transferring from Oklahoma. She finished the match with nine kills.

“It’s been amazing to play with these girls this year, and to win a state championship,” DeLo said. “I am blessed to finally play and end on such a good note.”

For senior Kyra Thompson, winning state championships has become a family affair as she has played with her two sisters during her career.

“Being able to have that camaraderie with our sisters helps a lot,” Thompson said. “We are very close as a team and our family atmosphere is not only a metaphor, but is actually a family.”

Thompson, who led the Knights with 16 kills, hopes to play beach volleyball in college and is considering Jacksonville University, the College of Charleston or a destination out West.

Carino admits to being quite fortunate during her coaching tenure.

“I think that all of my players play club volleyball,” Carino said. “I also think most of my players just play volleyball. That is not something that I push because I believe in the importance of being a multi-sport athlete. They have worked hard.”

Carino said the Knights have raised their playing ability by routinely playing the best on an annual basis.

“We constantly play tough competition,” Carino said. “We play (Class) AAAAA teams throughout the year. Playing against those teams really prepares us when we compete at the (Class) AA level in the postseason.”

Why gentrification is ‘our problem’: Headmaster Kiser Greenville News Editorial

Following the Pope Francis Forum for Dialogue and Diversity discussion in September, many of the students, faculty, staff, and parents of St. Joseph’s were eager to learn more about the impact of gentrification on West Greenville neighborhoods. In an editorial to the Greenville News, Headmaster Keith Kiser shares his experience of what came next.

Why gentrification is ‘our problem’

Your Turn, The Greenville News
Keith Kiser, Guest columnist

On a recent Friday afternoon, I accompanied a dozen St. Joseph’s Catholic School students to West Greenville. A couple of weeks prior, Father Pat Tuttle, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, gave a talk at our school about his parish’s fight to stop gentrification of the neighborhood surrounding his church and school.

The students were deeply moved by stories of how the working poor are pushed out of their homes through gentrification, a process that increases median income, raises property taxes, and ultimately forces landowners, who can no longer afford to live in the neighborhood, to sell their homes. This creates a problem not only for these homeowners, but also for those whose rents are raised to unaffordable levels.

Our students responded by asking what they could do to help, Fr. Pat invited them to come to St. Anthony’s one afternoon, and then go door-to door in the neighborhood to tell residents about the situation. Specifically, they could collect signatures so that residents could be represented by the students at an upcoming meeting about a 1-acre parcel in the heart of the neighborhood that a developer wanted to buy to build 3-story, multi-unit townhomes. Each unit would cost eight to 10 times the value of current homes in the community. Before the townhomes could be built there, several laws would need to be changed.

So after school on a Friday, a dozen students and a handful of faculty boarded the St. Anthony’s bus (driven by Fr. Pat himself ) and headed for West Greenville. After taking us on a little tour of the neighborhood, Fr. Pat dropped the students off two at a time with a chaperone.

It probably goes without saying that the West Greenville neighborhood where we were standing, getting ready to knock on doors, is totally different from the upper-middle-class suburban neighborhoods most of the students and I live in. To say the students (and I) were more than a little nervous is a bit of an understatement.

My wife and I accompanied two pairs of St. Joseph’s junior and senior girls. It took only a couple of visits with friendly residents before the girls (and I) calmed down and thought, and even said, “This isn’t so hard.” The residents wanted to talk about the problem and were appreciative that our students cared about what was happening.

One man we talked to gently corrected one of the girls who told him that we were visiting to inform them about the issue “in y’alls community.” He wagged his finger and said with a wry smile: This neighborhood is part of your community, too, referring to Greater Greenville.

That comment changed her perspective and mine. The impending gentrification of West Greenville and displacement of the working poor, mostly service workers who staff downtown restaurants and retail stores, is not “their” problem; it’s “our” problem.

As we finished our routes, Fr. Pat picked us up. The mood on the bus was jubilant as each pair shared their experiences. The students must have collected 50 or 60 signatures, and more importantly, they had 50 or 60 conversations that helped to foster empathy, mutual understanding, and respect.

