Tuesday, March 30, 2010

October Trip to the Holy Land Planned

Alumni and friends of St. Bernard are invited to join Fr. Marcus Voss for a trip of a lifetime visiting the biblical sites in the Holy Land. The 10-day tour is scheduled to leave for the Holy Land on October 18, 2010. While in the Holy Land, transportation will be provided by deluxe motorcoaches and overnight stays will be in 1st class hotels. Also included in the cost of the tour will be guided sightseeing, entrance fees to all sites visited, buffet breakfast and dinner daily and a bible study guide. Tour members may also add an optional 5-day extension to visit Istanbul and the biblical site of Ephesus.

While in Israel the tour will visit Jericho, Qumran and Bethlehem as well as the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane and Emmaus. Members of the tour will walk the “Via Dolorosa,” the traditional way of the cross in the old city of Jerusalem. Mass will be celebrated at the Church of the Visitation, the Church of St. Catherine and other important churches in Jerusalem. The tour will include the opportunity to visit Masada, King Herod’s stronghold overlooking the Dead Sea. In the Galilee, the group will cross the Sea of Galilee, celebrate Mass at the Church of the Beatitudes and visit baptismal sites along the River Jordan.

The Istanbul and Ephesus extension will include a visit to Hagia Sophia with its beautiful glass mosaics and Byzantine Art. The ancient cities of Nicaea and Troy will be visited. The final stop will be the spectacular excavations that have been completed in Ephesus, a city visited by St. Paul.

Educational Opportunities Tours (EO) is serving as the organizers of the trip and Fr. Marcus Voss is serving as chaplain. For more information, please contact Fr. Marcus at frmarcus@stbernardprep.com;
or, at 1600 St. Bernard Drive SE, Cullman, AL 35055; or, at 256-255-5882. Participants are encouraged to sign up for the tour before the end of May.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

SBP completes SAC review

St. Bernard Preparatory School completed the final phase of a year-long reaffirmation of accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools on Wednesday and Thursday, March 10-11. Dr. Donna Bryant, Assistant Headmaster at St. Bernard Prep, served as the project coordinator. Chairing the review team was Dr. Maurice Persall, Dean of the School of Education of Samford University. He was assisted by Dr. David Balik, the Dean of the Faculty at Briarwood Christian School in Birmingham and Dr. Lynn Kirkland, Professor of Education from the University of Alabama, Birmingham. At the end of the two-day review, St. Bernard Preparatory School was reaffirmed as an accredited school by the Southern Association (SACS).

Accredited schools are required to undergo a review every five years. In preparation for the SACS review, the faculty completed a Standards Assessment Report which is an internal analysis of the school’s current practices. “There are seven standards which are uniform and are used throughout the country,” said Dr. Bryant. “In order for a school to be accredited it must equal or exceed what every other accredited school in the country is doing.”

St. Bernard teachers served on the committees which addressed each of the seven standards. Each committee was required to submit a report which documented current practices in each of the seven standards. These seven reports were then compiled into one document called the Standards Assessment Report. This document, which was submitted to the state office of SACS in January 2010, was used by the members of the visiting team in preparation for their visit to the campus.

During their review, the SACS visitation team met with the faculty committee members, spoke with currently enrolled students and talked with their parents. They also met with several members of the St. Bernard Board of Directors as well as selected administrators. “Part of the on-site visit is to ensure that our Standards Assessment Report accurately reflects the actual practices of the school,” said Dr. Bryant.

At the end of the two-day visit, the committee reaffirmed St. Bernard Preparatory School as an accredited school and offered commendations and recommendations to the faculty, staff and administration on their work in educating today’s youth. “It was evident to us,” said Dr. Persall, “that St. Bernard Preparatory School has a committed faculty, staff and administration and holds a very distinctive place in the community.”

St. Bernard Preparatory School is a accredited, co-educational Catholic Boarding and Day School for students in grades seven through twelve. St. Bernard is operated by the Benedictine monks at St. Bernard Abbey. The 800 acre campus is home to the world famous Ave Maria Grotto, St. Bernard Abbey Retreat and Conference Center, and Alabama’s only Benedictine Abbey – St. Bernard Abbey.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Middle School Scholars Bowl competes at State

St. Bernard Scholars Bowl team recently participated in the Alabama Scholastic Competition at Hoover High School. Students qualified to participate earlier at the district competition which was held at Austin High School in Decatur. St. Bernard Prep School was among the top 33 middle schools in Alabama qualifying to participate.

While the team fell short of advancing after round play with a record of 3-3; Team Captain, Michayla Brown received a medal recognizing her as a State Tournament Scholars Bowl All Star. This title is awarded based on the total points scored during state competition.

Headmaster, John Tekulve said he was proud of what his students had accomplished. “We have been to state every year since the Middle School opened. However, Michayla is a first to be recognized as a State All-Star performer.”

Team members practice before school several days per week with their sponsor, Mrs. Lisa Rawlings. Members include: Arabella Holsonback, Mackenzie Bockhold, Michayla Brown, Alex Anderson, Daniel Coccia, and Jake Sweeney.

Open House held at St. Bernard

St. Bernard Prep School in Cullman recently held its Spring Open House with more than 60 people in attendance. Families all across north Alabama took advantage of warm temperatures and enjoyed the hospitality offered by St. Bernard monks, faculty, parents, and students.

Headmaster, Fr. Joel Martin, OSB said it was a wonderful turnout. “We are always delighted to have visitors on campus. St. Bernard is a special place, and our students share that special bond with new families as they visit our campus.”

There were twelve new students who were interested in the middle school program and seven other families visited who were interested in the high school. Admissions Director, John Arndt said he was pleased with the turnout as well. “We are excited about next year and the possibility of hosting more residential students in the middle school grades,” Arndt said.

Up until the Fall of 2009 only high school students were allowed to live on campus. However at a recent Board of Directors meeting, the board passed a motion allowing middle school students to become residential student as well.

Small student/teacher ratios allow St. Bernard to produce some of the finest students in the state. St. Bernard students consistently achieve higher than the National Average scores on the ACT; and are awarded millions of dollars in academic scholarships to some of the nations top schools. Along with the academic programs there is also a full spectrum of athletic activities as well as music and fine arts that are available to students who enroll at St. Bernard Preparatory School.

Applications are being accepted now for students in grades 7-11. Anyone interested in visiting the campus or applying should contact the school at (256)739-6682 or www.stbernardprep.com.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Baseball Season in full swing at SBP

Saint Bernard Preparatory School hosted their baseball season opener yesterday afternoon with Asbury High School from Marshall County. The Saints fell 0-5.

Scholars Bowl Team heads to state

Scholars Bowl students were surprised yesterday with St. Bernard Backpacks filled with goodies as they make their way to Hoover, Alabama on Saturday to participate in the State Scholars Bowl Tournament. Good luck students from all of us at St. Bernard!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pre-registration time at St. Bernard

St. Bernard Prep is sending forms home today with rising eighth and ninth grade students. For each returning student there is a non-refundable pre-registration fee of $100 due which will be applied to tuition for the coming 2010-2011 academic year. Act now to reserve your spot!

Varquez places 2nd in State Poetry Out Loud

Caitlin Varquez was selected first in the State in the original poetry division, earned by reciting the poem she wrote. She was chosen 2nd in the State of Alabama in the regular Poetry Out Loud competition.