By Nancy Schriner FEB 2016
The historic district of Macon boasts many impressive places to visit—not only for those in years past, but for interested parties today. Included among these historic landmarks is the old Fourth Street School, now known as St. Joseph’s Catholic School.
Records reveal St. Joseph’s as the first unit of the public school system of Macon. The newly formed school system was offered the use of the basement in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church for classrooms by the pastor, the Reverend L.X. Basin, in 1872. Still holding a prominent place in the community, St. Joseph’s continues to thrive in Macon’s historic downtown district.
A parish community which cherishes its rich history, St. Joseph’s Catholic School is guided by Gospel values and Catholic tradition. Dedicated to educating, nurturing, and encouraging the mind, body, and spirit of every child, the school gladly accepts the new challenges of this millennium.
The mission of St. Joseph’s is a two-fold one, known as Faith in Education. First, students learn the importance of their family’s faith traditions regardless of whether they are Catholic or not. Secondly, parents need to have faith in the educational institution they have chosen for their child. The goal is that all 251 students enrolled in grades 4K through six become lifelong learners and stewards of their faith.
Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Florida Catholic Conference, the school strives for excellence in its strong academic program and enrichment classes for all students. Spanish, music, art, computer literacy, library skills, and physical education are available for all.
Skillfully led by Principal Dr. Kaye Hlavaty, who has been in education since 1979, the school provides an environment that focuses on the academic and personal success of each student. Dr. Hlavaty served as a classroom teacher for eighteen years and an administrator for ten years in public education before coming to St. Joseph’s. She holds a Bachelor of Science, a Masters, and a Specialists degree in Early Childhood Education from Georgia College and State University, and a Doctorate from the University of Georgia. Coming to St. Joseph’s after retiring from public school education, Dr. Hlavaty feels blessed. She says, “Being at St. Joseph’s Catholic School has allowed me to be a part of a strong academic environment that cares for our students’ intellectual needs, but more importantly their emotional needs. St. Joseph’s is truly a school community!”
In addition to its high academic standards which, by the way, boasts student awards for public speaking, academic tournaments, essays, and art work, the school has impressive extra-curricular activities. Drama, chess, science and engineering, scrabble/chess, Girls and Boys on the Go running clubs, a basketball program, an academic quiz bowl team, K Kids, and Student Council are all choices students have to enrich their school experiences.
The strong curriculum at St. Joseph’s builds the skills and knowledge that students will need in their future academic careers. High standardized test scores prove the school’s success in this area. Teachers at the school are held to high standards, well-qualified, and prepared. Over 70% of teachers have a Masters degree or higher and are required to maintain Georgia certification.
All students are deemed important, with Student Support Center one-on-one assistance if needed, the Challenge program for high-achieving students, after-school tutoring for grades three through six, and instilling in children the importance of caring for others in the Community Outreach program.
Saint Joseph’s is expanding their academic offerings to include a 3K class in August. The class will be taught by a certified teacher. Parents will have the option of registering for morning only or full day hours.
St. Joseph’s offers a summer program full of fun weekly themes and provides a safe, structured environment for all children whether they are enrolled at St. Joseph’s or not.
Dr. Hlavaty adds, “I would like to encourage anyone interested in learning more about our school to visit our website at sjsmacon.org or to come for a visit during the school day. Parents have the opportunity to observe active teaching and engaged learning firsthand!”
Believing that “what children believe is as important as what they know”, the National Catholic Education Association states, “There has probably never been a tougher time to be a parent, which is why there’s never been a better time to choose a Catholic school.” St. Joseph’s Catholic School certainly fits that description.” #
905 High Street
Macon, GA 31201