Interfaith Panel Discussion: “Who Is My Neighbor?” Feb 13

Join us at St. Joseph’s Catholic School on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 for an Interfaith Panel Discussion addressing the question “Who Is My Neighbor?”.

John Paul II Center
7:00 PM
Free and open to the public

The evening will be moderated by Fr. Sandy McDonald, pastor of St. John Neumann Parish in Columbia, South Carolina. We are pleased to welcome the following diverse board of panelists:

Rev. Dennis McManus, Ph.D. Georgetown University professor, consultant for the USCCB’s Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and Jewish Catholic Relations Committee.

Dr. Akif Aydin President of the Atlantic Institute. The Atlantic Institute was founded to bridge the deep gap of social interaction, to promote respecting differences, and to commit to the common good in the State of South Carolina.

Rabbi Matthew Marko of Congregation Beth Israel, a Conservative Synagogue in Greenville, South Carolina.

Pastor Deb Richardson-Moore of Triune Mercy Center, a non-denominational mission church that ministers alongside the homeless in downtown Greenville, South Carolina.

Rev. Ronald Smith of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Greenville, South Carolina.

Frances Worthington, author and a representative of the Greenville community’s Baha’i congregation.


Ava Dobson Named Two-Time Gatorade Runner of the Year

In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company announced Ava Dobson of St. Joseph’s Catholic School as its 2018-19 Gatorade South Carolina Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. Dobson is the first Gatorade South Carolina Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from St. Joseph’s Catholic School.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the racecourse, distinguishes Dobson as South Carolina’s best high school girls cross country runner and is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year award to be announced in February.

The 5-foot-6 junior raced to the Class 2A state championship this past season with a time of 18:03.47, leading the Knights to the state title as a team. The state’s returning Gatorade Girls Cross  Country  Runner  of  the Year, Dobson also won  the  Greenville  County  championships  and  the  CiCi’s  Sandhills  Invitational.  She  placed  14th  at  the  Foot  Locker South Regional championships.

Dobson has volunteered locally on behalf of Triune Mercy Center, helping the low-income and homeless populations in Greenville, along with Rise Against Hunger, an international humanitarian aid organization in addition to donating her time to a summer camp for special needs children. “Ava is a true example of tenacity in the face of  adversity,” said St. Joseph’s coach Marie Kernell. “Even when she couldn’t race because of an injury sustained at the end of  the track season, she worked just as hard as everyone else with the goal of joining her team as soon as her doctor would release her.  She’s  very  coachable, a  team  player, positive, humble and upbeat.”

Dobson has maintained an A average in the classroom. She will begin her senior year of high school this fall.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.


Two-time winner Dobson joins Gatorade South Carolina Girls Cross Country Runners of the Year Cate Ambrose (2016- 17, Riverside High School), Logan Morris (2015-16 & 2014-15, Spartanburg Christian Academy) and Ashbrook Gwinn (2013-14, Aiken High School) as athletes who have won the cross country award since its inception in 2007.


As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Dobson has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing. She is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.


Since the program’s inception in 1985,  Gatorade  Player  of  the  Year  award  recipients  have  won  hundreds  of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.


To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit, on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at



SJCS Spirit Week Concludes with $41k Gift to St. Anthony’s

Spirit Week 2019 concluded Friday night with the basketball games and check presentation to this year’s beneficiary, St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School. After a full week of student led fundraising activities, Student Council was thrilled to report the week’s total came to $41,320!

This year’s fundraising is particularly exciting as the total is on par with the past several years of joint effort between SJCS and CCES. This year reflects the efforts of St. Joseph’s students alone. We are very proud of the hard work and generous hearts of our students to be able to give such tremendous support to our fellow Catholic school!

Both games Friday night were incredibly exciting and great competitions between our varsity basketball program and that of our athletic rival school, Christ Church. The Cavaliers took home the victories this year by a narrow margin, the Lady Knights going down 29-39 and the boys 47-50.

Special thanks to Susan Cinquemani for providing photos.

Food Truck Rally At Spirit Week Basketball Games – Friday, Jan 25

To close Spirit Week and kick off Catholic Schools Week, there will be a Food Truck Rally this Friday as we host CCES for girls and boys basketball!

Friday, January 25
SJCS Campus
6:00 – 9:00 PM

Come out and support our Knights and enjoy dinner with your family! Available will be BBQ goodness from Wholy Smoke and the most flavorful hot dogs you’ll even eat from Resident Dogs, along with Chick-fil-A sandwiches sold by the Booster Club.


