Sixth Grade Academy Completes Successful First Semester

The Sixth Grade Academy has officially completed its first semester, with St. Joseph’s youngest students headed home for Christmas break. There are so many highlights from the first term – the hot air balloon visit, bible blessing, the Altruism in Action series with visits from the sheriff’s office and Water of Life, service projects, Day of the Dead celebration, their National Honor Society buddies in the high school – that it is hard to say which the Academy students have enjoyed the most!

As evidenced by the volume of prospective family tours given in the Academy this year, word is spreading throughout the Greenville area about the dynamic approach of the Academy, which pairs a strong academic curriculum with a unique and practical study of character and virtue. A typical week in the Academy can include discussions of the corporal works of mercy, how history class can be linked to theology, and a Foundations Class book that focuses on symbolisms of sacrifice and love.

How many other 6th graders in Greenville County got this added-values kind of education this week…in addition to a strong academic curriculum?

To get a more indepth look at what is going on in the Sixth Grade Academy, we invite you to visit this page for video content, FAQs, and samples of the weekly newsletter received by Academy parents!

Jake Johanning Signs to Furman Football

Congratulations to senior Jake Johanning on committing to play Division I football for Furman University! Johanning signed on December 19 with his friends and family gathered to celebrate this achievement.

Johanning finished his high school football career with high honors as the Region 1-AA Player of the Year by the region’s coaches. He was also the first player from St. Joseph’s football program to be selected to participate in the North-South All-Star game. We look forward to following his career as he continues his education at Furman University.

To date, all SJCS athletic signings for 2018-19 have been to Division I schools. We commend the hard work of all our student athletes, their families, and coaches!

Prayer for Study and Exams

As we enter exam week on Monday, know that the prayers of the faculty and staff are will all of our students, particularly as they prepare over the weekend. Good luck and finish strong! St. Joseph, pray for us.

Lord, I know you are with me and love me.
Give me peace of mind as I prepare for this time of study.
Help me to focus on my books and notes,
keep me from all distractions so that I will make the best use
of this time that is available to me.

Give me insight that I might understand what I am studying ,
and help me to remember it when the time comes.
Above all, I thank you for the ability to be able to study
and for the many gifts and talents you have given me.
Help me always to use them in such a way
that they honour you and do justice to myself.  Amen


Dear Lord, as I take this exam, I thank you that my value
Is not based on my performance, but on your great love for me.
Come into my heart so that we can walk through this time together.
Help me, not only with this test, but the many tests of life that are sure to come my way.

As I take this exam, bring back to my mind everything I studied
and be gracious with what I have overlooked.
Help me to remain focussed and clam, confident in the facts and in my ability,
and firm in the knowledge that no matter what happens today you are there with me.  Amen

Middle School Celebrates St. Nicholas Day

Happy St. Nicholas Day! Today, the middle school celebrated with treats in the cafeteria thanks to many of our moms and Mrs. Jaraczewski. St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children and is a major saint in many European and Eastern countries. One of the old Christian traditions surrounding his feast day is for kids to leave their shoes out overnight in front of the fireplace, on the windowsill, or outside their bedroom door so that St. Nicholas can fill them with special fruits, candies, and other small gifts and treats.


Palmetto Fellows Announced

The College Counseling Office recently announced that twenty-six students out of a class of 109 seniors have met the qualifications for the Palmetto Fellows Early Award. This is a tremendous achievement for our seniors, and showcases the quality of these students among their peers in the Greenville area. According to the Greenville County Schools website, the class percentage of St. Joseph’s seniors to claim this valuable state scholarship is nearly three times the local average!

Andrew Armstrong, Connor Bailey, Annika Bissinger, Annakate Blanks, Anthony Cinquemani, James Clemence, Davis Cooney, Luke Cunniffe, Emily Garceau, Anna Scott Gardner, Hannah Gertz, Branson Guest, Rachel Hall, Elizabeth Harris, Brandon Hodge, Madison Koontz, Helen Kopscik, Jack Longergan, Jadin Nassif, Elizabeth Poinsette, Joshua Powers, Emma Kate Seckinger, William Smith, Phillip Stapleton, Connor Stein, and Katherine Uprichard met the Early Award requirements by maintaining the required cumulative SC GPA and obtaining the required SAT and/or ACT score.

The Palmetto Scholarship recognizes academically talented South Carolina high school seniors and encourages these individuals to attend college in state.  Each Palmetto Fellow may receive a scholarship up to $6,700 during their first year of college. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors may receive up to $7,500 per year.

