Thursday, May 30, 2013

Commencement Held at St. Bernard

St. Bernard Preparatory School celebrated the accomplishments of its graduating seniors in grand style at its 114th Commencement Exercised held on Sunday, May 26th.   With sounds from the Alabama Pipes and Drums Corps filling the air, a capacity crowd filled the Abbey Church as thirty-six seniors completed their high school course of studies and were offered college scholarships amounting to just under three million dollars.

Fr. Joel Martin opened the ceremony with a word of welcome to the parents and families of the graduates.  Special recognition was given to the seniors who had enrolled as 7th graders and were now completing six years of education at St. Bernard.   Also recognized were several families who had several sons and daughters who graduated from St. Bernard in previous years.
School Chaplain Bede Marcy gave the invocation and led the National Anthem.
St. Bernard honored Robert L. Blevins and William J. Breslin, III as distinguished alumni during the commencement ceremony.
Blevins enrolled at St. Bernard College in 1976 where he completed his two years of basic studies.  Transferring to the University of Alabama , he completed his bachelor’s degree in 1981.   In 1985 he founded the Texican Natural Gas Company.  Under his leadership the company has become the largest independently-owned natural gas marketing company in the United States serving municipalities, hospitals, and commercial customers in the management of gas systems.
William J. Breslin, a native of Pennsylvania, enrolled in St. Bernard College where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in 1971.  Working in the insurance industry, he received the top J.D. Power Award for Service-in-Insurance as well as recognition by Business Week for his work as a World -wide service provider.  He is the founder of Wenonah Consulting.
Sister Cecilia C. Zamobini, MC , who serves as Director of the Catholic Center of Concern for the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama was the keynote speaker.  Sister Cecilia encouraged the students that, no matter road they decided to travel, they should always give it their full and complete attention. “Be your best,” she said, “always living high Christian values.”
Abbot Cletus Meagher, Chairman of the Board; Fr. Joel Martin, President, and John Tekulve, Headmaster, presented the Salutatorian award to Jerrica Crawford.  The Valedictorian award went to Siohban Russell and the General Excellence award was presented to John Schneider.
After the presentation of diplomas, Siohban Russell delivered the Valedictory address, followed by the singing of the Alma Mater.
Music for the occasion was led by organist, Rebecca Whited; and the Alabama Pipes and Drums.  A reception was held following the ceremony in the Dining Hall.

Friday, May 24, 2013

St. Bernard Welcomes New Coach

William Calvert, Athletic Director for St. Bernard Preparatory School, recently announced the hiring of Greg Boatright as the new Boys Basketball Coach and Physical Education instructor for the 2013-14 academic year.
Boatright grew up in Cullman County and was one of Wallace State Community College’s  pioneer players.  After graduating from Jacksonville State, Boatright coached for one year at Warrior, then spent the next 16 years at Baileyton.  For the next 14 seasons, he coach at Fairview High School where he complied a 251-170 record.  While at Fairview, his team won the County tournament three times, the area twice, recorded one sub-region victory and made it to the Elite Eight.

Athletic Director William Calvert said he is happy to have Boatright join the coaching staff at St. Bernard.  “We go back a long way.  I have known Greg a long time.  We use to compete against each other as students as well as coaches.”
“I’m excited about coming to St. Bernard and appreciate them giving me the chance to coach there,” said Boatright.  “I will give it my best effort and will try to get the boys to do the same. Fundamentals need to be developed for everything to work.  That’s where it all starts.”
Calvert said, “I think Greg will be an asset to St. Bernard.  Growing up and attending school at Welti Jr. High, he understands small schools, and knows how to work and mold talent.”
Boatright is eager to get started with his new team. He expects to sponsor team camps and is planning to host play dates with other teams this summer.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

SBP graduate shines at UAB

Timothy Jason Feliciano Fernandez graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Alabama, Birmingham on Saturday, May 11, 2013, with two separate degrees: a B.S. degree in Biology with a concentration in Molecular Biology; and a B.S. degree in Chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry.  Timothy is graduating summa cum laude with University Honors and Honors in Chemistry.  Just recently, he was named the Department of Chemistry’s Outstanding Undergraduate Student as well as the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Student Dean's Award (Top Undergraduate Student in the School) and was the UAB Banner bearer at the May 2013 commencement ceremony.  Timothy will be starting medical school at UAB in July.

Timothy is the son of Dr. Raymond and Mrs. Nola Fernandez of Gadsden, Alabama.  His brother Jordan graduated from St. Bernard in 2007, then UAB, and is now a medical student at the University of South Alabama.  Brother Jeremiah attended St. Bernard as a freshman and is now a student at Georgetown University.

