Lauren (Hawkins) Dion, a 2006 SJCS graduate, was named Leukemia Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year during the organization’s annual gala May 4 at the Charleston Convention Center.

Each year, local business people run a 10-week campaign to raise money for this worthy cause. It became of particular interest to the Hawkins family after Dawn and Andre’s son, John (Class of 2013), was diagnosed as a 14-year-old student at St. Joe’s.

Lauren ran as one of the 12 candidates in the Lowcountry. She raised $55,700 for the cause and earned 2019 Woman of the Year honors. Andre Hawkins ran in Greenville in 2012 and won Man of the Year. Lauren’s husband, Chris Dion (Class of 2005), ran last year in Charleston, and John Hawkins will run in Jacksonville, Fla., in 2020.

Congrats to all in the Hawkins family!


By Bob Castello

When it comes to 56 of the seniors at St. Joseph’s Catholic School, familiarity breeds a more comfortable setting. That’s how many of those graduating have been at the school for seven years.

“It’s not as nerve-racking,” said Elizabeth Harris, one of those who have attended St. Joe’s since the sixth grade.

“I feel like a lot of people come into high school, and they’re like, ‘I don’t know the school, I don’t know the people,’ but coming into high school with all the same people and in the same building, it really puts you at ease.

“It was pretty reassuring, just because you don’t have to make a whole new friend group when you come into high school,” Luke Bynum said.

“You can stay with the people you went to middle school with. Also, you kind of got an introduction to the teachers when you were in middle school. Moving into high school, you can further those bonds and make new ones with the high school teachers.”

Harris followed her sister to St. Joe’s.

“When I first came, I didn’t really know anybody because I came from a public school,” she said. “I made a lot of friends in my Household, and I’m actually still friends with a lot of them right now. I just took the AP Calculus exam, and all those people in my class, I’m really bonded to them because I’ve known them for seven years.”

“My friends and I who have been here since sixth grade, we talk about how we can’t believe we’ve known each other since we were 10 or 11 years old, and we’re such good friends when we’re 18 years old, and we’re going to continue to be friends,” said Helen Kopscik.

“Just having so much time to be able to build those friendships — not only with friends but with teachers — is huge, and it makes the experience at St. Joe’s that much better.”

“Being here since sixth grade, everyone changes,” Lee Eberly said. “You look back now at everyone who’s been for all seven years, and you see where everyone’s going to college and what they want to do with their lives. It’s really cool knowing them for such an extended period of time.

“I think a lot of the people who have been here for seven years have more of a special connection than people who came later on.”

It gives them a nucleus on which to build.

“It’s pretty cool to see the same faces, but it’s also cool to add the new ones to your friend group,” said Bynum.

“It’s crazy to think I’ve been here for seven whole years,” Kopscik said. “I can’t even imagine life not at St. Joe’s. It’s been such a huge part of me for so long, it’s almost like a part of me that’s going to be lost after I graduate.”

The following members of the Class of 2019 have attended SJCS since the sixth grade:

Andrew Armstrong
Jack Bailey
Madi Barrett
Annika Bissinger
Luke Bynum
Sarah Grace Calder
Veronica Carroll
Maria Clark
Davis Cooney
Robbie Cromley
Katie Culumovic
Luke Cumby
Luke Cunniffe
Caroline Curran
Lee Eberly
Natalia Freund
Antonio Gacha
Anna Scott Gardner
Leo Gibson
Elizabeth Harris
Kate Harrison
Brandon Hodge
Ava Keating
Jacob Kiser
Madison Koontz
Helen Kopscik
Lizzie Latham
Sophie Lee
Jack Lonergan
James Lovett
Mary Lynam
Jack Malo
Alex Malvern
Chase Marlar
Justin May
Ryan McLear
Jadin Nassif
Emma Nixon
Emerson Pace
Michael Anne Pace
Walker Pace
Zac Palmer
Abbie Panuccio
Weeks Poole
Matthew Ramsdell
Abbie Salerno
William Smith
Dillon Spikings
Phillip Stapleton
Connor Stein
Kyra Thompson
Katherine Uprichard
Megan Uprichard
Alex Walajtys
Maegan White
Conyers Wingard


SJCS junior Nick Loudermilk finished as Class AAA/AA/A state runner-up Monday in the South Carolina High School League’s boys tennis individual state tournament.

