About St. Joseph School

St. Joseph Parish School’s vision is to cultivate the growth of each student as a whole person, body, mind, and soul. This means a tradition of helping our students achieve academic excellence and building strong, moral character that will guide them throughout their lives. We accomplish this by:

  • Supporting parents, as their child’s primary educators, in their effort to provide opportunities for the intellectual and spiritual growth of their child in partnership with the school and parish community
  • Empowering each student to integrate Christian values into his/her personal identity and lifestyle enabling each to live the Gospel message within the pressures of today’s society
  • Encouraging students to achieve their full potential as active members of their school, church, and community
  • Providing an atmosphere that upholds each student’s dignity and fosters the development of a positive self image
  • Instilling a spirit of service and stewardship
  • Facilitating academic growth and mastery of skills through effective teaching methods and a comprehensive curriculum based on the Common Core State Standards
  • Preparing students for life in the 21st century by integrating technology, global citizenship, and media literacy into our curriculum
  • Encouraging creativity in each student through continuous exploration in art, music, theatre, and sign language
  • Promoting health, wellness, cooperation, and teamwork through physical education

History

St. Joseph Catholic School in Prescott, Wisconsin opened in September 1961 with the formal dedication on October 15, 1961.  The school was staffed by teachers from the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, La Crosse with Sister Vincenza as the first principal.  There were 109 students enrolled in grades 2-7.  In 1962, first grade and eighth grades were added with a total of 178 students.

In 1968 St. Joseph Parish celebrated its centennial and there were 164 students enrolled in grades 1-6.  A Kindergarten class was added in 1992 and Pre-school was started in 1996.

In 2011 St. Joseph School celebrated its  50 year jubilee with a CD release concert on November 10th and an all school reunion on November 12th.  There were 103 students enrolled in grades K-6.

During its 50 year history, St. Joseph School has been committed to maintaining a school environment that prepares students academically and spiritually to become active, contributing members to their church, community, and the world.


Faculty

Mrs. Darla Ironside – Kindergarten
Years teaching: 32 ears
Years at St. Joseph’s: 17 years
Education: Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from UW-Stout and Elementary Education from UW-River Falls; Master of Arts in Teaching from Aurora University in Illinois; and many other graduate credits to keep up with trends in education.
Certifications: Advanced Religious Education Certification, Preschool, PK, Kindergarten, and Grades 1-8.
“I love the spirit of cooperation, support and respect from parents, students, staff and the church community at St. Joe’s. St. Joe’s prepares our students for the future both academically and spiritually. It’s a great place to work and share God’s love.”

Ms. Monica Graske – 1st Grade
Years teaching: 6 years
Years at St. Joseph’s: 4 years
Education: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, UW-River Falls
Certifications: Elementary Middle School Science 1-8
“I love teaching and working with children! I find great joy in sharing with them my love of books/reading, music, and spreading the love of Jesus! It is so rewarding to watch the students grow academically, but also as a classroom and school family!”

Mrs. Kris Mutschler – 2nd Grade
Years teaching: 11 years
Years at St. Joseph’s: 10 years
Education: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from UW-Madison
Certifications: Pursuing Religious Education Certification
“I really enjoy helping children and also love working with the dedicated and caring staff at St. Joe’s

Ms. Nikki Singerhouse – 3rd Grade
Years teaching: 2.25 years
Years at St. Joseph’s: 1
Education: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from UW- River Falls
Certifications: Pursuing Religious Education Certification
“My favorite thing about teaching is seeing the growth in students throughout the year. I am very excited to be a part of the St. Joe’s family. From the moment I walked through the door, every person I came in contact with has been very welcoming, helpful, and generous. St. Joe’s already feels like home.”

Mrs. Shirley Hayes – 4th Grade
Years teaching: 36 years
Years at St. Joseph’s: 30 years
Education: Bachelor of Science, St. Cloud State; Kindergarten degree, UW River Falls
Certifications: Advanced Religious Education Certification
“Parents, students and staff make St. Joseph’s a great place to teach. It’s a place where the Spirit of the Lord flows.”

