Terrific Tuesdays in the Sixth Grade Academy

In the Sixth Grade Academy, the study of virtue goes hand in hand with the rest of the students classwork. Each quarter, the Academy students go in-depth exploring particular virtues to transform their understanding from ideas on a page to tools they can use to become better students, friends, sons and daughters, and to grow in their relationships with God.

During the first quarter, the Academy teachers have focused on the virtues of self-discipline and courage. To help bring these virtues to life, the Academy takes one day a month – Terrific Tuesdays – to host guest speakers from the Greenville community who are living these virtues to share their stories with the students.

For the month of October, the Academy students welcomed members of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Department to speak about the ways they exercise courage and self-discipline working in law enforcement, and how if the students work to grow in these virtues now, they can make the world a better place. Deputy Katie McGrath, who has visited St. Joseph’s several times before, shared her experiences both in the military and as a sheriff’s deputy and the crucial role that self-discipline plays in her life. Without it, she told the students, she would not be allowed to do the job she does.

Girls Golf Wins Fourth Straight Region Title

For the fourth straight season, the St. Joseph’s girls golf team has won the Region championship.

Led by the stellar play of Emma Curran and Kaitlyn Dumit, the Knights posted a 340 total Monday at Links O’Tryon in Gowensvill at the Region I-AA tournament. That was 21 shots better than runnerup and host Landrum.

Curran and Dumit posted a 76 and a 77, respectively. Sophomore Reagan Lillibridge shot a fine 83 while eighth-grader Marett Cole used her “magic” putting to post a 104. Peyton Gillespie of Christ Church shot a 1-under 71 to win the Region Player of the Year honor. Curran and Dumit finished second and third in the individual standings earning all-Region honors. Lillibridge also made the all-Region team.

Finishing third in the team standings was CCES at 366 while Greer Middle College shot a 377. Southside Christian was a distant fifth at 465.

Next up for the Knights is the Upstate Qualifier at Boscobel Oct. 15. If SJCS shoots lower than 400, it will advance to the AAA tournament set for Carolina Springs in Fountain Inn Oct. 22-23.

Boys Swimming Wins 3A State Title, Girls Win 3rd

Boys swimming wins 3A State Championship for the second year running! Girls swimming wins third place also in 3A, their best finish ever! Congratulations Knights, we are so thrilled!
Boy took 1st in the medley relay and 400 free relay. The girls took 3rd in the medley relay and the 400 free relay. Individual finishers: Liam walker took 1st in the 200 M and 100 butterfly. Silas Crosby took 1st in the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle. Jack Lonergan took 3rd in the 100 butterfly. Mary Kate Farrell took 2nd in the 500 freestyle and 3rd in the 100 breastroke. Girls medley relay was Katy Permanente, Mary Kate Farrell, Elizabeth Loudermilk, and Kylie Larkin. Girls 400 free relay was Elizabeth Loudermilk, Helen Norton, Kylie Larkin and Mary Kate Farrell. Boys medley was Jack Doyle, Silas Crosby, Liam walker and Preston Jennings. Boys 400 free relay was the same four boys.

Congratulations Knights! Another state championship in the books!

Green Steps Students Keeping Our Campus Clean

Our Green Steps program held their first campus clean up of the year yesterday with the 8th grade class. The students worked together during lunch recess to pick up one and half large trash bags of litter from all around the school grounds. Most of the litter gathered were small items such as plastic bottles, food wrappers, and bottle caps. The worst area was around the tennis courts.

Student participation in the litter pick up was scored by Household. The girls participated with a perfect 7 out of 7 female middle school households represented. The boys turned out with 4 out of 7 male households represented, but had two households that tied for highest participation: Mr. Tierney’s Barbarians and Mr. Thompson’s Noble Squires!

 

Green Steps coordinator Joanna McLucas would like to thank the students for coming out and also thank all the household deans for encouraging participation! The 7th grade clean up will take place in November.

