Four members of the cast of Disney’s “Aladdin,” which has been playing at the Peace Center, visited SJCS on Thursday.

Korie Lee Blossey, who plays the part of the Genie, and three members of the ensemble — Orianna Hilliard, Allie Pizzo and Michelle West — spent about an hour in the JP II Center answering questions in front of a gathering of students, staff and administrators.

SJCS Fine Arts Department chair Ms. Teresa McGrath served as moderator during the first segment, and students also were given an opportunity to ask questions. Then the four spent some time casually chatting with a group of students.

The cast members discussed their journeys, their biggest challenges with regard to Aladdin; costume changes; what goes on backstage; the blending of the cast; their individual roles; the many roles that go into a production; and other aspects of life in the theatre.

Asked about for those students interested in pursuing a career in theatre, Michelle said, “Dive in as soon as possible.”

“Much like in the story, Aladdin has a lamp, and much like in the story, Aladdin doesn’t need the lamp, and neither do you,” said Korie. “You don’t need three wishes. You don’t need magic. You need to find what you love more than anything, and you can do that.

“I promise you, as somebody who could not dance and I get to do this eight nights a week, you can do anything you want if you want it bad enough and you’re willing to do the work. You’re the only thing that can stop you.”


Andrew Jackson defeated the SJCS boys varsity 51-35 in the first round of the Class 2A basketball playoffs Wednesday night. That ends the season for the Knights, who played much better than their record indicated. They had numerous close losses, played tough from start to finish, turned huge deficits into down-to-the-wire defeats and never quit. Congratulations on a great season!


Eight SJCS athletes placed in the region strength meet Saturday at Dorman High School.

Senior Rashad Luckey won the region championship in the 235-pound division, combining a squat of 505 pounds, a bench press of 325 pounds and a broad jump of 98 inches.

Freshmen K.J. Haynes and Chris Johnson won region championships on the junior varsity level, Haynes at 205 and Johnson at 150.

Other varsity placers for the Knights were senior Alec Miller, second at 160; sophomore K.D. Boyd, third at 170; senior Marcos Salgado, fourth at 170; sophomore Harrison Scott, sixth at 180; and senior Michael McLeer, seventh at 180.

Freshman Christian Jimenez took second in the JV 235-pound division.

The Knights, under the leadership of strength and conditioning coach Josh Reynolds, competed against Dorman, Laurens, Southside Christian and Landrum.

Rashad Luckey: 1st in the 235-pound division
(Squat 505 pounds, Bench 325 pounds, Broad Jump 98 inches)

Alec Miller: 2nd, 160
(Squat 365, Bench 205, Broad Jump 93)

K.D. Boyd: 3rd, 170
(Bench 185, Broad Jump 101)

Marcos Salgado: 4th, 170
(Squat 325, Bench 195, Broad Jump 83)

Harrison Scott: 6th 180
(Bench 245, Broad Jump 99.5)

Michael McLeer: 7th, 180
(Squat 275, Bench 235, Broad Jump 88)

Junior Varsity
K.J. Haynes: 1st, 205
(Squat 290, Bench 155, Broad Jump 83)

Chris Johnson: 1st, 150
(Squat 260, Bench 165, Broad Jump 97)

Christian Jimenez: 2nd, 235
(Squat 350, Bench 240, Broad Jump 68)


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After ending the regular season on a roll, the SJCS girls basketball team struggled in the first half of its playoff opener Tuesday night.

Then the second half began.

Sparked by junior point guard Essence Thompson, the Knights returned to form in the third quarter and went on to a 51-35 victory over visiting North Central in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs.

St. Joe’s, the runner-up in Region 2, will play on the road in the second round against Region 4 champion Saluda at 6:00 PM Friday. Saluda defeated SJCS rival Southside Christian 59-28 in the first round Tuesday night.

Thompson, who had been a little under the weather, sat out the first half against North Central, which ended with the Knights trailing 19-9.

Thompson returned to the court in the third quarter, and St. Joe’s scored the first six points of the half on a 3-pointer by Brittany Morris, a put-back by Mady Duwe and a free throw by Duwe.

The Knights continued to surge, and Thompson scored on a drive to give them a 23-22 lead with 3:40 left in the quarter. Emily Meade scored inside, and after a steal, Morris knocked down a shot from the right baseline to make it 27-22 at the end of the third.

When Brigid Stanton scored inside two minutes into the fourth quarter, it capped a 14-0 run and gave the Knights a 33-22 lead.

