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History

St. Joseph’s Parish began in 1950 as a missionary effort by the Society of the Divine Saviors to the citizens of northwest Huntsville, in a neighborhood called Magnolia Terrace. St. Joseph’s School officially opened in 1956 within an old mansion located on the Parish premises. There were 61 students in grades 1- 4. A proper school building was begun in 1960 and construction continued through 1963. History was made on September 3, 1963, when 12 white students enrolled in the school making St. Joseph’s School the first site of grade-school integration in Alabama. In an article written in 2003, Phil W. Petrie points out that this historical case of integration took place quietly, without “the federal troops as in Arkansas, bombings as in Tennessee or jeering mobs as in Louisiana." It also happened eight months after Gov. George Wallace had declared in his inaugural speech: “Segregation yesterday, segregation today, segregation forever."

Holy Family Regional School, as it is called today, was established in 1979 when St. Joseph’s School and St. Mary’s School merged. When the merger of St. Joseph’s and St. Mary’s occurred in 1979, an inter-parochial elementary school for grades K-8 was created. Staff, students and parents were combined to create a new school, one with a long history, racial diversity and a tradition of academic excellence. In 1980, the school associated with Our Lady, Queen of the Universe closed. At that point, many students attending that school transferred to Holy Family. The Queen of the Universe Parish also pledged its support to Holy Family, providing continuing subsidy and significant parent support. The school is physically connected to St. Joseph’s Catholic Community and their parish life center serves as a gymnasium for the school. St. Joseph’s has built a new church, which was dedicated on November 6, 2010.

Since its establishment, Holy Family has maintained a relatively stable enrollment of approximately 200. In 2004, a pre-kindergarten program was added to the school. The Pre-K program has a steady enrollment of 16-18 students.  Thanks to an Annual Appeal Campaign, a number of families attend Holy Family with partial scholarships continuing the original mission vision of the Salvatorians. Holy Family provides approximately $70,000 a year in tuition assistance. Holy Family regularly places amongst the top winners of Science Olympiad competitions and consistently competes successfully in Math tournaments and other academic endeavors. The arts, athletics, and extracurricular events round out the education offered at Holy Family in an effort to provide opportunities that develop responsible life-long learners who are confident and productive citizens in an ever-changing world.  Students members of the Beta Club participate in service projects as peer tutors, and the entire student body participates in the school’s mission to “Feed the Hungry” by donating food to the St. Vincent de Paul Pantry. The school’s population reflects its mission history, celebrating the diversity of our neighborhoods, aspiring to academic excellence, learning the value of service through community outreach, reveling in the love of Christ, and experiencing the joy that comes when children learn together, play together and grow in the values of the Gospels. Faith and reason stand as our guides along the path of life.