St. Joseph Catholic School is grounded on 3 Root Beliefs:
God is in all things.
We are called to offer our best to God.
Every moment matters
St. Joseph Catholic School provides a quality Catholic education for all its students, developing their potential as active Christians and contributing citizens who use their gifts for the service of others. Our comprehensive academic program is characterized by a family spirit, implementing the principles of reason, religion and loving kindness in conjunction with the Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco.
Bishop Moore, of the St. Augustine Diocese, sent three priests to minister to the growing number of Catholics in Tampa, many of whom were either, Cuban, Spanish, or Italian in origin.
The following year, four sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, as well as Fr. John Quinlan, a Jesuit priest, came to the area to minister to the people. Bishop Moore asked the Sisters of the Holy Names to establish a school in West Tampa. The corner of Albany Avenue and Spruce Street was the designated site where the new school opened the following year, with an enrollment of six girls and four boys. Attendance soon grew to forty-six pupils.
In 1903, seven years after the school was established, a parish church was built. As the school enrollment increased, so did the number of parishioners. However, during the Spanish-American War, the school was used by the armed forces as a hospital for over eight hundred American soldiers. The Sisters continued to meet the needs of the community by tending to the wounded until the school was restored.
In 1926, Fr. Luis Conde, a Salesian priest, came to St.Joseph. He was the first bilingual Spanish priest in West Tampa. Two years later, the Salesian Sisters assumed the administration of the school. It was at this time that the school and parish were renamed St. Joseph. For twenty-one years, an abandoned cigar factory served as the kindergarten classroom, the parish hall, a community center, and the residence of the Salesian Sisters.
Father Conde continued to serve for six years until the Redemptorist priests were asked to serve the parish. The Redemptorists arrived in 1934, and remained in the West Tampa community for sixty-five years.
In the last decade the school has undergone several changes and renovations. A portable classroom was placed on the grounds to serve as an art and music room. A pavilion was built for physical education classes and sporting events, and additional restrooms were installed. The early childhood program has been extended to include the VPK program.
In July 2011, Mrs. Brenda Budd was welcomed into the St. Joseph Catholic School community as principal. That same year, St. Joseph Catholic School partnered with the University of Notre Dame to become a Notre Dame ACE Academy. The Notre Dame ACE Academies are an innovative model of Catholic schooling, established to strengthen and sustain existing parish and diocesan Catholic elementary schools. The partnership focuses on emphasizing best practices in the areas of school culture, academic rigor, and sustainable financial practices. St. Joseph Catholic is committed to providing a Catholic education of the highest quality to as many children as possible.