History of Saint Joseph High School

        In 1904, to encourage young women to enter the business world the Sisters of Saint Joseph opened  Saint Joseph Academy for Young Ladies at 834 Pacific Street However, within five years, this building had become inadequate for the growing number of students interested in Business Education.  The vision and growth of theSaint Joseph High School was aided by the generosity of the Parmentier family. In the early nineteenth century the Parmentier family had emigrated from Belgium and had distinguished themselves in supporting Church-related works in this country.  Their youngest daughter, Rosine, in 1908, bequeathed to the Sisters of Saint Joseph “…the premises situated and known as numbers 342, 344, and 346 Bridge Street in the Borough of Brooklyn to be used for Catholic higher educational purposes as a …High School for girls…”.  In 1911, the Parmentier mansion at 342 Bridge Street became a two-year school, Saint Joseph’s Commercial High School – Parmentier Memorial.  Each year the course offerings were increased, and in 1936, the University of the State of New York approved the Charter for a full four-year high school with combined Academic-Commercial courses. Additional buildings were added at “342” and, in 1945, the office building at 80 Willoughby Street was purchased and renovated into modern classrooms, science laboratories and a library.  In 1963, the new name, Saint Joseph High School, was affixed to this building. With changing times, the academic offerings changed.  The 60’s and 70’s offered students diversified scheduling, modern course offerings and work-study programs.  The technical advances of the 80’s brought the computer into the school program.  Courses in programming and word processing were integrated into the curriculum.  During the 90’s, SJHS entered a new phase of development.  Young women have the opportunity to change their community.  The students are active in the preservation of the environment and celebrating the diversity of the community through art, song and dance.  The Metrotech Project places SJHS at the edge of the technological work place of the future.  Downtown Brooklyn is becoming a new center for development and economic opportunity.  St. Joseph High School is proud of its long history of Christian education in downtown Brooklyn.  The Sisters of Saint Joseph are grateful to the Parmentiers for their contribution of property and their Christian devotion to society.  Their devotion to humanity is memorialized by the inscription on the family vault,  “In going through life, they did what they could.”  Saint Joseph High School looks forward to carrying on the traditions and visions of its predecessors into the 21st century.  The mission of the school endures — the excellent preparation of young women for college, career and life. 


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