New Baseball Hit House and Bullpen to be Named After Papal Honoree Joe Pazdan Sr.

Behind every project St. Joseph’s undertakes is a desire to serve the mission of our school and a dedicated team moving the work forward through their labor, their prayers, and their financial investment. As construction continues for improvements to the baseball field, we would like to recognize the longtime support of “Papa” Joe Pazdan Sr. and his wife Mack.

Early this month, Joe was honored at a baseball dinner attended by more than 80 current, alumni and prospective baseball families. The dinner, organized by the Pace and Marchal families, was a chance to update the baseball community on construction progress, enjoy fellowship together, and to celebrate the generosity of the Pazdan family’s contributions to the project. Through the combined gifts of Joe Sr., Joe Jr. and John Pazdan, the family has made a substantial financial gift to the baseball project, enabling the new hit house and bullpen area to be named in honor of Joe Sr.

Headmaster Keith Kiser spoke at the dinner, thanking the Pazdan family and sharing what they have meant to the school over the years. Joe’s wife Allie McIntosh “Mack” Pazdan served on the board of trustees, was the founder of our St. Anne’s Guild, and the Blessed Sacrament Chapel was given to the school by her family in her honor and now memory. 

Chairman of the Board Matt Utecht discussed further details of the construction project, Michael Pace reviewed the baseball project wish list, Coach Turmon presented on the status of the baseball program, and two SJCS baseball alumni – Sterling Turmon and Angelo Pahila –  spoke about the impact of the program on their lives.

John Pazdan shared some of his father’s story, telling how pitching for the North Carolina Tar Heels kept Joe from the life of a factory worker in his native Trenton, NJ and led him eventually to meet his wife and settle in Greenville. He also shared about Joe’s support of Catholic education and healthcare in the Upstate, for which Joe recently received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, the highest award of honor bestowed by the Holy Father to lay people and clergy. The medal, gold with a white and yellow ribbon, was given to him on January 13 in Charleston, officiated by Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone on behalf of Pope Francis.

St. Joseph’s Catholic School is profoundly grateful for the continued support of Joe Pazdan and his family, and we are honored to count them among those who have made our school the nationally recognized institution of faithful Catholic education it is today.

Middle School Wrestling Goes to State After Region Wins

Congratulations to Middle School Wrestlers Logan Dodge, 8th grade, who placed 1st in the Regional State Wrestling Tournament, and to Hammond Fayssoux, 7th grade, who placed 4th. Both boys will be going on to compete at the JV & MS Carolina Invitational State Tournament this weekend in 100 pound weight class. Congratulations on your achievements and good luck in Lexington tomorrow! GO KNIGHTS!


Special thanks to parent correspondent Bridget d’Anjou for this update.

St. Joseph’s Attends March for Life in Washington DC

Today, thirty St. Joe’s students and four faculty chaperones join over 200,000 participants at the annual March for Life in Washington, DC. The students chose to miss the opening day of the SJCS Spirit Week and to march in freezing cold weather to show their support for the right to life of all people, from conception to natural death.

Thank you to faculty chaperones Lynn Connelly, Kenneth Covington, Shawna Fesler, and Karl Orbon, who is also the Students for Life moderator.


Winter Outerwear Sale – Closes January 22

We’ve opened a quick Winter sale for items to keep you cozy during these colder months!

Students are permitted to wear SJCS Spirit Wear on Fridays and outerwear any day of the week (except Wednesday), so stock up for those upcoming chilly fall and winter days. 


Shop Now

For any questions contact Macie Lawton, SJCS SpiritWear Committee Chair.

Items will arrive the week of February 4th. 

SJCS Receives Cross Country Awards

The St. Joseph’s Cross Country program was awarded the following at the South Carolina Track and Cross Country Coaches Association (SCTCCCA) winter meeting on Saturday, Jan. 12th, at the offices of the South Carolina High School League in Columbia, South Carolina:

Ava Dobson: 2018 Fastest SC Female Runner
Caroline Linen: 2018 SCRunners XC Series Championships 3rd Place Girls Individual
Zac Palmer: 2018 SCRunners XC Series Championships 3rd Place Boys Individual
Brendan McTigue: 2018 SCRunners XC Series Championships 1st Place Boys Individual
St. Joseph’s Catholic School: 2018 SCRunners XC Series Championships 1st Place Boys Team

Marie Kernell: 2018 SCTCCCA Girls 1A/2A Coach of the Year (plaque)
George Carr: 2018 SCTCCCA Boys 1A/2A Coach of the Year (plaque)

Congratulations on the well-deserved honors!

