Monday, November 18, 2013

St. Bernard Middle School host food drive

Students at St. Bernard Middle School students have spent two weeks collecting food items to contribute to families in the Cullman community for Thanksgiving dinner.
Religion instructor, Martha Ann Warnke, provided a sign-up sheet requesting students to bring canned goods and other items that would make for a perfect Thanksgiving dinner.  As items were brought to school, it was displayed on their respective tables.
“We had a great response this year,” Warnke said.  “We still have $70 left in cash donations, which will be used to purchase more turkeys and ham.”
The boarding students along with the faculty provided money to purchase turkeys and hams; and the commuting  students contributed the much needed side dish items from cake  and pumpkin pie mix to green beans and stuffing.
William Calvert, Middle School Principal, said this is an annual event at St. Bernard Middle School.  “Our students and their families always come through with enough food to feed several families at this time of year.”
All food is donated to the St. Vincent DePaul Food Bank at Sacred Heart Church in Cullman.

Seventh Grade:  Front row (l-r):  Ivy Edge, Nealy Wyatt, Alden Olyneice, Gavin Whaley, Thomas Fortson, Zachary McClain.  Back row:  Adrian Smith, Madelyne Grimmett, Andrew Williams, Ms. Warnke, Madison Murphy, Andy Zatarain, Carson Holmes, Noah Lewis, Phoebe Coccia, Dallas Anderson, Sam Patel , Mr. William Calvert and Foster O’Neil.

Eighth Grade:  Front row (l-r): Eli Michelfelder, Zachary Phillips, Michael Bain Clemmons, Luke Marti, Marshall Rosenhoover, and Blake Burman.  Standing:  Catherine Cho, Mr. William Calvert,  Eva Barck, Graham Rosenhoover, Olivia Tafizoli, Douglas McCullough, Cailin O’Donnell, Sam Lee, Sarah Peel, Anna Faulk, Victor Fentanes, Isabell Santiago, Avy Whaley, Luis Zatarain, Leahrose Mami, and Miss Martha Ann Warnke.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Honor Society induction held at St. Bernard Prep

Seventeen students were inducted into the National Honor Society recently at St. Bernard Preparatory School in Cullman, AL.  Honor Society advisor, Mrs. Margaret Hinson welcomed all parents, students and faculty in attendance and congratulated each student for their achievements.
Following the welcome, Chaplain Bede Marcy opened the ceremony with a prayer before turning the program over to Zoie Wilson, President of the National Honor Society program at St. Bernard.

Wilson explained the criteria to being inducted into National Honor Society.  “To become a member of Honor Society one must have completed one semester as a junior or senior at St. Bernard Prep, must maintain a grade average of 90 or higher in math, science and foreign language; exhibit leadership, service and character, and participate in meeting and chapter projects.”
Students recognized the four qualities exemplified in NHS—Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Character—with the lighting of candles.  Jacob Mynatt spoke on scholarship—the commitment to learning; Logan Ayers spoke on service—establishing a routine to work for those in need; Mrs. Hinson spoke on leadership—having the initiative to train and aid others; and John Gurtowski  spoke on character—distinguishing individuality with respect for others.

Each student was awarded a membership certificate and pin by Headmaster John Tekulve and Zoie Wilson.
After accepting this honor, students pledged to maintain high scholastic standing, to hold as fundamental and worthy an untarnished character, to endeavor intelligently and courageously to be a leader, and to give of themselves freely in service to others.
The National Honor Society is the nation's premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students. More than just an honor roll, NHS serves to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Character.  These characteristics have been associated with membership in the organization since their beginnings in 1921.
Following the ceremony, lunch was served for Honor Society members and their parents in the Dining Hall.


Bockhold named Commended Student in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program

John Tekulve, Headmaster at St. Bernard Prep School, announced recently that Mackenzie Bockhold has been named a Commended Student in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program.  A Letter of Commendation from the school and national Merit Scholarship Corporation, which conducts the program, was presented to  Bockhold.
About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise.  Although they will not continue in the 2014 competition of National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2014 competition by taking the 2012 Preliminary Sat/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
Tekulve said Bockhold placed in the top two percent of the students tested.
“Mackenzie is an outstanding student.  We are happy to recognize and congratulate Mackenzie for her   accomplishments and to congratulate her parents and teachers who played a key role in her academic development. “
Bockhold is the daughter of Don and Sandi Bockhold of Cullman.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

St. Bernard Cross Country teams advance to state

                Dreary weather did not hamper the Saints performance at the AHSAA 1A-2A Cross Country Sectionals held last week at Cold Springs High School.
                Coach William Calvert was all smiles as both teams from St. Bernard crossed the finish line to advance to state competition at Oakville, Alabama on November 9.
                Calvert said, “Our girls had a phenomenal performance. We won the Sectional for the 2nd straight year and placed six runners in the top 13 in a very tough field.   This should put us in great shape for the state meet. “ 
                Senior Logan Ayers won her 5th consecutive meet and repeated as Individual Sectional Champion. Her time of 19:04 was a new course record. She was followed closely by Leahrose Mami in 3rd, Ayleana Mami 5th, Ivy Edge 6th, Jaden Edge in12th and Cailin O’Donnell in 13th place.   