Nick, who earned a spot on the all-state team, won four consecutive matches to advance to the state final before losing to top-seeded Coy Simon of Philip Simmons. Nick also earned the tournament’s Sportsmanship Award.

The Knights’ Maclean Armstrong played in the tournament and lost in the consolation bracket. Brandon Hodge was invited but could not play due to AP exams.

Congrats to the Knights on a great season and to Nick for his all-state performance and excellent sportsmanship!


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The SJCS Fine Arts Department held the first of its three Spring Concerts Tuesday night, with the High School and Middle School Band Ensembles entertaining a nice crowd in the JPII Center.

Two more concerts remain, beginning with tonight’s High School and Middle School Strings Ensembles. Then the High School and Middle School Choral Ensembles will be on Thursday, May 16.

Both concerts begin at 7:00 PM in the JPII Center, and admission is free. Seating is open for Jubilate Arts Guild members at 6:30 PM, and general seating begins at 6:45 PM.

Come out and support these talented students!


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The SJCS Fine Arts Department and Jubilate Arts Guild hosted the 11th annual Jubilate Knight for the Arts talent competition on Saturday, May 11. The event was an exciting celebration of the Fine Arts, marked with a variety of talented performances and a beautiful display of student artwork – including the first SJCS art installation, located in the school courtyard. These sculptures were created by art teacher Deborah Pickard and the students in the Mixed Media 2 class. The sculptures reference work by Seattle-based glass artist Dale Chihuly, whose work was recently seen at Biltmore House and Gardens.

Congratulations to all the Jubilate Knight winners!

CATEGORY WINNERS: (determined by audience vote)

SOLO: “L-O-V-E”, performed by Ishan Lal

DUETS & TRIOS: “For Good”, performed by Dessa Jones & Meghan Malone

COMEDY: “Detention”, performed by Project X: Elliot Bradley, Nolan Curran, Riggs Daniel, Austin Dodge, Jackson Evette, Brayden Johnson, Walker Jones, Charles Kennedy, Jordan Plumblee, Matthew Poinsette and Martin Simon

SMALL ENSEMBLE: “Just a Closer Walk with Thee”, performed by the Agape Band: Maria Clark, Alex Hoverath, Phillip Stapleton and Luciana Strathern

LARGE GROUP: SJ Beliebers – Connor Bailey, Luke Bynum, James Clemence, Davis Cooney, Jack Malo, Alex Malvern, Spencer Marchant, Justin May, Walker Pace, Marcos Salgado and Derek Sheldon

BEST ADULT PERFORMANCE: “Advice from an Old Man” – David Wilson

JUDGES’ AWARDS: (determined by panel of judges)

1st place: “Want You”, original song – Jacob Kiser

2nd place: “Beach Ball Babes” – James Clemence and Phillip Stapleton

3rd place: SJ Beliebers – Connor Bailey, Luke Bynum, James Clemence, Davis Cooney, Jack Malo, Alex Malvern, Spencer Marchant, Justin May, Walker Pace, Marcos Salgado and Derek Sheldon


The SJCS Fine Arts Department’s Spring Concerts are this week as follows:
Tuesday, May 14 – HS & MS Band Ensembles
Wednesday, May 15 – HS & MS Strings Ensembles
Thursday, May 16 – HS & MS Choral Ensembles
All concerts begin at 7 p.m. in the JPII Center, and admission is free.
Seating is open for Jubilate Arts Guild members at 6:30 p.m., and general seating begins at 6:45.
Come out and support these talented students!


The St. Joseph’s boys track team won its third consecutive Class 2A state championship Saturday at Spring Valley High School.

The Knights were led by senior Josh Powers, who had state runner-up finishes in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200.

Also for the Knights, sophomore Dylan McTigue was third in the 800 and seventh in the 3,200; junior Brendan McTigue was third in the 1,600 and fifth in the 800; sophomore Tristan McTigue was fourth in the 1,600 and 3,200; senior Zac Palmer was sixth in the 1,600 and seventh in the 800; and junior Isaac Hine was sixth in the 400 hurdles.

Josh, Zac, Brendan and Dylan also teamed to win the state championship in the 4×800 relay.

See story in The Greenville News here.

The SJCS girls took seventh in the state.

For the Knights, senior Lili Jaraczewski was third in the 3,200 and fourth in the 1,600; sophomore Caroline Linen was second in the 800; senior Annika Bissinger was seventh in the 400; and eighth-grader Lane Anderson was sixth in the triple jump.

