St. Joseph High School (Hilo, Hawaii)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
St. Joseph Junior/Senior High School
St. Joseph High School logo (Hilo, Hawaii).png
Quaerite Primum Regnum Dei
Seek First the Kingdom of God
1000 Ululani Street
Hilo, Hawaii, (Hawaii County), 96720
United States
Coordinates 19°42′52″N 155°5′3″W / 19.71444°N 155.08417°W / 19.71444; -155.08417Coordinates: 19°42′52″N 155°5′3″W / 19.71444°N 155.08417°W / 19.71444; -155.08417
Type Private, Coeducational
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1869
Principal Ms. Victoria Torcolini
Vice principal Mrs. Susan Wehrsig
Chaplain Dc. LeRoy Andrews
Grades PK12
Enrollment 300[1] (2008)
Student to teacher ratio 17:1
Color(s) Red and Gold         
Mascot Cardinals
Nickname St. Joe

Western Association of Schools and Colleges[2]

Western Catholic Educational Association

Hawaii Associations of Independent Schools
Yearbook The Protector
Dean of Students Kelly Chung
Academic Dean Susan Wehrsig
Pastor Rev. Samuel Loterte, SSS
Athletic Directors Jacob Doolittle/Chloe Thurston

St. Joseph School is a private school run by the Roman Catholic Church in Hilo, the second largest city in Hawaii. It serves about 300 students in preschool through 12th grade. The Junior and Senior High School is described here; there is also an associated Elementary School.[1]


In 1869, a small parish school of 42 students was established in Hilo, Hawaii by Reverend Charles Pouzot, under the direction of Fr. Patrick O'Reilly. It was chartered by King Kamehameha V to teach English to Native Hawaiian and immigrant children.[3]

Over the years, the school's enrollment increased to the point that it was necessary to build a new school on Waianuenue Avenue. This school for both boys and girls was dedicated on October 10, 1875 and called Maria Keola. Ten years later, three Marianist Brothers took over the operation and used the name of St. Mary's School. It was blessed on October 25, 1885. In 1900 the Sisters of St. Francis began staffing St. Joseph School for Girls on Kapiolani Street. The Franciscan Sisters of Syracuse (Blessed Mother Marianne Cope’s congregation) arrived in 1900 to assume teaching and administrative responsibilities for the girls.

In 1948, St. Mary's and St. Joseph's were consolidated into a new co-educational institution built on the present site at the intersection of Ululani and Hualalai Streets. Some 963 students were enrolled the first year. In 1951, the Marianist Brothers were reassigned to new teaching posts, and were replaced with a larger staff of nuns and lay teachers. The opening of the new school year in 1951-52 marked the beginning of St. Joseph as a complete co-educational school directly under the Pastor of St. Joseph Parish, part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu.[4]


St. Joseph has a variety of educational opportunities for students. The school has six Advanced Placement classes, including European History, English Language and Composition, English Literature and composition, Chemistry, Calculus, and US Government and Politics.


St. Joseph School is a member of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation.

In 2010, the St. Joseph Cardinals boys basketball team defeated Pahoa High School's Daggers, 51-39 to win the D-II BIIF Championship.[5] The St. Joseph tennis team was able to gain the #2 and #5 seeds at the HHSAA state tournament.[6]

Alma Mater[edit]

Saint Joseph's, our dear Alma Mater

you rest superbly supreme

in nature beauteous majestic

of mountains and ocean serene

your motto worthy we'll cherish

and never stain your name

we'll set our way e'er towards the haven

of God with whom we shall reign


"Seek first the Kingdom of God"

our Alma Mater cry

twill live fore'er in our hearts

until the day we die

Its message will ring through the years

to guide us, to spur us to thee,

the goal set at Saint Joseph's

when hearts were so tender and free,

its beacon will guide our path

of duty to God our King

and lead to glory with our leader

whose praises then we will sing


"Seek first the Kingdom of God"

our Alma Mater cry

twill live fore'er in our hearts

until the day we die