St. Joseph’s a top 50 Catholic high school

GREENVILLE — For the second time in three years, the Catholic High School Honor Roll has named St. Joseph’s Catholic School as one of the top 50 Catholic secondary schools in America. The school also received that honor in 2004.

The Honor Roll recognizes schools that have high academic standards, strong Catholic identities, and effective civic education. In addition to its selection of the top 50 Catholic high schools, the Honor Roll also recognizes the nation’s top 25 schools in each of those three categories. This year, St. Joseph’s was ranked among the top 25 in academic excellence and Catholic identity. In 2005 the school was also ranked in the top 25 in academics.

Nearly 1,300 Catholic high schools across the nation were invited to apply for the Honor Roll by completing surveys that measured their strength in the three areas.

“We’re thrilled to be recognized by the Honor Roll for a third consecutive year, twice as a member of the top 50 list,” said Keith Kiser, St. Joseph’s headmaster. “This is the faculty and staff’s award. They’re the ones on the front lines every day, doing an excellent job of teaching our students. Outside the classroom, they accompany our students in extracurricular activities and display a daily concern for both the minds and souls of our students.”

“Kudos should go out to our feeder schools as well, for preparing students for St. Joseph’s,” Kiser said. St. Mary and Our Lady of the Rosary in Greenville and St. Paul the Apostle in Spartanburg are the main feeder schools for St. Joseph’s.

Kiser said he was especially pleased by the school’s top 25 ranking in the area of Catholic identity.

“We have excellent theology and retreat programs and a very active student-run campus ministry team,” he said. The school also has a full-time chaplain.

 “Pope John Paul II put it best when he said that Catholic education ‘is the cause of Jesus Christ and his Gospel in the world,’ ” the headmaster said. “This is what we’re striving to be at St. Joseph’s Catholic School, and it’s nice when an outside organization recognizes those efforts.”

The Catholic High School Honor Roll is an independent project of the Acton Institute, an international research and educational organization. The Honor Roll was produced in consultation with a national advisory board comprised of Catholic college presidents and noted Catholic scholars, according to a press release from the organization.

St. Joseph’s is one of only 12 schools among this year’s top 50 that have earned recognition each year since the Catholic High School Honor Roll’s inception in 2004.

This year’s honorees represent 25 states and range from newcomer diocesan schools such as Bishop Machebeuf Catholic High School in Denver to repeat honorees such as Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans, a Carmelite school that had a miraculous recovery after Hurricane Katrina.

A complete list of the top 50 schools, along with lists of the top 25 schools in each category, can be found online at