September 25th, 2012

Elementary Excellence: St. Joseph (Bardstown)

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

Elementary Excellence: St. Joseph (Bardstown)
from Beth Walker

St. Joseph is preparing for a successful 2012-2013 school year

The following feature is a part of a weekly series called "Elementary Excellence" - a set of profiles that will spotlight Louisville area Catholic elementary schools and its athletic programs, teams, traditions and excellence in all aspects of sports. Do you want your school to be featured? Send us your recommendation to

Mike Mitro is a military veteran and serves as the athletic director for St. Joseph School in Bardstown, Kentucky. His goal as AD is to make sure that every St. Joseph student athlete that wants to play a sport, can, and that they have fun while doing so.


“Our goal is that every child that wishes to participate, has the opportunity to play,” said Mitro. “We want all students to have the opportunity to improve, grow athletically, and personally. For me, the most important thing is that they have fun.”

Last year 452 students attended St. Joseph. Nearly 90% of their students that are in fourth to eight grade participate in the St. Joseph athletic program.

“We offer basketball for boys and girls in 4th-8th grades, volleyball for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade girls, and baseball for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade boys,” said Mitro.

Older St. Joseph students have a unique opportunity to play with Bethlehem High School so that they can improve their skills.

“We collaborate with our local Catholic high school, Bethlehem High School, to offer middle school boys the opportunity to play football for Bethlehem Prep,” said Mitro. “Other middle school boys and girls can run cross country or play soccer on the Bethlehem High School freshman team. Students also have the opportunity to get involved with the Bethlehem swimming and golf program.” 

No new sports have been planned for this year, but St. Joe’s is looking at possibly adding tennis in the future.

“We would like to see something started with tennis,” said Mitro. “If we have students who are interested in playing a new sport, and we get the support from our parents, we try to work with them to get a program started.”

Mitro enjoys watching the students play rather than focusing on the teams’ records. However, St. Joe’s has had recent success on the court and he expects that several teams will do well again this year.

“Last year, our 7th grade boys won the Mid-Kentucky Athletic Conference. Our 7th-8th grade girls’ volleyball teams each won their respective leagues last year,” said Mitro. “The 8th graders went undefeated.”

“I get excited watching them play and seeing them having fun,” said Mitro. “I expect them to play hard and have fun. Our 8th grade boys basketball team will be very strong this year as well as our girls volleyball teams.”

Like all parishes, St. Joseph is unique in their own ways.

“We strive to make athletics fun and ensure that everyone gets the opportunity to participate,” said Mitro. “Our first priority is to instill Christian values into athletics.”

Mitro has been involved in the St. Joseph athletic program for more than a decade now. He has been around sports his whole life and took over the program when he retired from the military.

“I coached my 2 boys at St. Joe back in the 90's and always had a close relationship with the school and the staff here,” said Mitro. “I have been involved with sports my whole life either as a player or coach. When I retired from the military 7 years ago, St. Joseph was looking for a new AD, and I was fortunate enough to be offered the position. I have fun with it every day. I feel that I am a good role model for the student athletes, and being retired, I have the time and the opportunity to invest in the athletic program.”

Although playing sports can be fun, Mitro makes sure his student-athletes realize that playing sports is a privilege not a right.

“Playing sports is a privilege, and what you learn from playing and competing is something that you will take with you in this journey called life,” said Mitro. “Working hard pays off whether you win or lose. We teach them those values and hope that those values stick with them for the rest of their lives.”



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