Students Attend Model UN Conference

The Middle School Model United Nations program, a full-year curriculum implemented in schools with direction from the YMCA Youth in Government staff, helps participants expand their knowledge of global issues while also improving their debate and leadership skills. Students study and represent a particular country, create a “Festival of Nations” display, and write a resolution to be presented at the Model UN Conference. This year’s conference was held April 7th & 8th in Black Mountain, NC.

  • SJCS students Emma Curran, Jessica Gerac, Michelle Peres and Polina Vertigel, representing the Republic of Chad, presented a resolution to construct a “model school” in order to provide educational opportunities for young women. Elizabeth Loudermilk, Rachel Marlar, Emily Mulholland and Ellie Mullins, representing Argentina, offered a resolution to request UN help with locust eradication in rural agricultural areas. Juan Gacha, Shivam Vadalia, Tyler Williamson and Matthew Willson, representing Israel, requested monetary assistance for the defense of areas prone to terrorist incursions and instability. Finally, Samuel Dobson, Russell Warren and Jeffrey Werth, representing Spain, requested monetary assistance to improve airport and homeland security as a means of combating international terrorism. Three of the countries had their resolutions successfully pass out of the initial committee levels, and the resolutions from Chad and Israel successfully passed the UN General Assembly, while Spain’s resolution passed the higher Plenary Session as well. The delegations from Argentina and Spain received awards for Outstanding Resolutions, and delegate Russell Warren was recognized as an Outstanding Delegate for the second consecutive year.
  • For the first time ever, St. Joseph’s had two delegates—Russell Warren and Shivam Vadalia—selected to committee-level Clerk positions, and both delegates were also selected as the USA’s representatives on the Model UN Security Council, another first for the school.
  • In addition to presenting and arguing for their respective resolutions, the students created informational displays on their countries that included authentic foods to sample, and also dressed in costumes from their respective countries during the “Festival of Nations.”
  • Middle school faculty members Joel Brandon and Elaine Trakas served as the team’s moderators this year, working with the students during the semester to prepare for the conference as well as accompanying them to Black Mountain.

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Theatre Presents Spring Musical

The SJCS Theatre Department put on their annual Spring Musical from March 17-20. On the first night of performances, Founders Circle members enjoyed a preview production of State Fair, accompanied by a Flik Dining catered reception which was themed to fit the musical. Based on the film, State Fair follows the adventures of one Iowan family as they journey to the 1946 state fair. Whether it be winning the mincemeat and hog competitions or finding love, each member of the Frake family is wishing on a star, or a five dollar bet, for the outcome of this adventure. This classic Rodgers & Hammerstein story settles the audience back into a simpler time only to realize that family dynamics and the dreams deep in the heart of the American life have been consistent throughout time.

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Mini-Mester Offers Unique Learning

St. Joseph’s annual Mini-Mester hosted a variety of classes and learning opportunities, complete with fun and adventures. High School students enrolled in classes ranging from Dog Training to German, French, and South African Cultural Experiences and everything in between. Middle School students participated in a grade specific Mini-Mesters including a day at the Carl Sandburg Home, Kings Mountain, and the Hollingsworth Outdoor Center.

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Forum Hosts Student Leaders

On March 16, St. Joseph’s Pope Francis Forum club hosted a Dialogue & Friendship dinner to honor students across the Greenville community who are interested in diversity and inclusion efforts. Students attending this dinner were given an opportunity to meet other community leaders and peers from their neighborhood schools. Following mealtime roundtable discussions, a panel of speakers including Mary Capers Bledsoe (Diversity Leadership Program at Furman University/ YMCA Director of Youth & Teen Services), Roman Galinanes (Bonner Scholar Program Coordinator at Wofford College), and Jacquetta Ross (Girl Scouts of South Carolina Community Development Manager and Outreach Specialist) answered questions from the students.

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SJCS Golf Continues Successful Season

Led by senior Christian Baliker, the St. Joseph’s boys varsity golf team finished second in the All-Greenville County Golf Tournament held at Green Valley Country Club in late March. Baliker posted a 27-hole total of 106, three shots shy of winner Bennett Gillard of Eastside. Eastside won the team competition with a score of 453. St. Joseph’s, spurred by strong finishes from Ben Loudermilk, Sean Miller and Carly Lyvers, had a 471 score, three shots ahead of third-place Christ Church.