Mrs. Judith Huppert – 5th Grade
Years Teaching: 39 years
Years at St. Joseph’s: 35 years
Education: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, UW-Stevens Point; graduate credits (45+)
Certifications: Advanced Religious Education Certification, Elementary Education Grades 1-8
“Parents, students, and staff at our school are truly spirit-filled! Our walk with the Lord brings adventure and fun every day, as we face life together as a school. St. Joseph’s is a fantastic place to teach at, learn, and grow!”

Mrs. Vicki Olson – 6th grade
Years teaching: 11 years
Years at St. Joseph’s: 5 years
Education: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, UW-River Falls, Masters of Education in Curriculum Instruction, University of St. Thomas
Certifications: Theology, University of St. Thomas, Middle School License, UW River Falls
“I am looking forward to spending my days with the faith filled community of St. Joseph School. I especially look forward to teaching and learning from my new sixth grade students. Coming back to teaching here feels like coming home.”

Mrs. Monica Laust – Music & Phy Ed
Years teaching: 35 years
Years at St. Joseph’s: 31 years
Education: Bachelor of Music Education, UW-River Falls; graduate credits from UW-River Falls, UW-Eau Claire, Fresno Pacific University, Chapman University and University of St. Thomas
Certifications: Advanced Religious Education Certification
“St. Joseph School is a wonderful place to teach. We have community spirit that is nurturing and supportive of students and staff alike. Our spirituality permeates everything we do and we have expectations of excellence for ourselves and our students.”

Mrs. Andrea Hince – 4-Year-Old Kindergarten
Years teaching: 21 years
Years at St. Joseph’s: 20 years
Education: Bachelor of Science, UW-River Falls; Master’s Degree, St. Mary’s University
Certifications: Advanced Religious Education Certification
“I have a passion for early childhood education and care about my students and families. I am honored to serve both Prescott Public School and St. Joseph Parish School through the 4K program.”

Mrs. Christine Meshak – Principal
Years teaching: 18
Years at St. Joseph’s: 5 years
Education: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a minor in Language Arts, UW-Eau Claire, Masters in Educational Leadership from St. Mary’s University
Certifications: Middle School Licence, Basic Religious Education Certification
“I love the staff, students, and families of St. Joseph Parish School. It is a community of dedicated people who serve God and each other and who strive for excellence in their individual ministries. It is an honor every day to be able to work in a place where we worship God and pass our Catholic traditions as well as a love for learning on to the next generation.”


Accreditation

St. Joseph Parish School is accredited through the Wisconsin Religious and Independent Schools Accreditation (WRISA). We are one of 259 religious and independent schools in Wisconsin to be recognized as meeting the standards of the WRISA association.  The accreditation process allows a school to examine what they are doing well and what areas may need improvement.  It is also a means of showing the school community that the school is interested in overall improvement and excellence.

During the 2013-2014 school year, the St. Joseph Parish School staff engaged in a Self Study.  We discussed current practices in curriculum and instruction, philosophy and mission of the school, and facilities and governance. We and developed and implemented a Long Range Plan for school improvement and hosted a Site Visit by a team of peers in March of 2014.

We will implement this Long Range Plan for the next seven year cycle. Our goals may be modified and expanded, but we will always be evaluating and modifying to meet the needs of our students, families, staff, and facilities. We submit Annual Reports to the Board of Directors that detail our progress in meeting our yearly goals. All school goals and staff development are based on the improvements outlined in our Long Range Plan.

Our next Self Study will happen in the 2020-2021 school year. This will be followed by another Site Visit and the submittal of a new Long Range Plan to the WRISA Board of Directors.

Parents are encouraged to ask their employers if their company will match the donations they make to our school.  Some companies will do this, but only if the school is accredited. For more information about WRISA, the accreditation standards, and a complete listing of accredited schools, please visit the WRISA web site at www.WRISA.net. WRISA is a state chapter of the National Federation of Nonpublic School State Accrediting Associations (NFNSSAA).