Timeline

2016
2016

St. Joseph Center celebrates 60th anniversary with Bishop Barres

2015
2015

Mr. Roobhenn Smith Becomes the Principal

His first year at St. Joseph Center, we will celebrate our 60th year of educating students and adults with special needs. The highlights of the year will include the Diamond Gala on October 23, 2015, and the celebration of Mass with Bishop John O. Barres on the Feast of St. Joseph Day, March 19, 2016.
2014
2014

The Practical Assessment Exploration System Vocational Program Opens

St. Joseph Center for Special Learning began a new program at the beginning of the school year that allows older students to discover talents and learn skills to make their way in the world. The school in Pottsville held an official ribbon-cutting at the classroom Friday with the help of alumnus James Huebner, Orwigsburg, who graduated from the school 32 years ago. He was followed by a blessing of the classroom/lab by Monsignor Edward O’Connor, pastor of St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church, Pottsville. The Practical Assessment Exploration System vocational program is not only a learning experience for the students, but…
2014

2014 Ambassador Appeal Launches During Luncheon

St. Joseph Center for Special Learning in Pottsville launched its 2014 Ambassador Appeal on Friday during a kickoff luncheon that included a visit to the school’s newest program. The annual appeal’s goal is $38,000, which helps provide needed funding for the Catholic special education school — the only private, nonresidential school for children and young adults with intellectual disabilities in Schuylkill County and is a program of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown Office of Education. The kickoff luncheon began with grace before meals led by teacher Jean Mahall, followed by a hearty homemade lunch of minestrone soup and chicken…
2006
2006

A State Licensed Adult Habilitation Program is Added

The habilitation program was added for those individuals age 21 and over who, due to functional level, are unable to join the workforce.
2002
2002

Mrs. Julia Leibensperger Becomes Principal

Mrs. Julia Leibensperger served as principal from 2002-2015. Mrs. Leibensperger oversaw St. Joseph Center’s 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2005 with the floral based theme: Celebrating 50 Years of Nurturing God’s Children.
1999
1999

Mr. Richard Webb Assumes the Role of Principal

1994
1994

Sister Grace Christi, SSJ, Becomes Principal

1991
1991

Sister Francis Helen, SSJ, Becomes Principal

1990
1990

The Development Advisory Board Was Formed

The board has been very active in assisting the school with public relations and fundraising to supplement the Bishop’s Annual Appeal.
1989
1989

Groundbreaking Ceremony on New Building

The new school officially opened its doors on December 18, 1989. It was dedicated on February 11, 1990 by The Most Reverend Thomas J. Welsh, Bishop of Allentown
1988
1988

Sister Kathleen McShane, SSJ, Becomes Principal

Sister Kathleen immediately became involved in the Capital Campaign to raise the local funds needed for a new school building, which was then constructed at our present location of 2075 West Norwegian Street in Pottsville.
1985
1985

Name Changes to St. Joseph Center for Special Learning

The school’s name changed from St. Joseph Day School to St. Joseph Center for Special Learning in order to reflect an emphasis of a learning skills center and school rather than a day care facility
1981
1981

Sister Susan Cunningham Replaces Sister Joan Kathleen as Principal

1975
1975

Sister Joan Kathleen Becomes Principal of Primary Class

Sister Joan Kathleen, SSJ, came to St. Joseph Center as principal and teacher of the Primary Class. Sister Francis Helen, SSJ and Miss Nancy Neary, taught the intermediate and advanced classes at this time. Sister Joan Kathleen was at St. Joseph Center until June of 1981. She planned the celebration of the 25th anniversary in November 1980
1974
1974

Sister Carmelita Becomes Principal

When Sister Elizabeth Leona received a new assignment in 1974, Sister Carmelita became the new principal. At the same time, Mr. Philip Brown became the first lay teacher and a third class was formed. Also in 1974, Mrs. Mary R. Burns, who had been volunteering her services as a dance instructor, was hired to teach dance and physical education. Mrs. Burns remained with St. Joseph Center until 1992.
1967
1967

Sister Carmelita, SSJ, replaces Sister Mary Vincent as teacher

1965
1965

Sister Elizabeth Leona Becomes Principal

Sister Elizabeth Leona, SSJ, became the new principal and teacher. The enrollment was 27 at that time and Sister Mary Vincent, SSJ, was the other teacher.
1956
1956

Archbishop John F. O’Hara Dedicates the School

His Excellency, Archbishop John F. O’Hara of Philadelphia, dedicated the school on April 14, 1956. Monsignor John E. Boyle, former pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Pottsville, made this school for children with special needs a reality.
1955
1955

St. Joseph Day School Opens

Housed in the former Sisters of St. Joseph Convent on Mahantongo Street in Pottsville. Sister Irma Helen, SSJ, was the first principal and also taught the twenty-five children who attended St. Joseph’s. It wasn’t long before enrollment had increased and Sister Irma Helen added Sister Marie Cornelia, SSJ, to the faculty and divided the children into two classes.