A Knight with the Legends – February 9, Tickets on Sale Now

Please join us for a very exciting and unique event, “A Knight with the Legends”, that will be happening in the St. Joseph’s JPII Center the evening of Saturday, February 9th.

St. Joseph’s Catholic School will be hosting an exciting slate of Hall of Fame college football coaches as they share stories and experiences in a question and answer style forum. This will be the opportunity of a lifetime to hear from four football legends!

Tickets are available, with all sales benefitting the Knights Football program. General Admission for the Speaker Panel is $20 per person, as well as a $50 Premium Ticket, which also includes dinner and a meet and greet with the coaches before the panel.

Purchase Tickets

Speaker Panel will be from 6:00-8:00 PM, with the Premium Ticket events beginning at 4:30 PM.

For more information, please contact Head Football Coach Jon Wheeler.



Coach Mike Ayers, Wofford College: Concluded a 30-year head-coaching career at Wofford and a 44-year overall coaching career on Dec. 13, 2017. He finished with 218 career victories, which landed him 3rd All-Time in Southern Conference history. He led the Terriers to 10 playoff appearances and five Southern Conference Championships during his tenure. He was also the recipient of the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year in 2003 and named Southern Conference Coach of the Year five times. On March 28, 2018, Coach Ayers was inducted into the Southern Conference Hall of Fame.

Coach Willie Jeffries, South Carolina State University: Concluded a 29-year head-coaching career and a 34-year overall coaching career in 2001. He finished with 180 career victories and won three Black College National Championships and seven Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championships. In 1979, he became the first African American hired as a Head Football Coach at a Division 1 football program at Wichita State University. In 2010, Coach Jeffries was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. On May 5, 1988, the Governor of South Carolina Carroll Campbell presented Coach Jeffries with the Order of the Palmetto. This is the highest civilian honor in the state of South Carolina and is awarded to those citizens who make achievements of statewide impact. He was also awarded the companion honor of the Order of the Silver Crescent by Governor Jim Hodges on October 13, 2001. This is awarded to those who make community or professional accomplishments of local significance. Finally, on Dec. 6, 2018 Coach Jeffries was presented with the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) Contributions to College Football Award during the Home Depot College Football Awards show on ESPN.

Coach Bobby Johnson, Vanderbilt University and Furman University: Concluded a 16-year head-coaching career and a 34-year overall coaching career on July 14, 2010. He finished with 89 career victories. Coach Johnson led Furman to three playoff appearances and two Southern Conference Championships during his 8-year tenure. In 2001, he led the Paladins to the NCAA Division I-AA National Championship game. He was named AFCA National Coach of the Year in 2001 and named Southern Conference Coach of the Year in 1999, while at Furman. During his 8-year career at Vanderbilt University, Coach Johnson helped to build Vanderbilt to a competitive program in the Southeastern Conference. In 2008, he led Vanderbilt to its first Bowl game since 1982 and first Bowl victory since 1955. Also in 2008, he was named SEC Coach of the Year. In 2009, Coach Johnson was inducted to the Furman University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Coach Jimmy Satterfield, Furman University: Concluded an 8-year college head-coaching career at Furman and a 29-year overall coaching career in 2003. He finished with 66 career victories at Furman. Coach Satterfield led Furman to four playoff appearances and three Southern Conference Championships during his 8-year tenure. In 1988, he led the Paladins to win NCAA Division I-AA National Championship game. He was named AFCA National Coach of the Year in 1988 and named Southern Conference Coach of the Year in 1989. Coach Satterfield finished his coaching as the Head Coach at Lexington High School from 1996 to 2003. He finished with 74 career victories at Lexington and lost to Dorman in the 2000 State Championship game. In 2015, Coach Satterfield was inducted to the Furman University Athletic Hall of Fame.

SJCS Attends Diocesan Honor Band and Choir Clinic

On January 9th and 10th, thirty-seven of St. Joseph’s band and chorus students participated in the Diocesan Honor Band and Choir Clinic held at Cardinal Newman School in Columbia, SC. A total of one hundred thirty-three students from five schools in the Diocese of Charleston attended. In addition to St. Joseph’s, students representing Bishop England (Charleston), Cardinal Newman (Columbia), St. Anne (Rock Hill), St. Anthony (Florence), and Prince of Peace (Greenville) performed at an evening concert following their clinic work.

