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History of the School


A 40--year dream for a Catholic High School in the Upstate became a reality when, in 1993, the works and prayers of many individuals, united by the desire to improve the choices for secondary education in the area, culminated in the opening of St. Joseph’s High School in Greenville.

The school’s beginnings, or what those close to the school often refer to as “The Miracle”, began with a group of nine lay founders: Louis Beck, Mary Cotter, Janelle Malone, Barbara McGrath, John McGrath, Nancy McGrath, Tom McPartland, Margaret Ann Moon, and Bradley Van Name. Armed with a single donation of $800, these founders set out on a massive mailing campaign to “get the word out” that after many years of planning and discussions, the school was finally going to open.

On August 26, 1993, classes began at St. Joseph’s High School for 13 ninth-grade students in a small house leased to the school for one dollar by St. Michael’s Lutheran Church on Augusta Road.

Before long, interest grew and expansion was eminent. The school’s Site and Location Committee soon purchased a 16,000-square foot facility, allowing for the relocation of the school to the 800 E. Washington St. campus near downtown Greenville in January of 1994.

After just one full year of operation, the school earned full accreditation from the South Carolina Independent School Association in May 1994. A grade was added each year so that by September 1996, the school had a full, four-year program.

After fundraising, negotiations, and many more prayers, the Board of Trustees took its biggest leap of faith yet in December 1997 with the purchase of the property where the current campus now resides.

In what was the most significant event to date in the history of St. Joseph’s High School, as well as the fulfillment of the dream of those nine founders more than a decade before, the school attained recognition and approval by the Diocese of Charleston on August 15, 2000.

On Thursday, August 21, 2003, St. Joseph’s began its second decade of educating students with the return of over 250 high school students to campus. Several days later, on Monday, August 25, almost 10 years to the day of the opening of St. Joseph’s High School, the doors opened to the new middle school with the arrival of 57 new sixth- and seventh-grade students.

With the approval and blessing of Bishop Robert Baker, this combined group of more than 300 students formed St. Joseph’s Catholic School.

A Conversation with SJCS Founder Margaret Ann Moon (August 17, 2012)

Part 1

Part 2