Middle School Cross Country Championship Held At SJCS

St. Joseph’s MS Cross Country program has been having a good season, especially for our first year in the Carolina Middle School Conference (CMSC)! Yesterday, our campus hosted the CMSC Cross Country Championship, where both our boys and girls teams placed 5th. A highlight of the day was 6th grader Lauren Kelly being named to the Girls All-Conference Team and the Girls 2018 Individual Conference Champion with a time of 13:56. Congratulations Lauren, and to all our middle school cross country runners!

Girls CMSC All-Conference Team
Lauren Kelly – St. Joseph’s – 13:56 – 2018 Individual Conference Champion
Ellie McCart – St. Mary’s – 14:04
Rhyan Byrd – Langston Charter – 14:26
Sara Grace Clark – Langston Charter – 14:30
Madeline Beal – Langston Charter – 14:36
Ava Wagner – Mitchell Road – 14:49

Boys CMSC All-Conference Team
Josh Muncy – Mitchell Road – 12:19 – 2018 Individual Conference Champion
Charles Poe – Langston Charter – 12:43
Harrison Zinkan – St. Mary’s – 12:44
Tommy Sullivan – St. Mary’s – 12:44
Ryan Ruggeria – St. Mary’s – 12:45
Andrew Gay – Mitchell Road – 12:48

Girls CMSC XC Championship Team Scores
Langston Charter – 39  – 2018 Team Conference Champions
Mitchell Road – 58
St. Mary’s – 65
Our Lady of the Rosary – 88
St. Joseph’s – 100

Boys CMSC XC Championship Team Scores
St. Mary’s – 32  – 2018 Team Conference Champions
Langston Charter – 44 (2nd)
Mitchell Road – 44 (3rd)
Lead Academy – 147
St. Joseph’s – 153
Prince of Peace – 164
Shannon Forest – 175
Spartanburg Prep – 176
Our Lady of the Rosary – 236

Boys and Girls Swimming 2A Region Champs

St. Joseph’s Swim program swept the board Saturday to claim both the Boys and Girls 2A Region championship titles at the Greenville Aquatic Center. This is the first time that both of boys and girls have claimed the region victory in the same year! We’re so proud of the extraordinary efforts of all of our swimmers, and look forward to seeing them compete at the 3A State Swim Meet in Columbia next weekend!

Congratulations to our All-region girls: Chelsea Rose Doyle, Elizabeth Loudermilk, Mary Kate Farrell, and our All-region boys: James Cline, Jack Lonergan, Jack Doyle, Silas Crosby, Preston Jennings, Liam Walker. Congratulations also to Coaches Becky VanEvera and Karen Miros, and thank you for always being good sports about a celebratory dunk!

SJCS Competes in the Battle of the Books

On September 25, the inaugural SJCS high school Battle of the Books team competed in the SCISA state competition at Thomas Sumter Academy in Rembert, SC. The Battle of the Books competition is similar to a literary quiz bowl in practice, but without buzzers. Students read ten books and then compete as a team answering questions about the books. The SJCS team came in 4th place and was composed of seniors Maggie Barr, Dessa Jones, Maddie Koontz, Sophie Lee, and Elizabeth Poinsette, with faculty advisor Mrs. Megan Koon, and accompanied by Mrs. Elizabeth Duncan.

 

 

SC Catholic High School Student Letter to Schools

During the the 2017-18 school year, Catholic high school students from all across the state gathered to discuss their experience of life at school, their struggles, concerns, and questions with each other, and to compose a letter to all Catholic school principals based on their discussion. These same students then presented this letter to all the Catholic high school teachers in the diocese during the Diocesan In-Service day on August 15th, 2018.

These same students were recently invited by Bishop Robert Guglielmone to meet at Cardinal Newman Catholic High School in Columbia, SC to further discuss their letter, hear their thoughts and concerns, and continue the dialogue. The discussion largely centered on how to educate their own generation in questions of faith when this runs so contrary to the messages they are receiving on a day-to-day basis from within the culture at large.

Please see below for a copy of this student-crafted letter.


