Rita Stasi, Principal of St. Joseph School and Champion of Catholic Education, Retires After 14 Years
June 30, 2021
After 14 years of service, leadership and dedication, Rita Stasi retired as principal of St. Joseph School in Downers Grove, Illinois. “There are many ways, big and small, in which her life has been an example of Christ. She has been the cornerstone of the SJS family, an example of God’s love to our children and to all of us in this community,” a St. Joseph School parent said about Rita. St. Joseph School has been blessed to have Rita Stasi guiding and serving the school community by offering care for everyone around her with the same love and compassion they are shown by God while expressing justice, kindness, and mercy. Click here to read more.
Click here for a photo journey of memories with Mrs. Stasi over the years at SJS.
St. Joseph School announces new Principal
April 6, 2021
Many months have gone into the discernment of our new principal following Mrs. Rita Stasi’s announcement that she will retire at the end of the 2020-21 school hear. Click here to see an overview of the process, read Father Al Heidecke’s letter of thanks to our diverse and dedicated Principal Search Committee, as well as a Welcome Letter from our new St. Joseph School Principal – Erick Passarelli.
We express gratitude to Mrs. Rita Stasi for all she has given to St. Joseph School over the past 13 years. Most remarkably, keeping our doors open to all students, all day, for the full 2020-21 school year in the midst of unprecedented challenges! Her heart has been poured out to our children and families and we will forever be grateful!
St. Joseph School successfully and safely continues in-person, full-day instruction five days a week
February 19, 2021
St. Joseph School is one of few local schools that offers in-person, full-day five days a week instruction with livestreaming for its remote learners. It has been able to do so by constantly reevaluating the guidelines and procedures set forth by the health organizations and the school’s reopening committee. The goal is to have in-person learning for the entire school year, with the safety of all students, teachers, and staff of the utmost importance. Read more >
St. Joseph School voted #1 school in DuPage County
November 4, 2020
St. Joseph School was recently voted the “Finest” in DuPage County in Suburban Life’s Reader’s Choice contest in the Grade School and Preschool categories. This marks the third year in a row that St. Joseph Preschool has earned top rank, and the second year as top Grade School, a category that was new in 2019. Read more >
Teacher Feature: Meet Paula Jovien
January 31, 2020
We are blessed to have on our staff Ms. Paula Jovien as Reading Specialist since February 2018. She offers additional reading support to our Kindergarten through 5th grade students by providing individualized instruction to the needs of each specific student in the small group setting.
Ms. Jovien loves teaching and working with her students. She strives to make learning fun and wants her students to become more confident readers while still addressing their individual reading needs. Ms. Jovien has extensive experience and knowledge working with research- based reading programs that have been proven successful with different age groups and utilizes these programs with her students. Read more >
Staff Feature: Meet Kimberly Jacobs
December 16, 2019
St. Joseph School starts construction on school addition
March 4, 2019
St. Joseph School put its motto of “Come Grow With Us” into action on Sunday, March 3 with a Groundbreaking Ceremony that celebrated the start of construction for the school’s first addition since 1955.
Over 125 enthusiastic and supportive parishioners braved the cold for the momentous ceremony that was officiated by Pastor Father John Phan along with Father Bill Cullen. Read more >
Teacher Feature: Meet Marcy Rensi
December 10, 2018
St. Joseph School has been blessed with an amazing collection of faculty and staff. As a way to get to know them better, we are turning the spotlight on a different faculty or staff member each month.
This month’s featured teacher is Marcy Rensi who has been our Learning Resource Center teacher for the past 3 years. She has worked at SJS for 25 years in various roles including middle school Teacher Aide, teaching religion, remedial math, and middle school language arts. She also helped convert the old library to the Follett system.
