Thursday, December 18, 2008

St. Bernard Prep presents "The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols"

St. Bernard Prep School presented the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on December 14 in the Abbey Church. The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a service that celebrates Christmas by focusing on 9 readings from Scripture, beginning with the Fall of Man at creation, then continuing through the prophets who tell of the coming Messiah, then finally the preparation for the birth of Christ and His birth itself.

Dr. Rebecca Whited, SBP Director of Choral Music said, “It is an act of worship rather than a concert, dating back to 1918 when it was first held on Christmas Eve in the Chapel of King’s College at Cambridge University in England.” Since that time the tradition has been adapted in many churches throughout the world. While the music changes, the lessons remain the same.

The main theme is the development of the loving purposes of God …’ seen ‘through the windows and words of the Bible. A representative from each class and leaders of the St. Bernard community presented the lessons, while Dr. Whited and the choral music department provided the music and accompaniment.

Saint Bernard declared December 14 as “A Day of Christmas Music.” The Saint Bernard Middle School band under the direction of Lester Harris, performed a brief concert of Christmas songs which included both 7th and 8th grade instrumentalist. A reception followed the Lessons and Carols program featuring the Saints jazz/rock group.

St. Bernard Middle School Band Program

St. Bernard Middle School students recently participated in a Day of Christmas Music at St. Bernard. To see a few highlights from the event visit Most of these seventh and eighth grade students have been a part of the new band program since August of 2008.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

St. Bernard Prep student wins poetry contest

St. Bernard Prep School student, Jesse Schaffer, had good karma on Friday, December 5. Schaffer along with Elizabeth Schweers represented St. Bernard at the district Poetry Out Loud competition at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Schaffer, a junior at the private boarding school in Cullman said, “Today was a special day that tied into the anniversary death of my baby sister for whom my poem was written. It is also the birthday of Mrs. Couch, the teacher who encouraged me to enter the contest.”

Schaffer competed against twelve other students in the district, and pulled off a first place victory with his poem titled, “A Breath of Grace.” “I wrote this poem one evening about an event that will remain forever in my mind.” Schaffer continued, “Leven years ago my little sister, Abbey Grace, was still-born. The poem recants hearing the two words “she’s gone,” and feeling the heavy hears our family shared.”

Couch has worked with her freshman and junior students since fall to prepare them for this competition. “I jokingly told them that my best birthday present would be for one or both of our entrants to win or place at District since the competition was on December 5.”

Couch said Schaffer did an outstanding job and his first place honor was well deserved. “He presented his poem with such heartfelt emotion; the audience was sobbing and dobbing their eyes.” Schweers memorized three poems and competed in the anthhology recitation event. “We are proud of Elizabeth for her representation of St. Bernard. She will be back competing next year. She has the talent and drive to succeed.”

Schaffer won first place in original poetry, and was awarded a check for $100 and a $1,000 scholarship to the University of Alabama-Huntsville. He will compete at the state level on February 28 in Montgomery, Alabama.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

SBP to participate in Poetry Out Loud Regional Webcast

St. Bernard Poetry Out Loud winners Elizabeth Schweers, and Jesse Schaffers will compete in the Regional contest at UAH this Friday, November 5. The contest will be Webcast at It will only be broadcast on the day of the event, live, probably starting at 10 a.m. when round one begins. Elizabeth is contestant#11 in Anthology Poetry, and Jesse is contestant #11 in the original poetry competition. Congratulations to Elizabeth and Jesse!! We are with you all the way!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Honor Society inducts new members

St. Bernard Prep students recently gathered to honor new members inducted into the National Honor Society. National Honor Society recognizes students for outstanding scholarship, service, leadership, and character. To qualify students nominated must be in the junior or senior class. He or she must have a cumulative grade point average of 90 or above and must have taken required courses in math, science, and language.

Jae Min Chung, President of the SBP Chapter, welcomed parents, faculty and students. Richard Collier led the opening prayer.

Mrs. Betty Wallace, faculty sponsor recognized current members Amy Eder, Quintoya Buggs, Jared Clark, Richard Collier, Jonathan Denson, Tim Fernandez, Emily Kim, Jin Lim, Brendan Meyer, Kiki Meyer, Maria Mueller, Molly O’Hara, Jack Palmer, Amanda Parker, and Nino Yutiamco. Each was presented a membership card.