As we made the final pass, Father Pat showed us where the new Unity Park is going to be built, pointing out that his parish’s West Greenville neighborhood borders the new park, thus the sudden interest in a neighborhood that few cared much about until recently.

As my wife and I drove away from St. Anthony’s, we commented about the “inevitability” of West Greenville’s gentrification, if not for Fr. Pat and the parishioners, who in recent years have purchased and renovated 14 rent-controlled houses in the community.

It seemed very sad to us that the women and men of West Greenville could very soon be priced out of their own neighborhood and not able to enjoy “Unity Park” up-close.

Can Greenville truly be considered one of the most-livable cities in the country when the working poor are moved farther and farther from the heart of the city? This is not “their” problem. It’s all our problem.

I don’t pretend to have any easy answers to this complex issue. I only wish that more people would follow the lead of our students and be concerned about how gentrification impacts the poor in our community and then be willing to put their considerable resources and talents to work to find a just solution.

Can Greenville truly be considered one of the most-livable cities in the country when the working poor are moved farther and farther from the heart of the city? This is not “their” problem. It’s all our problem.

Open House: This Sunday, Nov 11th 1:00 PM

Admissions season for 2019-2020 officially kicks off with our annual Sunday afternoon Open House. Beginning at 1:00 PM, you are invited and encouraged to spend an hour or two with us to hear testimonials and learn more about our middle school and/or high school programs. You may also pick up a 2019-2020 admissions packet, tour the facility with current students, and meet many of our teachers, coaches, and parents.

SWITCH Presentation Tuesday, Nov 6

Tuesday, November 6
7:00 PM – John Paul II Center

St. Joseph’s has invited SWITCH, a local organization founded six years ago with a mission of protecting women and men from the purveyors of sex-trafficking, to organize an informative evening to educate our school community on this issue.  Located as we are between Charlotte and Atlanta on I-85, this is an issue of real importance for those of us who live in the Upstate.

Sharing the podium tonight will be a survivor (who was herself trafficked) and a police officer who fights these unimaginable crimes.  Given the subject matter, this talk is geared toward parents and high schoolers. We hope you can join us!


Cross Country Sweeps Boys and Girls State Championships Fourth Year Running

Congratulations to our Boys and Girls Cross Country teams! They swept both State Championships for the fourth year in a row on Saturday. Boys have claimed six out of the past seven years, and the girls celebrate their ninth year in a row, adding to their SCHSL record for consecutive titles for girls teams (eleven consecutive titles including the two won in SCISA).

Junior Ava Dobson won her second straight championship, finishing in 18 minutes, 3.47 seconds, well ahead of the runner-up from Greer Middle College (18:49.88).

St. Joseph’s has 3 seniors who have been named to the 2018 Mike Moore Shrine Bowl Run team: Lili Jaraczewski, Zac Palmer, and Josh Powers met the qualifying criteria and will represent St. Joseph’s with 39 other seniors from all over the state of South Carolina on December 15th.

Thanks to Head Coaches Marie Kernell and George Carr and Assistant Coaches Amy McTigue and David Wilson for their great leadership.

All-State Teams
Ava Dobson (first, 18:03:47)
Caroline Linen (fourth, 19:27.06)
Lilian Jaraczewski (fifth, 19:28.07)
Brigid Alvis (10th, 20:02.82)

Brendan McTigue (fourth, 16:33.23)
Josh Powers (fifth, 16:34.38)
Tristan McTigue (sixth, 16:40.85)
Zac Palmer (10th, 16:57.71)

Read the Greenville News story here

Alumni and Broadway Producer Sally Cade Holmes Speaks to Theatre Students

St. Joseph’s was pleased to welcome alumni Sally Cade Holmes back to campus to speak with students about her experiences as a Broadway producer. Her current show, Anastasia, is touring the country and is currently showing at the Peace Center, bringing Sally Cade home for a brief visit.

Students from the Theatre department, as well as Broadway fans in general, gathered to hear her insider’s view of the industry, her journey toward becoming a producer, and fascinating stories of the trials and tricks involved in bringing a complex show to life. It was wonderful to watch the student’s hang on her every word, realizing that this young alumni had her start right where they are now.