North Central rallied to pull within 40-35, but Duwe scored on a drive to spark the Knights, who closed with an 11-0 run.

Duwe finished with 22 points, including 8 of 10 from the free-throw line. Stanton scored 10 points. Meade had nine points, including 5 of 6 from the line in the fourth quarter.

Morris had six points. Thompson had just four points but clearly provided the jolt the Knights needed.

At halftime, SJCS Athletic Director Eric Nash and Booster Club President Michael Pace presented a check for $500 for North Central AD Tyronne Drakeford to help the school with its recovery after it was hit by a tornado on January 11.

Varsity Boys

The SJCS varsity boys, the sixth seed in Region 1, will play on the road against Andrew Jackson, the top seed in Region 4, at 6:30 tonight in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs.

6th Grade Boys

Charlie Walters scored 11 points and the SJCS 6th grade boys basketball team defeated visiting St. Mary’s 17-15 on Tuesday afternoon.

John Eberstein added six points for the Knights, who led 16-11 after three quarters and held on for the victory.

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Nine SJCS athletes have been named to the 2019-20 Upstate Sports Awards All-Upstate Swimming and Cross Country Teams, presented by The Greenville News and Anderson Independent Mail.

Senior Preston Jennings (100 butterfly) and junior Silas Crosby (500 freestyle) have been named to the All-Upstate Boys Swimming First Team.

Crosby (200 freestyle, 200 medley relay, 400 freestyle relay), Jennings (200 medley relay, 400 freestyle relay), senior James Cline (200 medley relay), junior Jack Doyle (100 breaststroke, 200 individual medley, 200 medley relay, 400 freestyle relay) and freshman Colin Jordan (400 freestyle relay) were chosen for the second team.

Sophomore Mary Kate Farrell (100 breaststroke, 200 freestyle) was named to the All-Upstate Girls Swimming Second Team.

Senior Ava Dobson and junior Caroline Linen were named to the All-Upstate Girls Cross Country First Team.

Senior Brendan McTigue was chosen for the All-Upstate Boys Cross Country Second Team.

The teams will be recognized at the Upstate Sports Award program on May 26 at the Greenville Convention Center, during which the Boys and Girls Swimmers of the Year and Girls and Boys Cross Country Runners of the Year will be announced.


The 6th-grade Literature students in Mrs. Lynn Connelly’s class were assigned a third-quarter project to analyze a character from their current novel, “Out of My Mind” by Sharon Draper.
The analysis also included a character portrait. Here are some of the characters from this amazing novel: Melody Brooks, Rose, Clair, Dr. Hugely, Diane Brooks, Chuck Brooks, Mrs. V, Connor, Catherine, Maria, Penny and Mrs. Billups.


This spring we have an exciting opportunity for one of our talented SJCS Faculty/Staff members to make an appearance ON STAGE in a cameo role for High School Musical! However, the decision of who makes it to the spotlight is up to you! Visit this link to place your votes for the Faculty/Staff member that you want to see on stage this spring. Voting has begun and will run through Friday, February 21.

The following candidates have volunteered for this opportunity:

Mr. Carr

Mrs. Chesery 

Mr. McClendon

Mr. Orbon

Mrs. Trakas

Mr. D. Wilson

Each vote is $1 – you can vote for as many teachers as you would like as many times as you would like!

On Friday, February 21, there will be an opportunity to vote during MS & HS lunches.

All proceeds will go to the Jubilate Arts Guild in support of Fine Arts programming.


The Class 2A first-round playoff matchups are set for both the SJCS varsity boys and girls basketball teams.

The girls, seeded second out of Region 2, will host North Central, the fourth seed out of Region 4, on Tuesday at 6:00 PM.

Coach Natalie Satterfield’s team ended the regular season on a six-game winning streak, with a 12-2 region record and at No. 8 in the state in Class 2A.

Come out and support the girls as they play at home in the playoffs for the first time in five years!

The boys, seeded sixth out of Region 2, will play in Kershaw against Andrew Jackson, the top seed out of Region 4, on Wednesday at 6:30 PM.

Coach Paul Assinesi’s Knights have been competitive all season. Of their 10 region losses, six have been by four points or less and two others have ended in overtime.

These players have battled and battled, and hopefully they’ll get over the hump in the playoffs!


David Kiser (SJCS Class of 2009) has been selected for the Pat Conroy Literary Center’s first Writer’s Residency. David is the host and producer of South Carolina Public Radio’s “On the Keys.” He teaches Music theory at Anderson University and is writing a music history of South Carolina and finishing a novel set during the aftermath of the Korean War.