Under the direction of Richard Collier, new inductees Alma Allende, Mary Beth Beargie, Jenny Codding, Lucia DiPrima, Ryan Deci, Katie Gauthier, Jonathan Gray, Matthew Kimbrel, Grace Larkin, Cathryne Shartung, Elizabeth Schweers, Louis Yutiamco, and Jason Lee took the pledge of the National Honor Society. Each pledged to uphold the high purposes of National Honor Society to which they had been selected. The new members repeated the pledge, “I will be true to the principles for which it stands, I will be loyal to my school, and will maintain and encourage high standards of scholarship, service, leadership, and character.”

Each student received a pin from current officers of NHS as well as a membership certificate from Fr. Joel Martin, Headmaster of St. Bernard Preparatory School.

Fr. Joel said, “This is a day we all receive something. We are recognizing the intelligence that God gave these students. It is not something they have earned, it is a gift. What distinguishes them is that they are using the gift, a gift that has been given to everyone in this school.”
Fr. Joel congratulated the group by saying, “We know the efforts you have put in your work at St. Bernard to get where you are today.”He encouraged other students to emulate their efforts. “It is a great day for all of us because of the example they give us. Thank you for that,” Fr. Joel concluded.

A reception was held following the ceremony.

Tennis facilities receive complete overhaul

Because of the benefaction of Robert Blevins (C’77-79), a major overhaul of the St. Bernard tennis facilities was recently completed in preparation for the spring tennis season. The project consisted in the renovation of three existing courts and the conversion of three additional courts from clay-surface to hard-surface courts. Also included in the project was the replacement of the deteriorated fence around the clay courts and the restoration of the fencing around the existing courts.

Robert Blevins, who played on the tennis team while attending St. Bernard College, is a native of Cullman, AL, and is the CEO of Texican National Gas Company. Seeing that the present tennis facility was inadequate to support a full fledged tennis program, he agreed to underwrite the work needed for the conversion and renovation of all six tennis courts.

The contract was awarded to Pro Court Construction, Inc., based in Huntsville, AL. Under the direction of Duffy Boles, the work began in late August and was completed in early November. The scope of the work included new asphalt and base, new fencing and concrete curbs, new posts and nets and the latest Plexipave color system used by national tennis associations.

“The three clay tennis courts were overgrown and unusable,” said Fr. Marcus Voss, President of St. Bernard Prep School. “Converting them to hard-surface courts as well as the renovation of the three existing courts has been a major upgrade for our tennis program.”

“The support we received from Robert Blevins has directly affected the student-athletes who play on our tennis teams,” Fr. Marcus continued. “I certainly am grateful to him and his family for all they have done to make this a first-class tennis facility.”

In recognition of Mr. Blevins’ contribution to the tennis program, a dedicatory plaque has been placed at the tennis courts in his honor.

Monday, November 24, 2008

SBP Middle School gets new science lab

St. Bernard Middle School is in the process of renovating a room in the basement of Founders Hall for a new science lab. Science teacher, Martha Wells is delighted to receive her own lab for students in the newly formed 7th and 8th grade school. “We have been borrowing equipment from the high school lab. Having our own lab and equipment suited to the skill level of a middle school student will allow our students to perform more hands-on activities.”

Middle School Principal, John Tekulve said he plans to have the room completed by the end of Thanksgiving Break. Tables and cabinets have already been moved into the classroom. Parents are volunteering their time and are helping by cleaning windows and painting floors.

St. Bernard Middle School is taking part in Science and Technology Concepts for Middle Schools, a pilot program through Carolina Science. A module for each class has been secured. The eighth grade science class will study properties of matter including investigations of the densities of solids, liquids and gases. Students will observe how matter interacts and how it behaves when heated. They then provide explanations of their observations. The themes of these inquiries are revisited in detail throughout the unit, giving students opportunities to re-examine and modify their explanations.

The seventh grade module is a study of organisms from macro to micro. This module will tap the curiosity of students by first helping students clarify what they already know about organisms and then perform a series of engaging, thought-provoking, hands-on activities that will enable them to extend their knowledge. They will work with a minimum of 16 living organisms over a period of 20 lessons.