Sixth Grade Academy Altruism in Action: Water of Life Ministry Visit

On Thursday, November 29th, the Sixth Grade Academy continued its Altruism in Action series with a visit from Water of Life Ministry. The students, who are currently studying the virtue of compassion, listened intently to their guest speaker Sarah Kelley as she shared the about the mission of Water of Life – to support communities in need in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and India by providing clean water through drilling new wells, sharing the Gospel, and helping to break cycles of poverty. One of the most pressing needs they face in India is the desperation of child slavery.

Mrs. Kelley explained to the students the caste system of India, and of the “untouchables,” largely familiar in the United States as those Mother Theresa served. She explained that thousands of children, average age 9, are forced into slavery in the brick and slate mines underground, often because of their families live in extreme poverty. It was very hard for our students to grasp that these children do not get to go home at night but are forced to sleep in these mines with very little food. Mrs. Kelley told the students that they are rescuing these children from the mines and are giving them medical attention, clothes and schooling so they can earn a living. Many of the little girls they rescue learn to sew and work as tailors. In order to help raise money to rescue other children from slavery, these little girls also make stuffed elephants which they sell for $15 each. Some of the money raised from these elephants also goes toward the drilling of new wells, which in turn helps to break the cycle of poverty in rural villages by sparing children and parents hours of walking each day to bring dirty water home to their families. The cost of one Water of Life Ministries well is $3,500.

The Academy students and teachers were very moved by this presentation and asked if some of the elephants could stay at the school, both for the children to purchase and to be able to help them share the story. If you would like to see or purchase them, contact any of the Sixth Grade Academy teachers!

More information about Water of Life can be found at their website at




St. Joe’s Blankets and Stadium Seats Available

The lacrosse team will be selling St. Joseph’s blankets at the upcoming home basketball games Dec. 10, 11, and 14. These cozy throws are 54″ x 84″ and perfect for cool weather events or as an additional layer at the foot of the bed ($40 each). Also available are 11″ x 14″ royal blue foam stadium seats ($10 each). The seats make indoor or outdoor spectating much more enjoyable! Both items make wonderful Christmas gifts, so be sure to get yours before they’re gone!

Theology of the Body Class Hosts Speaker

St. Joseph’s Theology of the Body course is a unique classroom offering in the Greenville area. As the Upstate’s only Catholic high school, St. Joseph’s is the only educational experience offering an in-depth, semester long exploration of St. Pope John Paul II’s critical work on an integrated vision of the human person.

“The human body includes right from the beginning… the capacity of expressing love, that love in which the person becomes a gift – and by means of this gift – fulfills the meaning of his being and existence.” – St. Pope John Paul II 

As part of this course of study, taught by Theology teacher Michele Houmis, each year the class welcomes a guest speaker to introduce the high school students to the concepts of Natural Family Planning and fertility awareness. In a culture that assumes contraceptives as a given in women’s healthcare and within relationships, this lecture provides a research-backed alternative that is respectful of both a woman’s body and of the bond between husband and wife in keeping with the Catholic Church’s teachings on sexual ethics. This year, the class welcome Tami Kiser, wife of Headmaster Keith Kiser, as guest lecturer.

Mrs. Kiser, a nationally recognized speaker and author, presented a compelling and informative approach not only to the practical method of tracking a women’s fertility, but also shared the practical and positive impact NFP can have on the health of a marriage – stronger communication, mutual support, and shared spiritual growth. She also witnessed to the class, as unmarried teenagers, how a chaste dating relationship helped prepare her for marriage.

This course continues to be a highlight of the St. Joseph’s experience, providing a forum for discussion and questions regarding many life issues and the purpose and beauty of human life.


Flag Retirement Ceremony to be Held Thursday, Dec 6

All students, faculty, staff, and families are invited to attend a Flag Retirement Ceremony on Thursday, December 6th at 9:45 AM. A special invitation is extended to all veterans who may be interested as well. The ceremony will be conducted by SJCS senior and Eagle Scout Dillon Spikings, and will be held on the St. Joseph’s Catholic School football field.

“As an Eagle Scout, I have been a part of several flag ceremonies my Boy Scout Troop has done and I wanted to share this great event with SJCS,” said Spikings. December 7th is also National Pearl Harbour Remembrance Day, and so presents a duel occasion to honor the flag and the fallen members of the United States Military.

We look forward to seeing you at this event and extend our thanks to Dillon for bringing this opportunity to St. Joseph’s.

Alumni Basketball Game Tradition Continues

The annual tradition of the Alumni Basketball Game continues to be a well attended event each year. During this Thanksgiving break, twenty-one of our alumni came back to campus for an evening of catching up with each other and Coach Paul Assinesi over a competitive-yet-friendly game. We continue to be impressed with the caliber of our alumni and grateful for their desire to come back home for fellowship with their classmates!

For more Alumni Events, view our calendar for 2018-19 or contact Rachel Neubauer in the Development Office.