Most recently, St. Joseph’s golf won a tri-match with Southside Christian and Powdersville on April 7. The Knights are currently 8-1 for the season.

Seniors Serve on 3rd Annual Trip

From March 8-13, thirty-nine members of the class of 2016 participated in the 3rd annual Senior Mission Trip to Tampa, Florida. Planned by the Senior Senate, the seniors worked on two Habitat for Humanity build sites and two Restore facilities then visited migrant camps and fed the homeless. In addition to their days of service, the seniors spent time paddle boarding, watching sunsets on the beach, and attended Mass at Sacred Heart in downtown Tampa. Thank you to our faculty chaperones, Jennifer Church, Gabe Lewis, Karen Miller, Jen Patton, and parent chaperones, Mr. Connolly, Dr. Eberly, and Mr. Guest.

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Rising Freshmen Named SJ Scholars

Congratulations to St. Joseph’s rising ninth graders Isabel Poinsette and Andy Widman, who were recently selected as the recipients of the St. Joseph’s Scholar Award. This scholarship, awarded annually to two incoming freshmen, recognizes academic excellence. Isabel is a current eighth grader at SJCS and Andy is a current eighth grader at Prince of Peace Catholic School in Taylors.

Assemblies Address Online Safety

During two recent school assembly periods, guest speaker Steve Morrill, the Director of Technology at Loyola Blakefield, discussed the realities of the digital world head on with SJCS middle and high school students. He talked about the instant access to data which serves as an opportunity for learning but cautioned students about the dark side of social media platforms and internet use. Mr. Morrill, who comes highly recommended by Diocese, the addressed digital footprints, cyber-bullying, distribution of questionable content, and how to establish a positive reputation and how to make good decisions, both in person and online.

SJCS Interact Receives Charter

Congratulations are due to the SJCS Interact Club who received their official charter from the Greenville Rotary Club on March 8. Club members recited the four-way guiding principles pledge and received their banner and charter certificate. The SJCS Interact Club has already been active in their first year of service. Recently, members Breanna Anderson, Emily Garceau, and Travis Garceau participated in a Rotary Club fundraiser at the Swamp Rabbits Hockey game. Through ticket sales and activities such as Chuck-A-Puck, the group raised $1,422 which was then matched to bring the total raised to $4,266. This amount will pay for 7,110 life saving vaccines and boosters in the fight to eradicate Polio.

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Students Reflect on Ski Retreat

Twenty-five high school students participated in a weekend of friendship, reflection, and snow skiing February 13-15 at Lake Junaluska Retreat Center close to Asheville, NC. The vacation began with an introductory lesson by high school religion teacher Michelle Houmis on the theme for the weekend, which was summarized as, “Divine Mercy allows us to crave the unexpected in life.” SJCS Chaplain Fr. Jonathan Duncan traveled to the retreat to hear confessions and celebrate Mass for the students. There was time for games, skits, singing (led by SJCS freshman Hallie Palms), a presentation on Divine Mercy by senior Luke Lyons and sophomore Drew Lyons, and a witness to how mercy has been present in her own life by senior Mary Sloan Morris. The remainder of the trip was spent skiing at Cataloochee Ski area before heading home.

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Catholic Schools Week Keeps Giving

The annual National Catholic Schools Week celebration in early February has had long term ramifications for the SJCS and Greenville community. Households participated in a week long canned food drive to benefit Loaves & Fishes. Led by the High School Student Council, food items piled in throughout the week while students and staff participated in various events and celebrations:

On Tuesday, SJCS held their 3rd annual Pastors Appreciation Luncheon with more than 20 local pastors and youth ministers in attendance for food and fellowship. Students from SJCS who attend these various congregations were able to spend some time with their pastors before heading to their next class. Represented at the luncheon were: Advent United Methodist Church, Christ Church Episcopal Church, Disciples Fellowship Baptist Church, First Baptist Greenville, First Presbyterian Church, Fourth Presbyterian Church, Lee Road United Methodist Church, Rock of Ages Baptist Church, St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, Townville Presbyterian Church, and Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Of special note was the attendance of Rev. Robert Miles of St. Michael’s Lutheran Church. His blessing granted St. Joseph’s the use of the little house on Augusta Road more than twenty years ago. The beloved Red Door came from this house turned school room for St. Joseph’s. It is now serves as an important symbol of the school’s humble beginnings and mission.