“This new program will make concepts taught in the science classroom come alive” Wells added. “For instance, they will grow plants as well as experiment with cross pollination and collect data on second and third generations of plants to understand heredity. They will create a miniature ecosystem as they study various plants and animals.” With exposure to the many living organisms, Wells hopes that the students will come to understand that a delicate balance exists in nature. ”Often times this balance is upset and most of the time it is a result of human actions,” stressed Wells. “I tell my students the most important concept I want them to gain is that this planet is not just for human use. All God’s creatures belong here and we need to respect the environment.”

The pilot program allows St. Bernard to try the materials before purchasing. Each module for each class averages $3,000. St. Bernard plans to add four more modules over the next two years. An account for the science lab has been set up. Grants have been secured through Operation Round-Up and donations are being accepted. Anyone wishing to contribute to the new science lab should send their contributions made payable to St. Bernard Prep School, 1600 St. Bernard Drive, SE, Cullman, AL 35055 Attn: Science Lab.

Thanksgiving service held at St. Bernard

Students at St. Bernard Prep School celebrated Mass recently during the school’s Annual Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service. Traditionally each year St. Bernard students and staff are given the opportunity to invite clergy representing their various congregations and religious traditions.

Thirteen ministers from the area took part in the service composed of prayers, psalms, scripture readings and hymns, and students offer thanks and petitions to God as they lay symbols of their lives before the altar.

The Rev. Malcolm Marler, Chaplain at UAB Medical Center, presented the sermon . Rev. Marler thanked St. Bernard for educating and encouraging his children for the last four years. “I want to thank the teachers, coaches, and administrators for all they are doing and have done for all people.” He further complimented the students for being a unique community. Rev. Marler said, “Over the last four years, I have watched you cheer for one another in academic and athletic endeavors. I noticed the way you spoke kindly of one another and your wonderful sense of humor in caring ways.”

His homily was a reminder to each to give thanks for everything to everyone. “In today’s world, Psalm 100 would be interpreted like a text message. To me it’s like sending a short quick message to God saying thank you. It’s like t-h-n-x. I encourage each of you to thank God and others for all their blessings, and if thanked; make sure to allow the compliment to be fully taken in. Return the thanks with you’re welcome.”

The St. Bernard Choral Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Rebecca Whited took part in the service.

The service was followed by a dinner for all guests, students, faculty and staff. The guest clergymen were served by the students.

St. Bernard Prep Headmaster, Fr. Joel Martin, O.S.B. said, “This is an opportunity for all of us in the school community to give thanks to God for the many gifts we have received, and to do so along with those pastors, ministers and priests who are so important in the lives of our students. These men and women are very busy, so we are all impressed with and grateful for their taking time to join us.”

Ministers present were The Rev. Robert Blackwell, Grace Episcopal Church, Cullman; The Rev. Walter Cash, St. Andrew's United Methodist Church, Cullman; The Rev. Michael Deering, St. Elizabeth Anne Seton Church, Gardendale and St. Henry's Church, Warrior; The Rev. Peter von Hermann, First United Methodist Church, Cullman; The Rev. Andrew Kennedy, Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Birmingham; The Rev. Robert Kurtz, St. John's Evangelical Protestant Church, Cullman; The Rev. Carl R. Lampitt, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Cullman; The Rev. Alan C. Mackey, St. Charles Borromeo Church, Jacksonville; The Rev. Malcolm Marler, Chaplain, UAB Medical Center, Birmingham; The Rev. Raymond J. Remke, Annunciation of the Lord Church, Decatur; Sr. Teresa Walsh, C.S.J., Annunciation of the Lord Church, Decatur.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Faulk earns All-State at varsity level

In August, SBP student Will Faulk was not very interested in running. However, things quickly changed as Faulk discovered he had a special gift on the cross country track. He recently competed at the varsity level with a 12th place finish in the State Cross Country Meet at Jesse Owens earning him All-State recognition. The eighth grade student at St. Bernard Middle School, quickly admits his mom was responsible for encouraging him to try out for the team. “I didn’t know I would be so excited about running when I started. It’s so hot in August and I wasn’t sure I was up to the task,” Faulk said.

During competition Faulk said his greatest challenge was to be in front of whoever he was trailing. “I could remember hearing the crowd say ‘pass that kid’ and I didn’t know if they were talking about me or to me, so I would say to myself ‘push it, push it’ to run faster too.”

He trains at the school on Boniface trail which is about two miles of rough terrain, and the paved perimeter road at St. Bernard. Faulk said most of the tracks we run are gravel so training on the Boniface trail is more difficult.