Letter to Diocesan School Faculty, Staff and Administration

August 15, 2018

This spring, 16 students from across the Diocese of Charleston came together to discuss challenges we are facing in our high schools.  No one knew what to expect of the day, but we found that our seemingly different schools all seemed to battle the same issues.  Throughout the day, we discussed a variety of topics, ranging from our favorite aspects of our schools to our major concerns.  We found that our most prominent issues fell into three major categories: spiritual, mental, and social health.  Our discussions led us to develop numerous questions pertaining to these topics that we hope you will consider for the upcoming school year, and we condensed them into the following three questions:

  • How do we create moments throughout the day to personally connect with God?
  • How do we properly form relationships with teachers and our peers in order to cope in a positive way?
  • And most importantly, what can the school do to help us keep Christ at the center of our lives in an increasingly secular world?

With these questions in mind, we want our administrations and faculties to be aware that they are our example, and they set the tone for how we respond to situations in and out of the classroom. It is important to develop a strong school community and to create an environment that allows students to have healthy relationships with one another and with the Lord.  Please understand, we do indeed see you as role models.  We know that you are invested in our education and in our future.  We see you watching us, taking in our actions, reactions, and interactions, we hear your praise and your criticism, and we take all of it in, whether or not you believe that.  We see that you are working to set boundaries with us and for us.  We know that those boundaries are important in our personal relationships, within our peer groups, and with everyone we meet, but what we hear is not always easy to apply.  Don’t give up on us because we don’t take your advice immediately upon dissemination.  Please keep working with us.

We believe mental health is one of the most under addressed issues in our current society.  It means so much to each of us simply to be validated and to feel understood.  The main points that are essential to acknowledge for us as students are: the stresses of being rushed to adulthood, how to truly communicate and build better relationships, and how to cope positively with the pressures of high school.  We often feel overlooked and forced into the highest standard.  It’s difficult to manage our time between athletics and academics and our spiritual and social lives, and also to think about the next step.  When we were young children, we were told that we could be whatever we wanted and it seemed so easy…but as adulthood approaches, a switch has been flipped and now every expectation is upon us.  You are constantly telling us “just wait for the real world,” or “this wouldn’t happen in college.”  We hear you, but we need fewer “warnings” about the real world, and more help from all of you to help us balance those expectations with everything else that is happening in our lives at the same time.  We would like you to be not only our critics, but also our advocates for change.  The real world is out there, and we’re dying to live in it, but if you all are so familiar with the “real world” and see how we will fail in it, then help us get on the right track.  What do we do?  Where do we go to learn how to be successful out there?  We understand that we are supposed to go to our guidance counselors with the problems we may face – that they are resources for us to answer our questions on life; however, our counselors don’t always seem like the people who can answer all of our questions.  They are great for scheduling and college counseling, and even serious interventions, but they’re not the people we are looking to address for some of the questions we have or the longings we feel in our hearts.  All students should have some adult, whether it is a science teacher, a librarian, or an administrator, to turn to when they are struggling.  As students, we experience stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, and exhaustion, but we are not always able to understand or articulate what is happening and we have trouble determining the source of our sufferings.  Due to our misunderstandings and overwhelming feelings, many students believe the only way to cope is through negative outlets – drugs, alcohol, and material pleasures.  We want you to understand that so many of us go to these extremes because we lack knowledge of positive coping methods, and we find that using those acceptable coping mechanisms sometimes only excludes us from our community of peers.  In order to develop better solutions, we would like to build relationships with you and our peers that facilitate communication, which will create a better transition between the luxuries of childhood and the reality of becoming an adult.

We see a real need for teachers to connect the curriculum for our faith-based schools.  Our beliefs should be present in all educational aspects and in every form possible; we need our faith to be infused, in a practical way, into to all that we are being taught.  When we have teachers who hold us not only to academic standards, but to moral and spiritual standards also, we learn to embody the spirit of faith that our schools strive to instill.  In our “real life”, we often find ourselves in situations where we must depend on our moral compasses, and we feel that we can be more prepared as Christian youth facing the world if our teachers will apply the curriculum each is teaching to our faith more specifically in ways that address current religious and moral issues in our society.