On Wednesday, Student Appreciation Day, middle and high school students participated in a fierce but friendly dodgeball tournament. During Household, every student was treated to cookies lovingly brought in by our volunteers.

On Thursday morning, the school also celebrated our hard working volunteers with a full breakfast spread put together by Flik and Chef Shawn. We are so grateful for everything our volunteers do for our school. It truly would not be possible without them.

Later that morning, the all-school Mass was celebrated by Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone of the Diocese of Charleston. This was an unexpected gift, as the Bishop decided to make a surprise visit to SJCS! During his homily Bishop Guglielmone shared his own experiences of Catholic education as a child, and how the gifts he received through Catholic Schools have been a life-long blessing and a responsibility for him. After Mass he granted a day off to the students. This gift was, of course, received enthusiastically.

Later that evening, members of the 8th grade class put on their annual play. This year, the students turned their acting talents to the medieval times by performing, The Canterbury Tales…or Geoffrey Chaucer’s Flying Circus.

The very next day, the faculty and staff were treated to the annual appreciation luncheon put together by members of the Parents Guild, once again showing the kindness of our parent volunteers.

Saturday’s MORP dance marked the end of Catholic Schools Week, with over 1,000 food items being collected at the dance alone. The theme of the dance was “Hollywood Red Carpet.”

After the celebrations were over, the message from the Bishop, the kindness of our community members, and the official count for the Loaves & Fishes food drive (2,400 pounds of food) reaffirmed the importance of Catholic Education by showing the community that working together in faith, fun, service, and learning, has a much larger impact outside of this one week.

Winning Households of the canned food collection received a dress down day and a pizza party. Congratulations to:
The Barbarians (Crosby/Tierney): 375 canned items
The MidKnight Riders (Connelly/Lewis): 306 canned items
The House of Durandal (McCoy/Milteer): 295 canned items

SJCS Welcomes Chaplain & Deacon

Ash Wednesday brought a new face to St. Joseph’s Campus Ministry team and embraced a familiar face serving in a new role. On February 10, SJCS welcomed Father Jonathan Duncan as the new school chaplain. He joins us from Texas with his wife and children. Also on this day, middle school teacher Deacon Bill Hudson officially celebrated his first All-School Mass at SJCS as Deacon after being ordained the previous weekend. Deacon Hudson and Father Duncan marked the beginning of Lent with the distribution of ashes to the school community.

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Fish Fry Reels in SJCS Crowd

The Parents Guild fourth annual Fish Fry and Stations of the Cross was held at the school on Friday, February 26. Families from the St. Joseph’s community came together to enjoy fried fish, baked potatoes, mac n’ cheese, homemade coleslaw, and dessert as they enjoyed one another’s company. During the fish fry, SJCS Campus Ministry led the Stations of the Cross in the JPII Center, with meditations written by SJCS students. Additionally, an exciting announcement was made in the middle of the supper regarding the newly unveiled UKnight Capital Campaign. Mary and Joe Salgado, who serve as Campaign Committee co-chairs, made the campaign public along with Headmaster Keith Kiser and talked about the enhancements that this will bring to the school: a three story building to bridge the gym and main building which will include locker rooms, large science laboratories, classroom space, and more. Special thanks to the SJCS parents and volunteers, especially Charlie Sutter our fish-fryer of the evening, who facilitated a successful community event.

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New SJCS Weight Room Unveiled

SJCS held an official ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, February 9 to dedicate the newly refurbished Weight Room. About 50 guests came together to witness Fr. Jonathan Duncan bless the room and listened to Coach Josh Reynolds and Coach Joel Raines give an overview of their coaching philosophy and the positive aspects of the upgraded, new equipment. Students Matt Bynum, Dylan Lane and Hayden Raines demonstrated various lifting and conditioning exercises on the machines, which are available for use by all sports teams. The weight room would not be possible without the 32 donors who raised nearly $26,000 to purchase items such as 8 Pendlay Elite Half Rack Power Systems, barbells, bumper plates, medicine balls, soft impact Plyo boxes, and more. Additional thanks are due to Coach Reynolds who researched and selected all of the equipment and organized a team of students and coaches who gave the room a fresh coat of paint.

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