Since there is not a middle school competition, Faulk stepped up to the challenge of competing in the varsity division. Competition was harder and the runners were larger than me. However, not easily intimidated, the 5’4 featherweight set goals for himself and trained daily to run quicker than the guys in front of him. Faulk finished the three mile in 12th place with a time of 18:33; and the two mile in 11:43. Oscar Perez, a 7th grade student at SBP, finished in 41st position out of the 107 participants.

Cross Country Coach, Jeff Taylor, said he is very pleased and excited with these boys. “They broke every personal record they set for themselves, and represented our school well. Will is to be congratulated for earning All-State at the varsity level.”

Faulk plays tenor sax in the band and is currently taking a break from running to play basketball. He is the son of William and Paige Faulk of Cullman.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Veterans remembered at St. Bernard

Students at St. Bernard Prep spent Veterans Day remembering the soldiers serving our country and those who have gone before us in death. Veterans Day is a time to come together to educate ourselves, and remember the solemn thing the flag is, the anthem, and the nation. Headmaster, Fr. Joel Martin, OSB said, “People from all over the world have flocked to these shores not because it’s an interesting place to visit but because there is great freedom and opportunity that has come at a great price.”

Fr. Joel offered thanks for those who offered the ultimate sacrifice, and asked God to bless them all. “Give us hearts expended with gratefulness for the generosity of those veterans because of whom we have inherited this land of the free.”

Junior student Elizabeth Schweers was the voice of the flag explaining itself: “My Red Stripes symbolize the blood spilled in defense of this glorious nation. My White Stripes signify the burning tears shed by Americans who lost their sons. My Blue Field is indicative of God's heaven under which I fly. My Stars clustered together, unify 50 States as one, for God and Country."

Jesse Schaffer recited a piece once spoken by Red Skelton. It was an explanation Skelton remembered from his 7th grade teacher, Mr. Laswell. In the work Laswell noted the students looked as though it had become monotonous to recite the pledge and decided to educate them on the pledge of allegiance. Shaffer read, “I, me – committee of one; Pledge – dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self pity; allegiance –my love and my devotion to the flag, our standard, old glory a symbol of freedom. Whenever she waves there’s respect, because your loyalty has given her dignity; which shouts freedom – it's everybody’s job. United – All come together; States - 48 individual states with pride dignity and purpose. And to the republic for which it stands – a state in which a severest power is representative in a message chosen by people to government. One nation – so blessed by God; Indivisible –incapable of being divided. Liberty- Freedom – the right power to live ones life without threats fear or some sort of retaliation. Justice – the principle quality of dealing fairly with others. For all – boys and girls it’s as much your country as it is mine.”

“Veterans Day reminds us who our real heroes are,” Fr. Joel said. “They are not athletes or Hollywood stars. They are people who put their lives at risk and give their lives for others . They wear combat boots, flack jackets, flight suits. We owe them gratitude.”

Veteran’s Day has its origin in Armistice Day in 1918 when on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month when WWI officially ended with the surrender of the German forces. Since that time the day has been carved into our national memory and used first as a day to honor WWI veterans, and then expanded to include all veterans.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Open House this Sunday at St. Bernard Prep

St. Bernard Prep School in Cullman, Alabama has a rich history in providing a quality educational program at affordable prices. In the past 25 years, St. Bernard has graduated 525 seniors who collected millions of dollars in scholarship monies. Most of these seniors have graduated from college and are living successful lives in many professions all over the country.

“The average scores of students at St. Bernard Prep School are well above the state and national averages on every standardized test,” boast Fr. Marcus Voss, the school President. “We credit this fact to the instruction in the classroom. We teach a college prep program all year long and give our students the opportunity to be very successful in college and beyond.”

“In many schools, the raising of test scores has become the single most important indicator of a school’s improvement,” Fr. Marcus said. “Therefore teachers in those schools feel a lot of pressure to teach for the test using methods of teaching which conform to the multiple-choice format of the test.” He continued, “This method narrows the curriculum, forcing teachers, and students to concentrate on memorization of isolated facts, instead of learning in-depth and developing the fundamental abilities to organize and communicate ideas.”

“The faculty at St. Bernard is committed to teaching our students a well-rounded and in-depth education,” Fr. Marcus commented. “The feedback we receive from our graduates indicates that they are successful.”

“I invite families to come and see our program,” continued Fr. Marcus. “Since we are both a resident and commuting school, our program is available to students from the United States and internationally.”

