The Daughters of Charity from Emmitsburg, Maryland established Saint Joseph School on September 4, 1883 in a two-story wooded building with four classrooms on East Stephen Street. The wooded school building was moved to the west side of South Queen Street in the late 1880s.
In 1905, a four-year high school was introduced into the school system, and the wooden school building was replaced in 1913 with an eight-room, two-story, brick building. The building was dedicated on October 14, 1914 by the Reverend William Anthony McKeefrey. The first class to graduate from the high school was a class of eight students in 1915.
In the late 1960s, the four-classroom high school building was completed.
A gymnasium was built and dedicated in 1938, and the Saint Joseph Crusaders Basketball team brought spectators from throughout the state. The basketball team continually went to the West Virginia State Competition and came back victorious in 1967.
The high school closed in 1972, with the last seniors to graduate in the class of 1971.
In 2000, Saint Joseph School moved across Stephen Street to the current school building. The old gymnasium was torn down in 2006 and our current school building houses a new gym. The eight-room brick building on Queen Street currently holds Saint Joseph Church parish offices and serves a variety of other functions related to our church and our school.The four-room high school building now serves as our pre-kindergarten building.
Continuing the Tradition
Our school is located in the center of Martinsburg, West Virginia, a micropolitan community of the Washington, D.C. metro area. Saint Joseph School, the only Catholic school in the Eastern Panhandle, serves four Catholic parishes in the 530 sq. miles of the Eastern Panhandle and is one of thirty-two schools in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia. Currently, Saint Joseph School serves over three hundred students from age two through the Eighth Grade.
Through our adoption of the Common Core Standards, our teachers have adapted to new teaching methods, using innovative techniques and, in turn, inspiring our students to rise to the challenge. Several of our students go on to earn scholarships to private institutions, both for high school and on to universities. About 11% of our graduates attend Catholic High School and the remaining 89% attend local public high schools. Saint Joseph School provides a strong foundation of learning, ensuring our students are giving the skills they will need to succeed in a competitive, global future.