“I love the LRC because I get to see all the students. I hope I’m fostering a love of books, learning, leadership and reading.” Read more >
SJS Teacher Runs 2018 Chicago Marathon to Support Charity
October 22, 2018
Sara Bordens, SJS 3rd grade teacher, is a wonderful living example of perseverance, determination and charity. She recently ran her first Chicago Marathon in support of Unite 2 Fight Paralysis. Click here to read more about her experience. Read more >
SJS Teacher Completes 2018 Chicago Marathon
October 15, 2018
Congratulations to SJS 2nd grade teacher, Miss Biernat, who recently ran the Chicago Marathon for the first time. We are so proud of her for putting into practice the virtues of perseverance and determination. Read more >
Organization, Preparation are Key to Back-to-School Success!
August 1, 2018
With a new school year around the corner, it’s important to prepare for the upcoming change in sleep schedules and study requirements. Here are some tips for establishing a routine that will ensure back-to-school success. Read more >
SJS Class of 2014 Alumna Maggie Dunn
July 27, 2018
Congratulations to SJS Class of 2014 Alumna Maggie Dunn. We are so proud of her accomplishments which include National Merit Scholar, Illinois State Scholar, and National Honor Society member. We wish her the best as she starts her next chapter at the University of Alabama this Fall where she will study Civil Engineering.
Keep Your Children Engaged in Learning Over the Summer
June 21, 2018
It’s estimated that students lose the equivalent of two months of math and reading skills during the summer months, sometimes referred to as the “summer slide”. To keep your student engaged in learning over the summer, consider the following advice from teachers at St. Joseph School in Downers Grove. Read more >
SJS Alumna Earns 2018 Valedictorian Honors at Montini Catholic
June 6, 2018
SJS Class of 2014 alumna Monica Oleski earned Valedictorian honors in her graduating class at Montini Catholic. She was recently awarded Academic All Star and received the President’s Award for Academic Excellence. She is also an Illinois State Scholar, an AP Scholar, and was a member of Montini Catholic’s Mu Alpha Theta (Math Honor Society) and Math Team. She received Montini Catholic’s Silver Award for Excellence in both Math and English.
We wish Monica all the best as she pursues a major in Environmental Engineering at Northwestern University this Fall. Read more >
Importance of Academic Enrichment Courses
May 30, 2018
Research shows that music, art, foreign language, and physical education classes offer many benefits, including increased concentration and recall skills, enhanced communication skills, and better cooperation (team player) skills. Funding for these classes have been cut in approximately 80% of U.S. school districts in the past decade.
At St. Joseph School in Downers Grove, academic enrichment classes are an important part of the curriculum for all students in preschool through eighth grade. Along with their core subjects, students participate in Music, Art, Spanish, LRC (Learning Resource Center/Library), Computers, and Physical Education every week. Read more >
Local Catholic School Prepares Elementary, Middle School Students for Future Success
April 18, 2018
Many students who are challenged early in their academic careers develop confidence and a will to succeed. At St. Joseph School in Downers Grove, introduction to real-life situations, support from peers, teachers, and staff, and aggressive use of technology, including iPads and ChromeBooks, combine to prepare students for successful academic careers.
St. Joseph School is an award-winning Catholic School that offers students a superior, challenging education in a faith-filled, nurturing environment. 82% of 2017 SJS graduates made their respective high school’s Honor Roll, and 50% of those students made the High Honor Roll. Several SJS students also received scholarships to Catholic High Schools. Read more >
SJS Wins Montini Scholastic Bowl
March 22, 2018
Eight SJS 7th graders competed in Montini’s “It’s Academic” Scholastic Bowl. Twenty teams participated and answered questions in the areas of math, reading, science, social studies, and theology. Eamon Casey, Michael Gates, Luke Pacelli, and Joey Schamber did a great job showcasing their knowledge. The other St. Joe’s team, Sadie Kearney, Josephine Rauch, Nathan Stevens, and Kadee Swanson won first place in the team competition! We also had two outstanding performances on the science individual competition: Joey Schamber, 3rd place, and Kadee Swanson, 2nd place.