St. Bernard will have its annual Fall Open House on November 9th at 2:00 pm. Call 800-722-0999 or 256-739-6682 for reservations or more information. Information is also available at

Monday, November 3, 2008

SBP host St. Ann's Eighth Grade Class

Recently eighth grade students from St. Ann’s Catholic School in Decatur, Alabama visited St. Bernard Prep School. While visiting the school, students were treated to a guided tour of Ave Maria Grotto, and lunch.

St. Bernard participates at Trumbauer District

For theatre students at St. Bernard Prep School it was their first time out in the twenty-five year history of the newly formed prep school to participate in the Trumbauer District Festival at Florence High School in Florence, Alabama. Under the direction of Barbara Guthrie, the SBP troupe performed The Game. The one act, four-character allegory play, is an “English morality play” written by Louise Bryant.

The play centers around characters of Death (Jack Palmer) and Life (Elizabeth Schweers) vying with a toss of the dice for the lives of the nameless “The Youth,” a male poet (J.C. Allbritton), and “The Girl,” a dancer (Jenna Tischler). Each of the two young people decide that their life is not worth living for lack of love, but Life helps them both realize that what they had called love was really just desire. After The Girl dances to two of The Youth’s poems, they each decide they have now found real love. A debate about the meaning of life and its value ensues, but ultimately it’s realized that the toss of dice will determine the young people’s fate: Life ultimately wins both tosses. The play makes a strange jump out of allegory when contemporary references to the War are thrown in early on: at one point Life is willing to trade the two youths to Death for “Kaiser Wilhelm, the Czar of Russia, George of England and old Francis Joseph and later for an army of soldiers. When Death asks her why she cares so little for soldiers, choosing the two “dreamers” over them, Life replies that “someday the dreamers will chain you to the earth, and I will have the game all my way.” However, after Death leaves, she declares in the play’s last line: “I must never let him know how much I mind losing soldiers. They are the flower of youth—there are dreamers among them.”

An outstanding performance placed Schweers and Palmer in the All Star Cast as well as earned them honors as best actress, and best supporting actor. The St. Bernard Troupe was also awarded the best costume award.

St. Bernard will perform The Game as part of three one-act plays on Thursday, November 6 and Saturday, November 8 at 7p.m. in the Heidrich Building. Other plays to be performed are Happily Never After and The Potman Spoke Sooth.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Elizabeth Schweers, a Junior from Madison, AL claimed the school contest for Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. Schweers recited Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe, and Dreamers by Siegfried Sassoon. The competition, presented in partnership with the Alabama State Council of the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. Schweers will advance to the district Poetry Out Loud contest to be held at UAH in Huntsville, AL. The Alabama champion will advance to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals on April 28-29 in Washington, DC, where $50,000 dollars in scholarships and school prizes will be awarded.

The winner at the state level will receive $200 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, DC, to compete at the National Finals. The state winner’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. One runner-up in each state will receive $100; and his or her school will receive $200 for the purchase of poetry books.

A total of $50,000 in scholarship awards and school stipends will be awarded at the Poetry Out Loud National Finals, with a $20,000 college scholarship award for the National Champion. The second-place winner will receive a $10,000 college scholarship award; the third-place winner will receive $5,000; and the fourth to twelfth place winners will each receive $1,000. The schools of the top 12 finalists will receive $500 for the purchase of poetry books.

English instructor, Stella Couch directed the contest. “I compare this competition to the National Spelling Bee,” Couch said. “It is competition within the classes and then the entire school.” Students are judged on physical presence, voice and articulation, appropriateness of dramatization, level of difficulty, evidence of understanding, as well as overall performance.

Runners up in the competition were Jesse Schaffers and Grace Larkin.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

SBP Volleyball teams to compete at Sub-State

St. Bernard Prep School Volleyball team will travel to Gaston High School, just north of Gadsden. They play Gaston High School in Sub-State competition at 1:30 p.m. There are 16 1-A teams in Alabama still in play-off competition this year. Our Lady Saints are among them. Congratulations to them and to Coach Harris. Team members are: Oakley Garnett, Jodie Glenn, Mary Katherine Gray, Natalie Kelley, Allison Mescher, Kiki Meyer, Maria Mueller, Brittney Schaefers. Mgr.: Quintoya Buggs.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

St. Bernard receives AHSAA Star Sportsmanship Award

St. Bernard Preparatory School in Cullman was the recipient of the Star Sportsmanship Award given by the Alabama High School Athletic Association recently in Huntsville, Alabama.