The University Honors Program (UHP) recruited Timothy from Saint Bernard Preparatory School in Cullman, Alabama. After graduation from St. Bernard in May of 2009 he joined the UHP the following August. He received a merit-based Golden Excellence Scholarship from UAB and was also selected for the Chemistry Scholars Program. As a Chemistry Scholar he has served as a Laboratory Instructor for Introductory Chemistry and Qualitative Analysis and as a Recitation Instructor for the entire General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry sequences. He was awarded the Department of Chemistry’s Excellence in General Chemistry Award in his freshman year. Timothy started research in January of his freshman year under the mentorship of Dr. Jamil Saad in the Department of Microbiology working on the assembly and trafficking of the components of the HIV-1 virus, specifically the intricacies of intracellular Calmodulin cell signaling pathways and the ability of the HIV virus to replicate. He gained valuable experience with a wide variety of techniques including mutagenesis, protein expression and purification, 2D and 3D NMR, isothermal titration calorimetry and various centrifugation techniques. For a separate project on the expression and purification of XMRV matrix protein he learned Studier Auto-induction for protein expression. He conducted an independent project on the structural, biophysical, and biochemical characterization of the interactions between Fas and Calmodulin for which he introduced differential scanning calorimetry to the lab. Timothy's research and scholarship resulted in at least thirteen different conference presentations including poster presentations at the Spring and Summer UAB EXPO (2010), the annual meeting of the Alabama Academy of Sciences (2011), the University of Alabama System Honors Research Conference (UASHRC)(2011, 2012, & 2103), The National Collegiate Honors Council (Phoenix, 2011 and Boston, 2012), the 45th Annual American Chemical Society South Regional Undergraduate Research Conference (SURC)(Birmingham, 2013), and the prestigious National Conference on Undergraduate Research (Ithaca, NY 2011 and La Cross, Wisconsin, 2013) and podium presentations at the 31st Annual Undergraduate Research in Chemistry (Memphis, 2011) and at the Southern Regional Honors Council annual meetings (Tampa, FL 2012 and Louisville, 2013). It is to Timothy’s credit that he is always able to communicate with superb focus and clarity the nature and significance of his work. He has won top awards for his presentations at the UAB EXPO and at the University of Alabama System Honors research conferences, the latter being adjudicated by faculty from all three campuses. Timothy's research has also been recognized on a national level. In 2011, he received Honorable Mention in the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship competition and in 2012 was selected as one of three UAB students to become the UAB's first ever Beckman Scholars, a distinction that funded the awardees with over $19,000 to support their research. Of most significance is the fact that Timothy is graduating having published three papers in professional journals. He is an author on two papers in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and one paper in Frontiers of Virology. Moreover, Timothy is first author on a paper under review at the Journal of Biological Chemistry for his work on Fas-Mediated Apoptosis, which has implications in potential future cancer treatments. Such productivity is unprecedented for an undergraduate. His excitement for research is contagious. Upon the departure of the founding Director of Undergraduate Research who helped launch the UAB EXPO, Timothy stepped in to rescue and basically organize the 2011 and 2012 EXPOs, which were resounding successes. Somehow, Timothy has time to engage in extracurricular and community service activities. He has been President of the UAB Undergraduate Research Association, an editorial board member for Inquiro, UAB's undergraduate research journal, Vice President of Finance and Scholarships for UAB's Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Treasurer of the Student Affiliate of the American Chemical Society, and a UHP representative on the Honors College's Student Executive Committee. He was a tutor in chemistry for UAB's Ronald E McNair program and our Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity. He was a major force in establishing the UAB Table Tennis Club and serves as Team Captain for competitions in the National Collegiate Table Tennis (NCTTA) in the Dixie Region. On Sundays you will find him in the choir at either St. Stephens or Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church. He has taught chemistry and physics at Riverchase Middle School and has volunteered at the 1917 Clinic and with Birmingham AIDS Outreach.


Monday, May 20, 2013

PREP RUNNING: St. Bernard’s Faulk excited to continue career at Birmingham-Southern


By Rob Ketcham
The Cullman Times
CULLMAN — Aside from teammate Seamus Russell’s late-season charge this past cross country campaign, Will Faulk has been all alone out front for most of his prep running career at St. Bernard, especially on the track.

Over the course of his relatively short three-year stint in track and field, the Saint senior managed to rack up eight gold medals, one silver and one bronze — in just 12 state races. Nearly two weeks ago in Selma, he successfully defended his titles in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs to join Athens Bible’s Jeff Harwell (1984-85) as the only Class 1A male athletes to sweep the three distance events two years in a row.

But now, as he prepares to add high school to the growing list of items in his rear-view mirror, Faulk is ready to take his talents to the next level. This upcoming fall, the quiet kid who has done all his talking on the trail and track will make his way to Birmingham-Southern College, where he recently accepted an academic scholarship and offer to continue his running career.

After being in a class of his own during his days at St. Bernard, Faulk can’t wait to be a part of a Panther program filled with runners just as fast as he is.