The SJCS girls’ 4×400 relay team of Annika, Caroline, Sarah Crosby and Julia Jacques placed seventh. (Megan Liptak went as alternate.)

Congrats to all these Knights!


The St. Joseph’s boys tennis team came up short in its quest for a state title Saturday, losing to Philip Simmons 6-0 in the Class 2A championship match at the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center.

It was the first loss of the season for the Knights, who finished as Upper State champions for the second year in a row.

“(It was a) great season and a gutty performance against the best high school team that I’ve seen,” said SJCS coach Ken Arp. “Their Coach told me, ‘Your boys can play. I was getting worried.’ He told me we are the only competition they have had all year.”

Congrats to the Knights on a tremendous season!

See story in The Greenville News here.


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SJCS students enjoyed an entertaining evening on the water, with the gym having been transformed into a “Seaside Soiree! A Night on the Coast” during the 2019 prom Saturday, April 27.

A special thanks to all of the students who helped with the prom, as well as to Mary Salgado and Megan Koon, who worked with our students to ensure the best prom experience possible.

To view more photos and to purchase images, go to and click on Client Images, then Events and then SJCS. The password is sjcsimages (case sensitive).


It’s Teacher Appreciation Week! It’s great to recognize all the wonderful teachers at SJCS. Thanks to Keith Kiser, Wanda Jaraczewski and Steven Jones for the tremendous breakfast!


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Jubilate Knight for the Arts, Saturday, May 11 at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6), is an amazing evening of talent competition supporting the arts at St. Joseph’s. Tickets on sale now! You won’t want to miss the excitement! Voting for your favorite act begins now in the GiveSmart link.


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St. Joseph’s celebrated the 2018-2019 school year May 8 with the presentation of the Academic and Faculty Awards, and the Red Door Ceremony for the Class of 2019.

The award winners were as follows:

2019 Outstanding Christian Athlete Award: Luke Christopher Bynum
This award is presented to the graduating student-athlete who best embraces the mission and philosophy of St. Joseph’s Catholic School, both on and off the playing field. Members of the Senior Class may nominate any senior athlete whom they feel is deserving of this award. Names are then submitted to the Athletic Director, with the recipient being selected by coaches’ vote. The recipient reads the first reading at Baccalaureate Mass.

2019 Father Fox Award: Luke Daniel Cumby
This award, named in honor of Father Fox, the first priest to celebrate Mass regularly at St. Joseph’s Catholic School, is given annually to the senior who epitomizes the qualities of Christian charity and compassion. Members of the Senior Class may nominate any senior whom they feel is deserving of this award. Names are then submitted to the Headmaster, with the recipient being selected by faculty vote. The recipient delivers the salutatory address at graduation.

2019 Redemptoris Custos Award: Anthony Michael Cinquemani
This award is given annually to the senior who excels in scholarship, Christian leadership and service, and who best exemplifies the virtues of St. Joseph and the principles upon which the school was founded. This is the highest honor a student may receive at St. Joseph’s Catholic School. Members of the Senior Class may nominate any senior whom they feel is deserving of this award. Names are then submitted to the Headmaster, with the recipient being selected by faculty vote. Redemptoris Custos is the Latin title for St. Joseph, meaning Guardian of the Redeemer. The recipient delivers the farewell address at graduation.

2019 Headmaster’s Scholar Award: Anthony Michael Cinquemani
The Headmaster’s Scholar Award is presented to the senior who holds the highest cumulative GPA at the end of the first semester in the current graduating class.

Teacher of the Year Awards
These awards are presented annually to one Middle School and one High School faculty member who demonstrate commitment and dedication to St. Joseph’s Catholic School, while exemplifying the spirit of teaching in all walks of life. The Deacon Robert Brady Excellence in Teaching Award recipient is selected by vote of the Eighth Grade Class, and the St. Joseph’s High School Excellence in Teaching Award recipient is selected by vote of the Senior Class.