The program, designed by and its director Brian Shulman, is designed to promote a higher awareness of the importance of sportsmanship.

Students in grades 7 through 12 must complete the on-line interactive program and meet all other established requirements in order to be eligible for high school interscholastic athletics. A certificate of completion must be kept on file in the school principal’s office along with other eligibility items, including birth certificate and the physician’s statement.

Athletic Director, Ray Heitmueller said the online quiz takes about one hour to complete. It is a one time quiz which gives an observation of sportsmanship. Students and coaches watch films and clips and answer a series of questions related to situations that could happen during a competition.

Proudly Heitmueller said, “St. Bernard qualified because we had no ejections by either coaches or students, and zero fines to the AHSAA for 2007-08.” St. Bernard Prep received a banner which read “AHSAA Sportsmanship Award 2007-08 Star sportsmanship – Learning through Sports” to hang in the Fazi-Richard Athletic Center.

St. Bernard Prep boast 88% of the 2007-08 student body participated in athletics. Anyone wishing information on the school should call 256-739-6682 or visit the web

Middle School Scholars Bowl defeats Fairview

Congratulations to the Middle School Scholars Bowl team on their 235-195 victory over Fairview. The game was played at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville.

St. Bernard students win art competition

St. Bernard Prep Senior, Johnathan Denson, Gadsden, AL claimed first place at the 2008 Oktoberfest Art competition held recently in Cullman with his drawing of “The Barn at St. Bernard” in Cullman. Senior, Emily Kim, Korea, earned the Best of Show Award with her penciled drawing titled “Jesus.” Students are taught by Mrs. Mona Ivey.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Open House held at Middle School

St. Bernard Prep Middle School recently hosted Open House. Families from Arab, Cullman, Hartselle, Hanceville and Decatur were in attendance to get a first hand tour of the school and facilities. St. Bernard Middles School parents and students were available to offer assistance to visitors expressing concerns about the school.

Susan Brown of Arab said her daughter is very happy at St. Bernard. “I asked Michayla just recently if the school had met her expectations, and her reply was, “I love St. Bernard.” Brown serves on the Board of Directors at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Cullman, and said they were very pleased with the academic program at St. Bernard. Her sentiments were echoed by other parents throughout the afternoon.

The small class environment and strong study skills are the driving force in the Robinson family from Hanceville, Alabama. “Our girls came to St. Bernard with a weak academic background, but when they were taught how to study and be prepared for class, things have changed. Now we are looking at sending our third daughter to the Middle School,” commented Harold Robinson.

A panel discussion for all visitors was held where questions were received from the guests and answered by St. Bernard parents and students. Concerns regarding the school verses public education were addressed with confidence. Gina Merrill of Arab, Alabama said she has been in both places, but having been at St. Bernard has been a positive experience for her daughter. “She is with students who are motivated to do well, and enjoys being in a small classroom setting with personalized attention,” Merrill said.

Parents commented on the orange card program. The orange card program was designed last year by Mr. John Tekulve, principal of the Middle School. The program makes the child accountable for their work, and keeps parents up to date on progress. If students miss homework assignments or make below a 70 on any given assignment, they must sign the orange card and state why they made a poor grade or missed their homework assignment. Admissions Director, John Arndt said Tekulve presents the card daily to the parent s when they pick up their child after school. “This is immediate attention to the problem, and works well. No student wants to be the recipient of an orange card,” Arndt said.

Personal attention, motivated peers, and small class environments makes St. Bernard the choice of education for thirty-eight students in seventh and eighth grades. St. Bernard offers instrumental music, art, foreign language, chorus, journalism, and a broad range of athletics to all students.

St. Bernard currently operates a bus service to Decatur, Alabama. Arndt says anyone interested in a personal tour should contact the school at 256-739-6682 ext 128.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Kiki Meyer named National Merit Semifinalist

The National Merit Scholarship Program recently announced that Kristin N. Meyer, a senior at St. Bernard Preparatory School, has been named a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist. She will be competing for approximately 8,200 merit scholarship awards valued at over thirty-five million dollars to be awarded next spring.