David will begin his residency at MarshSong cottage on St. Helena Island later this month. He was chosen from among more than 60 writers from across the country who applied for the residency.

Congratulations to David on this tremendous honor!

Click here for the official announcement.


Ford McCoy photo courtesy scrunners.com

SCRunners.com recently published its South Carolina All-Decade Cross Country Awards (2010-2019), and St. Joseph’s Catholic School was well represented.

Senior Ava Dobson was chosen Girls Runner of the Decade. Ava won her third consecutive individual state championship in November when she set the state record with her time of 16:58.3. She has signed to continue her career at the University of North Carolina.

Annika Bissinger (Class of 2019) was named to the Girls Runner of the Decade Third Team and was No. 15 overall. Annika won two state championships, had one state-runner-up finish, two thirds and was all-state five times. She is currently competing at Cornell University.

Ford McCoy (Class of 2017) was named to the Boys Runner of the Decade Third Team and was No. 14 overall. Ford won two state championships, had one state-runner-up finish, one third and was all-state six times. He is currently competing at Wofford College.

Marie Kernell was No. 2 in the ranking of Girls Coach of the Decade. Marie led the Knights to nine consecutive state championships and then a state-runner-up finish this past season. She was a nine-time SC Track and Cross Country Coaches Association Coach of the Year; she served as Shrine Bowl Run Head Coach in 2015; and she served as SCTCCCA Secretary from 2012-2018.

In addition, St. Joe’s was No. 4 on the list of Girls Program of the Decade.

George Carr was No. 3 in the ranking of Boys Coach of the Decade. George led the Knights to six state championships and one state-runner-up finish. He was a six-time SCTCCCA Boys Coach of the Year, and he was also chosen the SC Athletic Coaches Association Boys Coach of the Year.

Congratulations to Ava, Annika, Ford, Coach Kernell and Coach Carr and these programs! Indeed, it’s been an incredible decade for cross country at St. Joe’s!!

Click here to read about St. Joe’s in SCRunners’ South Carolina All-Decade Cross Country Awards.


On Tuesday night, at halftime of the girls and boys varsity basketball games, members of the SJCS volleyball and boys swim teams received their state championship rings.

In October, St. Joe’s, under head coach Becky Van Evera and assistant Karen Miros, won its third consecutive Class 3A state championship in boys swimming.

Then, in November, the Knights’ volleyball team, under head coach Jan Carino and assistant Dana Kindelmann, won its ninth straight state championship — the first five in Class 1A and the last four in 2A.

Congratulations to all these athletes and their coaches for their state championship performances!!


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Mady Duwe scored 13 points to lead a balanced attack for the SJCS girls in their 48-33 win over visiting Greer Middle College on Tuesday night.

Seniors Brittany Morris and Brigid Stanton celebrated Senior Night by scoring 12 and 11 points, respectively, for St. Joe’s, ranked eighth in the state in the most recent SC Prep Media Poll.

Also for the Knights, Essence Thompson scored seven points, Abby Seidel and Korinna Brockman had two points apiece and Emily Mulholland added one point.

St. Joe’s, which won its fifth consecutive game and improved to 11-2 in Region 1-2A, has clinched second place. The Knights will host a first-round playoff game on Tuesday night.

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Varsity Boys

The Knights suffered another tough loss Tuesday night, falling short against GMC, 66-61 in overtime. St. Joe’s lost by two points on the road against the Blazers.

Of the Knights’ nine region losses, five have been by four points or less and two others have ended in overtime.

St. Joe’s trailed 51-45 late in regulation but rallied to tie the score at 51-51 on a drive by Ben Saunders with 2:05 remaining, and the Knights led 54-53 after Jalen Gibson scored on a drive with 30 seconds left.

But GMC scored with 6.9 seconds to go to send the game to overtime and outscored the Knights 8-2 down the stretch in the extra period.

Gibson led St. Joe’s with 17 points. Gannon Stockton added 13 points and Saunders 11 points. Adam Rogers had six points, Daniel Watson five, Joseph Poole four, Kyle Lonergan three and Brendan Dunlavey two points.

Before the game, the Knights honored seniors Dunlavey, Poole, Rogers and Josh Masters.

Also honored were the senior cheerleaders: Lorena Cicale, Lindsey Cummings, Katrina O’Connell and Madison Patrick.

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