Students Raise Funds for St. Baldrick's Foundation
March 16, 2018
For the third year in a row, a team of St. Joseph students participated in a fundraiser for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, an organization that raises funds for childhood cancer research. The St. Joseph team raised $12,821 (3-year total of about $36,000)! Students Tim Baer, Jack Kane, JT Schallmoser, Jack Chvatal, and Dean Golminas received certificates for participating 3+ years in a row. We are so proud of everyone who participated for such a great cause!
Extracurricular Activities Complement Schoolwork, Enrich Students
March 12, 2018
The benefits of extracurricular activities can’t be overstated. Research shows that students who participate in after-school programs achieve higher academic performance and improved social and time management skills, along with higher confidence and self-esteem.
At St. Joseph School in Downers Grove, students have a variety of extracurricular activities to choose from. Read more >
SJS Student Artwork Wins "Best In Show"
February 26, 2018
SJS 7th grader Joey Schamber’s painting Winter Solace won “Best in Show” in the Downers Grove Women’s Club annual art contest. The contest was open to all Downers Grove 7th and 8th graders. The organization received over 40 entries in this year’s contest.
Local Catholic School Introduces New Full-Day Preschool Program, Major Renovations
February 16, 2018
As part of an ongoing commitment to provide excellence in education, St. Joseph School in Downers Grove is expanding its current preschool program to include a full-day option for 4-year-old students. Summertime renovations to the school will provide extra amenities and safety features to students and staff. Read more >
SJS Wins Nazareth Academy Scholastic Bowl
February 9, 2018
St. Joseph School took two 7th grade teams to the Nazareth Academy Scholastic Bowl. There were a total of 18 teams competing. The team with Danny Boyle, Michael Gates, Luke Pacelli, Joseph Schamber, and Michael Stangl competed in 3 rounds, making it to the top ten teams. The team with Eamon Casey, Josephine Rauch, Nathan Stevens, and Kadee Swanson went all 5 rounds and won the competition!
Knights of Columbus Essay Contest Winners Announced
January 30, 2018
Thank you to the Knights of Columbus for sponsoring the annual essay contest for our 8th grade students about the importance of religious freedom. We recognized the winners, Saule Zemaitis (1st place), Adam Criter (2nd place), and Eileen Harris (3rd place), at the Catholic Schools Week mass.
Catholic Education Benefits are Plentiful
January 10, 2018
At St. Joseph School in Downers Grove, teachers and staff strive to develop the whole student: mind, body, and spirit. SJS students score in the top quartile nationally on standardized tests, and 80% of graduates make their high school’s Honor Roll their freshman year. Read more >
Christmas Cafe Teaches Life Skills to Second Grade Students
December 6, 2017
It’s never too early for children to learn essential life skills, such as critical thinking, empathy, decision-making, and stress management. At St. Joseph School, teachers search for innovative ways to incorporate life skills into the curriculum. Operating an annual “Christmas Cafe” is one enjoyable method of teaching life skills to second graders. Read more >
Charity and Compassion are Emphasized through Community Service
November 6, 2017
Service to others is inherent in Catholic values, and at St. Joseph School in Downers Grove, it is practiced consistently as part of a faith-based curriculum. “We encourage our students to find ways to serve others, whether it’s helping a classmate, raising money for a charitable cause, collecting necessities for those in need, or working together to help our community,” said Rita Stasi, Principal of St. Joseph School.
Read more >
Internet Safety Tips for Students & Parents
October 13, 2017
St. Joseph School recently brought in Rich Wistocki, a Cyber Crimes Detective with the Naperville Police Department, to speak about Internet safety. SJS provides laptops and iPads to primary and intermediate level students, and middle school students receive a Chromebook. Before devices are issued, students and parents are required to attend a special training session on Internet safety, and students receive weekly in-school instruction regarding proper usage. Read more >