“I’m excited because it shows all my hard work has paid off. It wasn’t for nothing,” he said of his commitment. “I’m hoping I can do good things both academically and athletically. I’m excited to see where I can go.”

Based on Faulk’s rapid progression up the prep ranks, the only place Saint coach William Calvert can see the senior going is up.

Faulk came equipped with a great deal of endurance from the get-go, but he had to develop the strength and speed it takes to be a champion. That grueling process didn’t turn out to be much of an issue for the teenager, though, who Calvert said he often noticed hitting St. Bernard’s expansive trails even on the weekends.

“I’ve coached people with as much talent — probably more — but I’ve never coached anybody with as consistent of a work ethic as Will Faulk,” Calvert said. “I don’t think I have. Maybe Ginger Holt, but that’s a pretty high class. He’s goal-oriented, and he understands the process of what it takes to accomplish those goals. That’s rare in a young person.”

One of Faulk’s most memorable races as a Saint was his last.

While the 800-meter run was only Donoho’s George McMillan’s second event of the weekend, it was Faulk’s fourth. Despite already roping in two individual titles and a relay championship, the St. Bernard star still had just enough gas in the tank to overtake Mcmillan at the start of the second lap and stave off multiple challenges the rest of the way to the finish line.

“He used to think he didn’t have much speed, but if you ask somebody about Will Faulk across the state, they would say, ‘That guy’s fast,’” Calvert said. “The last race he won was a heckuva run. That was one great test of fortitude that Will passed.”

In addition to the reputation Faulk’s earned as a fierce competitor, he’s also garnered attention from coaches, runners and parents across Alabama for his his ability to win with grace. Calvert could go on for days about Faulk as a runner, but it’s how the senior has conducted himself as a young man that’s made the coach prouder than ever of the student-athlete’s college opportunity.

“This is what we’re about here at St. Bernard, it’s part of our philosophy of what we teach,” Calvert said. “I love running, and I love it when an athlete continues that after high school. I want them to have a good taste in their mouth about running and want to continue. When any of our students go on and continue their career, it’s a blessing to me and makes me feel good.”

By his high standards, Faulk wasn’t fast when he first started running competitively. The Saints never thought twice about giving up on him, however, which he’s extremely grateful for as graduation day approaches.

“I think that’s important because not everybody is going to be good at first,” Faulk said. “I wasn’t good at first, and then I got my chance without being kicked off the team.”

To even think of Faulk being dismissed from any team is silly. Him realizing he wouldn’t be in the position he is today without the help of so many others, though, is not.

“I want to thank my coaches, my teammates, my family and everybody who has supported me all throughout my journey,” he said.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

St. Bernard student qualifies for National Merit Scholarship Program

Mackenzie Bockhold, a junior at St. Bernard Prep School, recently qualified to advance in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program competition.  Bockhold was among the 50,000 highest-scoring participants of some 1.5 million program entrants.
In October of 2012  St. Bernard juniors took the PSAT/NMSQT which is the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying test.   Students with a selection Index score of 203 or above have qualified. 
Of the more than 50,000 high scorers nationwide, about 16,000 will be named National Merit Program Semifinalists, representing the top scholars in each state, and approximately 34,000 others will be commended for the performance on the PSAT/NMSQT.    Semifinalists and Commended Students in the 2014 national Merit Program will learn of their standing in September.  Semifinalists will be the only students who will have an opportunity to continue in the competition for about 8,300 National Merit Scholarships to be offered in 2014.
Headmaster, John Tekulve has known Mackenzie since her 7th grade year at St. Bernard.   “Mackenzie possesses great intelligence but, more importantly, she is a disciplined student, “ Tekulve said.  “She has capitalized on her God given abilities by being a dedicated student who demands excellence from herself. I am proud of Mackenzie’s achievements and  am sure that many more will follow.”
Bockhold  is the daughter of Donald and Sandi Bockhold of Cullman.



Monday, May 6, 2013

St. Bernard senior places second in art competition

St. Bernard Prep School senior, Sadee Spitzer, placed 2nd of 175 entries in the 4th Congressional Art District Competition held recently  in Northport, AL.  Sadee's watercolor is a portrait of herself  in her school uniform peaking in an abbey shop building on the back side of campus.

Sadee is the daughter of Terry and Cheryl Spitzer of Birmingham, AL.  She plans to attend the University of Montevallo  this fall as an art major.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

St. Bernard's Savanna Glover signs with Faulkner University

St. Bernard Soccer standout Savanna Glover signed a scholarship with Faulkner University- Montgomery, AL  yesterday.  Glover was the lone senior on the Lady Saint's soccer team this season, which made the school's first-ever soccer playoff appearance last Saturday and finished the year with a 7-5-2 record before falling 4-1 to Class 3A Madison Academy.  To read more see the Cullman Times article written by Jake Winfrey.