The event was a collaborative effort between the music educators of each school, designed to provide a special opportunity for their students to study band and choral literature together while learning from some of the nation’s leading music educators.

St. Joseph’s Band Director, Marjorie Malphrus, was part of the team that brought the event together. “I’ve been working toward this event for two years, and I’m so pleased to see it come together,” says Malphrus. “The students enjoyed it tremendously, the fellowship as well as the music. It was all I hoped it would be.”

Aside from the performance and learning opportunities, the trip also provided a chance for our students to get to know their peers from the other attending Catholic schools. Over thirty students from Cardinal Newman joined the St. Joseph’s group for dinner and fellowship.

Thank you to Mrs. Malphrus and to Choral Director Angela Hayes for their excellence in musical education and for chaperoning this trip.


Spirit Week 2019 Begins Friday

The members of High School Student Council have been working very hard to prepare an excellent line up of events to support the work of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School during the 2019 Spirit Week. The students chose St. Anthony’s because of the incredible work the school does “to provide exceptional academic instruction and support faith development of all students, regardless of religious affiliation and tradition”. From January 18th to the 25th, high school student council will be offering dozens of fun activities and events to raise funds for St. Anthony’s, culminating with a check presentation at the SJCS vs. CCES basketball games on Friday, January 25th.

Here are the first 2 ways that everyone can support this cause:

  • Get your 2019 Spirit Week T-shirt and consider purchasing one for a St. Anthony’s student! All orders must be in by the end of the school day on Monday, January 14th.
  • Sign-up for the Color Run and Cookout at St. Anthony’s on Sunday, January 20th, from 2:00-4:00 PM. This will be a simple but very fun activity for the whole family. You may also make a donation to support the work of St. Anthony’s through the SJCS Spirit Week Fund.

Stay tuned for the full Spirit Week calendar of events! Question? Email Gabe Lewis.

Campus Master Plan Moves Forward with Demolition of Empty Building

When classes resumed on January 7, students and parents queuing up for morning carline caught the first glimpse of the campus’s new look. Over the Christmas break, work began on the new baseball dugouts and, more noticeably, the demolition of the empty building near the middle school. The unused office building, affectionately called ‘the scary building’, was a left over from the previous life of our campus and never used for anything other than storage.

Demolition progressing despite heavy rains over Christmas break.

With the building now gone, the view from the hill has widened considerably and gives a sneak peek into how grand the improvements planned for our school will be over the next few years.

The “Scary Building” prior to demolition. Photo by Will Crooks of the Greenville Journal.

The current Master Plan for the campus includes redrawing the traffic pattern, additional parking, and creating a more welcoming main entrance for our families and visitors. The new entrance is planned to include a large circular drive featuring a fountain and beautifully crafted statue of St. Joseph, visually placing our Catholic identity front and center.



SJCS Basketball Returns from Break With Victories

Since coming back from Christmas break, our basketball teams have shown they kept sharp over the long holiday. Varsity and JV boys and girls teams took on Landrum High School and Greenville Homeschool last week before returning to classes.

The Landrum games were a great competition, with Boys Varsity claiming a 61-47 victory in double overtime. Girls Varsity lost as did both JV teams, all hard fought games. The games versus Greenville Homeschool, however, provided the Knights with a quadruple win, with victories across the board for all our Varsity and JV teams.

Be sure to come out tonight as our varsity teams face off against Blacksburg at home. Girls start at 6:30 PM, and boys at 8:00 PM. GO KNIGHTS!

Sixth Grade Academy Participates in Hour of Code

In conjunction with Computer Science Education Week during December, St. Joseph’s sixth graders participated in Google’s Hour of Code from CS First. CS First is a free web-based program that exposes students to computer science through video tutorials and modules that students participate in as after-school, in-school and summer programs. Designed for grades 4-8, the clubs teach students about computer science and coding in a hands-on, learning-by-doing way.

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Hour of Code is part of a nationwide effort to get kids doing computer coding, which can spark an interest in creativity and computer science. During their Foundations class with Mrs. Elizabeth Duncan, our students followed along with a video-based coding activity to create an original animated story. The instruction was very simple and engaging, requiring no experience in coding from either the students.

Thank you to Mrs. Duncan for bringing this opportunity to her class in the Sixth Grade Academy!