The Joseph City Unified School District encompasses all of Joseph City and out into several surrounding g regions including the Navajo reservation and Mclaws road. The elementary school and district offices are found at 8176 Westover Ave, Joseph City, AZ. The high school and auditorium are found at 4629 2nd N, Joseph City, AZ. 


Beginnings of the School in Joseph City

Joseph City was initially founded in 1876 as St. Joseph Arizona. After some confusion due to there also being a St. Joseph Missouri along the Santa Fe Railway, St. Joseph, AZ was given the new name of Joseph City. The school was first started in Joseph City in 1879 and was also used as a church house. The next school building was built in 1887 and was also used as a church house as well. The third school building was not built for another 16 years. The building cost was $5,362.20 and was covered by a public subscription.

First public building in Joseph City, used for school and church.


First Exclusive School Building

Just 13 years later the town was able to build its first school building that was solely used as a school building. It included four rooms and included halls, offices, and restrooms. More bonds were obtained in 1925 to add another four-room building. This building included a library, a hall, a cloak room, restrooms, and another office. This was also when the first gymnasium was bonded for the amount of $16,000. It was finished in 1937. By 1963, the school district was bonded for $115,000 and had a contract for four more classrooms, an office, restrooms, and a bus garage. The school had 8 teachers who taught all grades 1-8 and 9th and 10th grade as well. At this time the 11th and 12th graders were bused to Holbrook, AZ, and would finish their education there. 

School house built in 1914.


The Finished High School

 After hiring B.G. Bennett as the first district superintendent and Harold Alford as the first high school principal in 1970, the Joseph City High School was built in three phases beginning in 1973. These three phases included the addition of the following:

  • Several classrooms

  • A swimming pool

  • A gymnasium

  • Tennis courts

  • A football field

  • A track

  • A baseball field

  • Locker rooms

  • A shop building

Joseph City High School Construction Plaque


Joseph City High School in Sept. 2022

The first graduating class from Joseph City High School was in 1972 with 11 students graduating. 

First graduating class from Joseph City High School in 1972


Addition of B.G. Bennett Auditorium

The construction of the Joseph City Schools Auditorium was finished in October of 1978. The auditorium features a large stage, an orchestra pit, and a black box theater. There are 600 available seats in the audience. In 1997 the auditoriums name was changed to B.G. Bennett Auditorium after the first superintendent of the school in honor of his contributions  to the school. 

Original Joseph City Schools Auditorium Plaque.         Oct. 1978

B.G. Bennett Auditorium in Sept. 2022


Addition of the Wresting/Weights building

The wrestling/weights building was added to the school in 20__. The majority of the building is devoted to wrestling. It includes floor space for wresting mats, a scoreboard, restrooms, and bleachers. The other part of the building is used a weight lifting gym. There is also a ticket booth on the front that is used for some sporting events. 


The Wresting/Weights building in 2022


List of Homecoming Royalty


1971 Neil Westover Connie & Young Rossow                        

1972 Ron Hansen & Nancy Johnson Young 

1973 Layne Miller & Patty Thompson Tubbs                          

1974 Bill Morris & Teddi Baird                               

1975 Eric Miller & Amber Shelley Fish                                     

1976 Kelly Baird & Irene Yarrison                                  

1977 Wayne Solomon & Rhona Robinson Solomon            

1978 Dean Morris & Alicia Westover-Childers 

1979 Brad Neal & Debra Solomon Fish                                  

1980 Mick McCormick & Lillian Hansen Neal

1981 Jim Young & Sherri Pogue Hill                                       

1982 Chris Burt & Julie Smith Strong                 

1983 Marlan Hansen & Leesa Gibbons Kinghorn                    

1984 Tim Hall & Rando Jo Hatch Bollwinkle 

1985 Jason Hatch & Lynda Fraley                                           

1986 Raymond Burt & Kyra Lee Mosier             

1987 Jay Smith & Claudia Pierce McNabb                            

1988 Derron Hansen & Cecelia Lydolph-Trujillo                                                                                           

1989 Loren Pierce & April Morris Boyce                                   

1990 Bruce McLaws & Mana Rice Hoskins            

1991 Karl Johnson & Twila McLaws Mumford                        

1992 Sam Johnstun & Dana Lyn Smith-Johnstun

1993 Jeremy Buckley & Elizabeth Hansen Miller    

1994 Beau Tubbs & Jinny Miller Smith          

1995 Shawn Walker & Stefanie Johnstun Bigler                      

1996 Danny Pierce & Crystal Baldwin Foard  

1997 Steven Miller & Heather Bradley LeCheminant             

1998 Sean Stell & Janae Frost Harrop           

1999 Joey Richards & Tawnya Hansen Kinlicheenie             

2000 Jay Miller & Janalynn Solomon               

2001 Brandon Evans & Sara Sweet Watkins                        

2002 Stratton Solomon & Tia Miller McCracken

2003 J. C. Bushman & Brittany Young Davenport                

2004 Jason Gardner & Taura Rush                

2005 Justin Solomon & Dayna Penrod Kelley                    

2006 Brock Hansen & Brittany Hansen          

2007 Mitsuru Yamamoto & Cassie Pugh Bigler                      

2008 Ryan Bray & Jessica DownHatch             

2009 Justin Clifford & Tori Mosier Golding                             

2010 Zachary Miller & Megan Johnstun-Kartchner 

2011 Dallin Baldwin & Annelie Hansen                 

2012 Jacob Fields  & Alexis Edwards-DeWitt     

2013 Robert Downs & Madison Fields                                   

2014 Conner Neal & Shannon Mosier               

2015 Jeff Downs & Chalet Baldwin                                           

2016 Aaron Johnstun & Kiersten Mileham

2017 Matthew Fields & Kassidy Richards                 

2018 Carlos Martineau &  Kaylie Gardner

2019 Ethan Hansen & Sari Murdock                                

2020 Avery Buckley & Jessica Baldwin

2021 TJ Westover & Mia Rascon                                              

2022 Bannon Johnstun & Jasmine Nells


List of Superintendents

  • B.G. Bennett (1972-1983)

  • Dr. Joseph Ball (1984-1885)

  • Dr. McLaren (1986-1989)

  • Dr. Ed Czuppa (1990-1993)

  • Dr. Ronald Nelson (1994-1997)

  • Maribelle Ogilvie (1998-2004)

  • Robert Crosswhite (2005-2006)

  • Hollis Merril (2006-2009)

  • Robert Clein (2010-2013)

  • Bryan Fields (2014-Present)


List of Principals

  • H.M. Alford (1972-1979)

  • Monty Harris (1980-1981)

  • Neil Dewitt (1982-1983)

  • Micheal R. Ford (1984-1985)

  • Joseph X. Gubbins (1986-1993)

  • Charles A. Foote (1994-1997)

  • Robert Crosswhite (1998-2004)

  • Hollis Merril (2005-2006)

  • Bryan Fields (2006-2017)

  • Eric Miller (2018-Present)


Works Cited

Westover, A. B., Westover, V. R., & Richards, J. M. (2021). Schools in Joseph City. In Unflinching courage (2nd ed.). essay, The Authors.