The history of St. Joseph Interparochial School actually can be dated back to 1859 when a missionary priest, Reverend Joseph DeVries was directed by the Bishop of Louisville to build a church and establish a parish in Bowling Green. He began the parish in 1859 on a lot on the corner of what are now Barry and Church Streets and constructed a small wooden building which was used as a school during the week and for mass on Sundays. In 1863 Fr. DeVries asked the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth to open a Catholic school in Bowling Green and four sisters were sent to establish a school. In the beginning they taught in several vacant buildings until purchasing the John Burnam home on Center Street where St. Columba Academy was established.
In the years 1910 and 1911 the pastor of St. Joseph, Father T. J. Hayes wanted a school built next to the church on Church Street and acquired the property to build not only a school but a convent for the Sisters of Charity that would continue to teach at the school. The building which established St. Joseph Parochial School was dedicated in 1911 with the first classes being held in September of 1912. This building, with four large classrooms which housed grades first through ninth grades with two or three grades per room, is still used today for our first and third grade classrooms and a resource room for students needing extra help in math and language arts.
In the 100 years since the school was established on Church Avenue, the campus has seen many additions and changes. In 1960-1961 additional classrooms and a gymnasium were built next to the original building and this building became home to St. Joseph High School, which began in 1955. The high school closed in 1965 and these classrooms provided more space for the elementary school. In 1998 a third addition was added to provide more classrooms so the school could expand to provide two classes for each grade level, a larger library, a computer lab, and an office suite. The convent has become our preschool building, so we now have a campus of four buildings.
Although the campus has seen many changes, the faculty is now all lay teachers, and the school is an interparochial school, serving the children of Holy Spirit Parish, St. Joseph Parish and the community of Warren County, the mission of the school remains the same. Catholic education was established in Bowling Green to provide an education with strong academics but more importantly, a strong faith-filled education built around our Catholic beliefs and traditions and this tradition continues today.
The mission of St. Joseph School is to teach as Jesus did, challenging students to embrace the gospel message, to achieve their academic best, and to make a positive difference in the world.