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.