We would also like more opportunities to bond as a Christian community to give us the tools we need to be able to aptly defend our faith.  Making campus ministry programs more student-involved, will set the example for the students within our schools.  We need to be empowered to connect with other students striving toward the same mission — spreading the Word of God.  You can help us by giving us hands-on opportunities to live our faith and to see the face of Christ both in your interactions with us, and in helping us to find meaningful interactions with others.  Having something we actually volunteer to do for the practice of our faith brings about opportunities for us to hold each other accountable — to encourage one another to grow in faith.  Often times, we struggle when those around us are unaware of our beliefs, and as Christian students, we need ways of communicating our mission to those outside of our school, within our community.  We do understand we will be faced with questions from those who don’t understand our faith.  We need our teachers to show us how to defend the faith in an effective manner. Help us to be courageous.

As high school students, social issues are also a very real part of our everyday lives and include, but are not limited to peer pressure, going against the status quo, being perceived as close-minded or hypocritical while trying to be true to self, and establishing who you are among friends both in person and on social media.  Peer pressure is present in our everyday lives, as it has always been for teenagers, but you may not realize that it now wears many masks.  For many of our peers, substance abuse has become the social norm.  Many even feel that if we are not participating in these activities, then we become isolated from our society.  We know about our friends vaping and drinking, and we know that it’s wrong, but it’s also not easy for us to take a stand against negative behaviors.  We shouldn’t go along with what is wrong, but if “everyone else is doing it” don’t expect it to be easy for us to break the status quo.  We also don’t want to be ostracized from the community.  And how can we talk about social status without talking about social media.  Yes, we know you don’t approve.  We know you think we’re doing all the wrong things on social media, but it is how we communicate with one another.   It’s also how our schools communicate with the community.  There are so many social media apps and so many users.  It can’t all be bad.  We need you to understand that we are the first generation to live our lives fully digitally documented.  Yes, we make some mistakes with our social media, but instead of condemning us for our errors, help us to embrace social media as a modern way to communicate.  It’s here to stay, and we would actually like to use it to do good, but that’s hard to do when everyone is watching us, ready to judge, and we always want to indicate that our lives are perfect and that we are flawless.  The reality is that we’re not perfect.  We are struggling, sometimes we’re hurting, but it’s dangerous to be vulnerable about that.  We need your help to embrace who we are and how we present ourselves.  We are teenagers and we are here to do something unique.  We have our own identities, our own dreams, our own desires.  We’re not like any else, and yet we are afraid to be different, afraid to be rejected, afraid we are not worthy.  We really do want to do what is good and what is right, but we are all works in progress, like most of you also are.

The summation of our time together is that we would like for you to allow us to work with you to create solutions for these issues.  What we’ve written is only the tip of the iceberg of the problems we’re facing as students.  We would love an opportunity to further express our concerns with you.  Throughout the course of our meeting we realized the effective solution was open dialogue together as students.  Open discussion like this shouldn’t be such a rare occurrence.  We want to bridge the gap between you and us.  You all and we acknowledge that there is a problem that needs to be fixed, but we cannot keep relying solely on each other to fix it.  We need to come together as a whole to bring about change.  We need to form a partnership between faculty, administration and students in our Catholic schools, and we are here in an effort to take the first steps on this journey of radical living.  This is only the first step.  We thank you for listening and giving us a chance to be heard now and in the future.

Numinous Knaves Household Celebrates Five Years of Tutoring

Mrs. Shawna Fesler and her Household girls, the Numinous Knaves, are celebrating a special moment with their young friends at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School. The Household has been volunteering their time for the past five years at the school with that started as hanging out with K5 “buddies”. Now, the girls are working with 5th graders on their reading, writing and math skills. The Numinous Knaves will visit monthly this year and hope to help the 5th graders with their first research paper at the end of the year.

Varsity Volleyball Continues Perfect Region Play Record

The Knights Varsity Volleyball team is having another crushing season under the leadership of Coach Jan Carino! After Thursday night’s victory over Southside Christian, the girls continue to be undefeated in region play with a perfect record of 9-0. The team will head to Atlanta this weekend to play in the Southern Invitational which features top teams from South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina.

Senior Kyra Thompson recorded her 1,000th kill last weekend while playing in the Dorman tournament and was recognized Thursday night, while fellow senior Lauren DeLo was named one of the MaxPreps/AVCA Players of the Week!