2019 Deacon Robert Brady Middle School Excellence in Teaching Award: Mr. Keith Perham

2019 St. Joseph’s High School Excellence in Teaching Award: Mrs. Julie Schroeder

High School Subject Award Winners
Justin Bradley May – English Department Award
Rachel Marie Hall – Visual Art Department Award
Sophie Isabella Lee Kiser – Choral Music Department Award
Phillip Robert Stapleton – Instrumental Music Department Award
Dessa Elizabeth Jones – Theatre Department Award
Elizabeth Ann Harris – French Department Award
Antonia Maria Gacha – Spanish Department Award
Luke William Cunniffe – History Department Award
Luke William Cunniffe – Mathematics Department Award
Anthony Michael Cinquemani – Science Department Award
Anthony Michael Cinquemani – Theology Department Award

8th Grade Subject Award Winners
Alex Gillespie – Literature
Meredith Wiper – Literature
Alex Gillespie – History
Emma Cumby – History
Alex Gillespie – Science
Meredith Wiper – Science
Colin Slater – Math
Kate Bruner – Math
Colin Slater – Religion
Margo Schellinger – Religion
Cole Marlar – Band
Chloe Bradley – Band
Christian Jimenez – Chorus
Gianna Marullo – Chorus
Drew Gibson – Strings
Allison Gerac – Strings
Drew Gibson – Theatre
Chloe Bradley – Theatre


Seven SJCS senior student-athletes who will continue competing in college were honored during a signing ceremony Wednesday in the gymnasium. The seven, who have established themselves both on and off their athletic venues while at St. Joseph’s, are:

Annika Bissinger (track/cross country, Cornell University)
Lili Jaraczewski (cross country, Presbyterian College)
Josh Powers (cross country, Furman University)
Zac Palmer (cross country, College of Charleston)
Colin Burns (basketball, Roanoke College)
Matthew Marchal (baseball, Furman University)
Brandon Hodge (tennis, University of Idaho)

In cross country, Annika Bissinger is a two-time state champion, five-time all-state and a member of six state championship teams. This year in track, she has qualified for state in the 400 and the 4×800 relay.

Lili Jaraczewski, in her one year on the cross country team, finished fifth in the state, made all-state and helped the Knights win the state title. In track, she has qualified for state in the 1,600, the 3,200 and the 4×800 relay.

Zac Palmer and Josh Powers helped the boys cross country team to four straight state championships. Zac is a four-time all-state runner, and Josh has made all-state three times. In track, Josh has qualified for state this year in the 800, 1,600, 3,200 and the 4×800 relay. Zac has qualified in the 800, 1,600 and 4×800 relay.

Colin Burns, a four-year starter in basketball, leaves as the school’s all-time leader in blocked shots.

“He had to guard the other team’s best player three years in a row,” boys basketball coach Paul Assinesi said. “You couldn’t ask for a better teammate or a better player.”

Baseball coach George Turmon said he has spoken with the Furman coaches about future Paladin Matthew Marchal, a Class 2A all-state selection.

“The thing they told me was they could not find out one single thing that was not positive about this young man,” Turmon said.

Brandon Hodge has helped the boys tennis team to back-to-back Upper State championships.

“He became a leader of our team,” assistant coach Kevin Meyer said, “and from the time since he started two years ago, we’ve lost a total of two matches.”


Eleven members of the SJCS track and field team have qualified for state after their performances in the Class 2A qualifier this past Saturday and Monday at Memorial Stadium in Columbia.

Those who advanced will be representing St. Joseph’s in this Saturday’s Class 2A state meet, scheduled for 2 p.m. at Spring Valley High School in Columbia.

Good luck to all!!

Lane Anderson: Triple jump
Annika Bissinger: 4×800 relay, 4×400 relay, 400
Lili Jaraczewski: 4×800 relay, 1,600, 3,200
Caroline Linen: 4×800 relay, 4×400 relay, 800
Madison Powers: 4×800 relay
Sarah Crosby: 4×400 relay
Julie Jacques: 4×400 relay
Megan Liptak: 4×400 relay

Isaac Hine: 400 hurdles
Brendan McTigue: 4×800 relay, 800, 1,600
Dylan McTigue: 4×800 relay, 800, 3,200
Tristan McTigue: 1,600, 3,200
Zac Palmer: 4×800 relay, 800, 1,600
Josh Powers: 4×800 relay, 800, 1,600, 3,200


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The St. Joseph’s boys soccer team saw its impressive streak of consecutive Upper State championships come to an end at seven with Tuesday night’s narrow 3-2 loss at Southside Christian.

The Knights, state champions for five consecutive years before being state runners-up the last two seasons, ended the season with a record of 15-9-1.

Congrats to the boys on another great season!


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