Kiki, as she is known by her friends, is the daughter of Ms. Mary Sullivan of Cullman, AL. While at St. Bernard she has been involved in many leadership programs such as the Model UN-Vice President; Cullman Youth Leadership; and Hugh O’Bryan Youth Leadership. She currently is serving as the President of the Senior Class. She volunteers time at her school, animal shelter, and sunshine center. She recently spent time in Kenya as part of a cultural exchange program. She actively participates on the school’s basketball, volleyball and softball team. Kiki is a member of Junior Classical League, Mu Alpha Theta, and National Honor Society.

“We are proud to see Kiki achieve this distinction,” said Barbara Rasplicka, Guidance Director at St. Bernard Prep School. “She not only is academically gifted but she also has a strong work ethic. She participates in a wide range of extracurricular activities from athletics to the fine arts. She is the kind of student that sets goals and achieves them.”

John Odle and Nino Yutiamco were named Commended Students, and have been recognized for their exceptional academic promise.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Senior Dedication Mass held at St. Bernard

Thirty five seniors at St. Bernard Prep School in Cullman were honored recently during a special Eucharistic celebration in the Abbey Church. Fr. Marcus Voss, President, and Fr. Joel Martin, Headmaster, concelebrated the Mass which focused on the Senior Class and their role of leadership in the community.

Fr. Marcus Voss told students during the homily, “You are our campus leaders. You set the tone and serve as our models. Our school will grow and thrive because of you.” He reminded them of their years of experience on the campus. “All of you remember your first day at St. Bernard,” he said. “Whether it was finding your way to class or moving into the dorm and meeting the dorm parents, there was uneasiness of the unknown. Now you know this place and one another. You have competed on our athletic fields, you have participated in drama, you have sung and danced, you have studied for exams, you know our faculty and you know one another,” he continued. “With that knowledge comes the responsibility to serve as good leaders and set the example for others to follow.” During the homily Fr. Marcus used the disciples of Jesus as an example. He said, “The disciples of the Lord came to know who they were because of their relationship to Jesus. They, in turn, put this knowledge into practice. Because of them the world was changed. In the Scriptures, a wise person takes what he has been given and uses it for the good of all.”

During the ceremony, each student was recognized individually and was presented a cross. The presentations of the crosses recognized their lives of service not only at St. Bernard community but in whatever they would do. Prayers accompanied this presentation asking God to bless all those who dedicate themselves to lives of service. Fr. Marcus said, “We pray that all of our students be filled with gratitude for the opportunity to be of service in our community and live lives of true freedom, and happiness.”

The 2009 senior class at St. Bernard Prep is helping to shape St. Bernard Prep to prepare people who come after them. The service concluded with Fr. Marcus asking God’s blessing upon this senior class that they may faithfully serve as leaders in the School and prepare the way for others who will become part of the St. Bernard tradition.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

SBP Middle School Scholars defeat Cullman Middle School

Congratulations to St. Bernard Middle School Scholars Bowl team in their victory over Cullman Middle School yesterday 210-150. The game was played at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, AL.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Middle School to host Open House

St. Bernard Preparatory Middle School will host Open House on Sunday, October 19th at 2 p.m. Guests will have the opportunity to tour Founders Hall, our recently renovated Middle School facilities. The faculty and administration will be on-hand to discuss the benefits of the programs offered at St. Bernard. Students will be in attendance to speak about their experiences with the program.

St. Bernard Middle School offers instruction to students in grades 7 & 8 and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Students follow the standard curriculum required for middle school students throughout the state of Alabama. In addition they also have the opportunity to participate in exploratory classes each semester, including but not limited to foreign language, music ensemble, instrumental music, and art.

St. Bernard offers a Christian education. Students are bound by common aspirations and find an environment where peer pressure works toward education. The atmosphere is conducive to academic achievement. Headmaster, John Tekulve said, “While intellectual curiosity can't be taught, it can be caught. A students interests can be encouraged and rewarded in order to lay the foundation for a lifetime of achievement. Our dedicated faculty commit themselves to developing students wholly – in mind, body and spirit.”

Anyone interested in more information about St. Bernard Middle School should contact the Admission Office by calling 256-739-6682 or visit

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Instrumental Band to perform at Oktoberfest

St. Bernard Prep School's Instrumental Music Program will perform on Sunday, October 5 at 2 p.m. at Ave Maria Grotto's Oktoberfest Celebration. Under the direction of Lester Harris, the students are expected to be Rockin' at the Grotto. The public is invited to attend.