Upon his appointment as a pastor in 1932, the Rev. William Pezold noted a sentiment among the parishioners in favor of a school. Understanding that the future of his parish depended upon a school, Fr. Pezold converted the combination church and rectory, built in 1873 into a school and convent. In September of 1932, classes were begun under the direction of the Precious Blood Sisters of O’Fallon with 38 pupils in attendance.
Through the encouragement and financial support of the Catholic Rural Life Conference of St. Louis, the erection of a “brick school” building took place in 1938. In the late 1950’s as the Catholic population increased, the Archdiocese gave its permission to erect a new church, with the cornerstone being laid on October 19, 1961. Once again, the population of the parish grew, and the parishioners felt the need for an addition to the school. In November of 1970, building was begun. In 1989, construction was completed on the school addition and Griesedieck Center. In 1991, the school offices and faculty meeting room were completed. As the school and parish grew to one of the largest in the St. Louis Archdiocese with over 800 children in full-time school and 1200 in the PSR program, the building again was not adequate. In 2003, a new 40,000 square foot wing was added. This addition included a larger cafeteria and kitchen, more classrooms and the ability to expand the size of the library.
In 2006, Father James Callahan requested sisters for St. Joseph School. Archbishop Raymond Burke invited the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation to consider coming to St. Joseph. In 2007, the sisters enthusiastically agreed to come. Sending Sister Maria Christi as the principal, Sister Mary Rita, Sister Mary Esther and Sister Maria Kolbe as teachers, the sisters joined the Saint Joseph community in August of 2007.
As it began in 1938 with the erection of that “brick school”, St. Joseph School continues today, providing a quality Catholic education for all who enroll. St. Joseph Parish and its school exist because of God’s blessings and the many people who have given of themselves since those early days of struggle. From a parish consisting of 35 families in 1864, to a parish of over 4900 families in 2008, St. Joseph Parish continues to serve the people of this community.