Congratulations ladies! GO KNIGHTS!

Varsity Girls Tennis Sweeps Landrum 4-0

SJCS defeated Landrum High School Thursday 4-0. Three individual matches were rained out but the match had already been decided.

Singles:

Line 1:  Julia Jacques (SJCS) defeated Lindsey Hardin (LHS) 6-0, 6-0
Line 2:  Adrianna Delacruz (SJCS) defeated Lexie Hardin (LHS) 6-2, 6-1
Line 3:  Helen Kopscik (SJCS) defeated Laura Pryor (LHS) 6-0, 6-0
LIne 4:  Caroline Gallagher (SJCS) defeated Anna Kuykendall (LHS) 6-0, 6-0

The following matches were rained out:
Singles
Line 5:  Ava Quigley (SJCS) was leading Sophia Bennett (LHS) 6-0

Doubles:
Line 1 Adrianna Delacruz/Grayson Malcomb (SJCS) was leading Lindsey Hardin/Lexie Hardin(LHS) 1-0
Line 2:  Emily Mullins/Meredith Wiper (SJCS) was leading Ella Fogle/ Marki Hastings(LHS) 3-0

 

Girls Varsity Tennis Defeats Southside Christian

St. Joseph’s Catholic School Girls Varsity Tennis team defeated Southside Christian School Girls Varsity Tennis team Wednesday in a hard fought 5-2 victory. Congratulations ladies!

Singles:
Line 1:  Zoe Dinkel (SCS) defeated Julia Jacques (SJCS) 6-3, 4-6, 1-0
Line 2:  Marta Ratkowski (SJCS) defeated Tessa Davis (SCS) 6-1, 6-2
Line 3:  Adrianna Delacruz (SJCS) defeated Kyra Verostek (SCS) 6-4, 6-4
Line 4:  Caroline Curran (SJCS) defeated Tatum Greene (SCS) 6-4, 6-4
Line 5:  Emily Mullins (SJCS) defeated Farah King (SCS)  6-4, 6-1

Doubles:
Line 1:  Julia Jacques/Caroline Curran (SJCS) defeated Zoe Dinkel/Tessa Davis (SCS) 6-3, 6-1
Line 2:  Frances Masaschi/Olivia Gilkeson (SCS) defeated Helen Kopscik/Ava Quigley (SJCS) 6-1, 3-6, 1-0

 

Students Prepare to Work Voting Polls in November

On Saturday, September 22, thirty St. Joe’s students attended the poll workers training class put on by the Greenville County Election Commission. In anticipation of the November 6th South Carolina midterm and gubernatorial elections, these students were sworn in as official poll workers and instructed how to setup the voting stations, how to interact with voters, and diffuse various situations that may arise. The students were also taught about voting security and the functionality of South Carolina ballot machines, which are strictly internal mechanisms and therefore unable to be “hacked” or connected to an external device.

Mrs. Meby Carr, who teaches AP US History and AP US Government, is always pleased with the strong turn out of SJCS students who volunteer to serve at the polls each year. “The great thing about serving as a poll worker is that it allows the students to civically engage and have a stake in the process, even if they aren’t old enough to vote,” Mrs. Carr says. An additional ten students are signed up to attend the training, and will bring the total of SJCS student volunteers to forty on election day.

 

Knights Football to be Fox Carolina/98.1 FM Game of the Week

 

 

Come out tonight and support your Knights Football team as we play our first Region game at home against #6 ranked Southside Christian at 7:30pm. This is also our Military Appreciation night. We will be honoring member of the Armed Services throughout the evening, especially during halftime. You will not want to miss it. Also, anyone with a Military ID will be admitted to the game free of charge.

Finally, we are excited to announce that our game has been chosen by Fox Carolina TV in partnership with Hot 98.1 radio to be their Game of the Week. This will include a Fox camera person and reporter giving live updates to Fox Carolina news that evening and 98.1 will be here hosting games and giveaways as well as broadcasting the game on the radio.

It’s going to be an exciting night, so come on out and cheer on our guys for a Region victory!!

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