Education

St. Joseph High School: Where Excellence Is a Habit, Not a Goal

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St. Joseph High School alum Karl-Anthony Towns (left), who starred for the University of Kentucky, was on the cover of Sports Illustrated this year.
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St. Joseph High School - Metuchen Credits: John Mooney
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Lawrence Walsh '68, is President of St. Joseph High School Credits: John Mooney
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Plans for the new football and track & field stadium
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St. Joseph High School is situated on a 70-acre campus.
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METUCHEN, NJ -- Located on a 70-acre campus in Metuchen and Edison, St. Joseph High School is an all-boys Catholic college preparatory school that draws students from a geographic area that covers 40 school districts in Middlesex, Somerset, and Union counties and other outlying areas.

In 1902, Stanislaus Florent and Louis Fabian, Brothers of the Sacred Heart, established a house of studies for postulants in Metuchen. Five years later, a marble statue of Saint Joseph was erected in front of the house, and in June of 1922, a chapel was constructed on site. However, it wasn’t until 1961 the house officially became Saint Joseph High School, as Brother Ronan was appointed the first principal and welcomed the first class of 150 students. The class of 1965 celebrates its 50th anniversary on the weekend of June 5-7, 2015.

The mission of Saint Joseph High School is to cultivate a desire for life-long learning, nurture the integration of faith and academic inquiry, and instill values of integrity and compassion in the tradition of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. The faculty is comprised of competent lay and religious educators.

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Mr. Lawrence Walsh has served as both the principal and president (currently) at St. Joe's and has witnessed its growth first-hand.

“I once heard an old saying that loosely paraphrased would be, ‘On a giant’s shoulders one could see forever.’ The St. Joseph’s community that I belong to today was indeed built on the shoulders of giants who had vision, principle and courage,” said Walsh, a member of the class of 1968.

“The vision of educating young men in the traditions of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart binds us together," Walsh added. "Indeed we are the sum total of the many men and women who labored before us to bring us to this point in history.”

Academic Excellence

The Class of 2015 has 100% college acceptance, and to date 80% have received scholarships in excess of $25 million. In 2014, almost three quarters (72%) received more in college scholarship money than they paid in tuition at St. Joe's for four years. This year's (2015) totals are still being compiled. The high school also had 14 commended students for National Merit Scholarship, two National Merit Finalists, one National Achievement Scholar. One 2015 graduate will attend the U.S. Air force Academy.

Athletics

Athletics have long played an important role at Saint Joseph High School. Just two years after the school’s inception, baseball, basketball, and track varsity teams were introduced. The Falcons have built dynasties in swimming and basketball. The swim team boasts an impressive 22 State Championships and has not lost a County title since 1979.

The high school's 1997-98 basketball team was ranked among USA Today's Top 10 in the nation, and the Falcons won three consecutive State titles (2012, '13 and '14). The program counts NBA players Jay Williams and Andrew Bynum, who was drafted straight out of St. Joe's in 2005, among its alumni. Karl-Anthony Towns, the University of Kentucky star who will enter the NBA draft this year, is expected to be a top ten pick.

The soccer team has won seven Non-Public A state titles (1964,'71, '72, '76, '78, '88 and '94). The Falcons have also won state titles in cross country,  winter and spring track, tennis, lacrosse and volleyball, which won championships in 2002, 2006, and 2008. Recently, the school began construction on a new football stadium and track and field facility that is expected to be completed later this year.

Clubs and Activities

Activities are highly encouraged at St. Joseph High School. Among the extracurricular activities are Astronomy Club, Band, Campus Ministry, Chess Team, College Bowl, Flag Football, French Club, German Club, Irish Club, Model UN/Youth & Government, The Falcon (newspaper), Robotics Team, Spanish Club, St. Joseph Theatre Company, Student Council, Travelers Club, and Evergreen (yearbook).

Freshman for a Day

Many students get a first experience of the school through open houses, usually conducted in the fall, or via the school's "freshman for a day" program, which is open to 7th and 8th grade boys. Visitors are paired up with current freshmen and accompany them to all of their classes. Prospective students have the opportunity to meet with the Director of Admissions, teachers, coaches, and, of course, students. Eighth graders are invited to attend from September through December. Students interested in applying to the school must take the St. Joseph High School Entrance Exam.

Despite its many accomplishments, St. Joe’s faced many challenges in its long history. The school has weathered economic struggles and declining enrollment. However, St. Joe's found significant support from the community and alumni for its Capital Campaign and raised $7.25 million, which provided the school with a new gymnasium, science wing, library and media center, and numerous classrooms.

St. Joseph graduating seniors in 2015 have been accepted to attend colleges and universities including but not limited to Boston College, Catholic University, Cornell, Fordham, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Notre Dame, NYU, Penn State, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Stevens Institute of Technology, Syracuse, University of Pennsylvania, USC, U.S. Air Force Academy, and Villanova.

St Joseph High School, 145 Plainfield Rd, Metuchen, NJ 08840, (732) 549-7600, www.stjoes.org

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