History of St. Joseph
In 1899, Father J.B. Limagne, Pastor of the Catholic Church in Plaucheville, petitioned Reverend Mother Florence, Superior General of the Sister of Divine Providence, to send some sisters to his recently completed school. Three Sisters arrived in August, and in September they opened the new school with ninety pupils.
The school building was a two-story structure with four classrooms, a music room, and apartments for the Sisters. There were accommodations for boarders, also.
Each successive Monday brought new students, and by Christmas the teaching staff had increased to five. Because the teachers were obliged to teach in one room all at the same time, new accommodations had to be found. A hall containing two classrooms was built next to the Church.
On Sunday, March 6, 1905 while the Sisters attended Mass, fire broke out at the school. Almost everything was destroyed.
Father Limagne was determined that the Sisters
remain. He offered his residence to them, and classes continued
in the rectory and parish hall. Without delay, the Sisters
purchased property for $275.00 on which the present
Until 1908, the school offered only elementary grades. In 1920 the high
school was established. The school was also changed from a pay school
to a parochial school.
In May of 1927, the
After the flood, another building was added to the school, the present cafeteria and the senior classroom. This annex consisted of three large classrooms and a science department, used mainly for elementary classes.
The school withstood the depression years, and in 1933-34 the enrollment soared to over three hundred students and eight teachers. In 1934, the state gave its approval for the elementary school. There was a possibility that the high school may have to close due to financial difficulties. However, the high school did not close, and in September, the enrollment was 260, with there being 57 high school students. Another extra teacher was needed, and Father Vernon Bordelon, the assistant pastor, volunteered to teach three periods every day. Father also sponsored and supervised the hot lunch program, conducted the physical education classes for the boys, and directed the Junior Boys' Choir, which he had organized at the start of the school year.
In 1943, a new Pastor, Reverend Alfred Fortin , came to Plaucheville. He began the construction of a new elementary building in 1945. The new school, a brick building, was located between the old elementary building and the school hall, now replaced by the new church. The science room and the classrooms of the old elementary school were converted into a modern lunchroom. In the summer months of 1946, the grammar school, was remodeled and converted into a cafeteria at one end, while the remainder was arranged as an assembly hall. It is still the same today, except that the entire hall is now used as a cafeteria, and is sometimes converted into an assembly hall for small gatherings.
The Golden Jubilee of St. Joseph School was celebrated on Easter Monday,
March 26, 1951. The guest of honor was Monsignor J.V.
Plauche, a native of
Plaucheville, who received his elementary education at
Monsignor Marcel Anderson arrived at
The elementary library was completed in 1973. Steel buildings to house
additional elementary classes were erected in 1978 and 1980. Since
this time, elementary grades have been housed in individual classrooms.
A centrally located science lab, used for large classes, was moved next to
the elementary building. In 1995,
Father Tom Jezek followed Monsignor Anderson as
Pastor. Upon Father Tom's departure, Father Tony
Cumella became Pastor. After several years, Father Louis
Voorhies became Pastor of the church and
In 1993, The Marianites of Holy Cross sent Sister Joel Sperier to teach English, and then religion in the high school department. Joining Sister Joel, was Sister Mary David Hecker, who was the elementary religion teacher for the seventh and eighth grade, as well as the elementary librarian.
In 1995, Father Stephen Scott Chemino became
Pastor of Mater Dolorosa Church parish and
In 1985, Brother Andre' Lucia, F.S.E., replaced Sister Agnes Leonard
Thevis of the Sisters of Divine Providence, as
principal of the school. In 2001, Brother Andre' was appointed
President of St. Joseph School, when Brother Augustine Brian
Kozdroj, F.S.E. replaced Brother Andre' as
principal. Brother Paul Casey, F.S.E., continues to teach religion to
the elementary grades. The Brothers of the Holy Eucharist have served
In addition to being one
of the oldest Catholic Schools in the area,