Calvert said his boys knew to advance to state meet in such a tough section; they would have to have to bring their “A” game.     

“The guys really came together as a team and posted their top average time of the season to finish third behind two of the state’s top ranked teams.  I really proud of their effort,” continued Calvert.
The top three teams from the sectional advance to the state meet. Senior Oscar Perez had the best meet of his career finishing 4th with a time of 17:18. Steven Mami finished 6th, Thomas Russell place 14th, Nate Giffin 15th Isaias Robles 20th and Will Sciaroni 25th.

                The Saints travel to Oakville Saturday, November 9 to compete for the AHSAA 1A-2A title.


Monday, November 4, 2013

5th Annual Oktoberfest 5k held at St. Bernard

St. Bernard recently hosted the 5th Annual Oktoberfest 5K with  36 schools  attending.  Over 758 runners completed the course which includes 46 in the Open 5K race.
The weather was a bit cloudy and a few sprinkles were felt during the early morning hours; but sunshine prevailed bringing the morning to just the right temperature for running.
The day ‘s festivities started with the annual open 5k with many local runners and several from out of town taking part.   The overall male winner was Coach Trent Dean of Cullman with a time of 18:06. Dr. Eric Fillinger of Cullman 2nd (also masters winner ) 19:15 and Matt Huddleston of Cullman was 3rd 19:42 SBP 8th grader Marshall Rosenhoover was 6th place (21:04).    Caley Dean (Trent’s wife) was the overall female winner (21:21) Caitlin Muncher was 2nd (21:28) and former SBP teacher Lisa Rawlings was 3rd   (22:03) Monica Muncher  from the Huntsville area was the female (over 40) masters winner (27:39)  St. Bernard Middle School Science teacher, Martha Wells was the 2nd place finisher among female masters runners (31:54).
In middle school competition the top five female runners were:  Zoe Evans of  Randolph School       (15:18.69); Adi Burns, of Florence High School (15:44.72); Eva Barck of St. Bernard Prep (15:50.18); Katherine Hunter of Randolph School (15:58.72); and Tiffany Lodge of Fairview High School (16:09.64).
Results of the female 3200 meter competition placed Randolph first; Cullman second, and Florence finished with  third place.
Top five male runners in the middle school division were:   Matthew Phillips of Randolph School (13:10.21); Luke Welborn of Randolph School (13:17.51); Tucker Franey of Cullman (13:17.94); Logan Murphree of Fairview (13:52.47); and Jon Danford of Arab (13:56.10).

Cullman took the top honors in the Middle School male division followed by St. Bernard Prep.  Randolph finished third.
In the high school 1A-3A female division, St. Bernard’s ladies took advantage of home trails taking five of the top ten finisher spots.  Logan Ayers of St. Bernard crossed the finish line first with a time of (19:58.53) followed by teammate Leahrose Mami (20:28.47); Autumn East of Coosa Christian (20:35.65); Bailey Steadman of Hatton (20:37:47); and Jaden Edge of St. Bernard (20:42.04).
St. Bernard placed first in the girls competition followed by  Hatton,  and Pisgah.
The top five runners in the 1A-3A male division were as follows:  Paul Richardson of Whitesburg Christian (17:14.48); Steven Mami of St. Bernard Prep (17:39.30); Brett Roden of Pisgah High School (17:57.26); John Smith of Pisgah (17:57.45) and Colt Montgomery of Hatton (18:00.85).
Hatton finished in first followed by  St. Bernard.  Pisgah took third place in the competition.
4A-6A Division Female  top five runners were:  Keira Larson of Buckhorn (19:54.92) followed by Lawrence County High School Runners Lexie Burfield (20:15.10); Duranna Thomas (20:28.63); Laura Bennett (20:28.63), and Maggie Graham (20:45.41).
Lawrence County finished the competition with first place in the female division followed by Pope John Paul II, and Arab High School.
The top five spots in the 4A-6A Division Male competition went to Grissom High Schools Anthony Wells (16:20.18) and Cameron Thomas (16:36.81).  Eshan King (16:39.08) of Randolph School took third;  followed by Caleb Lipsey  (16:44.25)of Lawrence County and Braxton Linder  (16:44.94)of Florence High School.
Lawrence County took first place in the overall competition.  Grissom claimed the second spot , and Buckhorn High School came in  third place.
“It was our largest Oktoberfest Invitational to date with 758 finishers in the seven races.  The competition was intense but good sportsmanship was exhibited by the runners and spectators alike. There were many positive comment made about the beauty of the campus, the organization of the event and the overall festive atmosphere.”  Coach Calvert said. 
School President, Fr. Joel Martin said each school should be very proud of their athletic representatives, and invites all runners to participate in the 2nd Annual Half Marathon on Saturday, March 8, 2014; and the  30th Annual Bloomin’ Festival 5K on Saturday, April 5, 2014 at St. Bernard.

Br. Joseph and the Grotto Movie premiered at St. Bernard Abbey

It was a dress-up affair on October 17, 2013 as St. Bernard Abbey, in conjunction with the City of Cullman Economic Development and Cullman Chamber of Commerce, rolled out the red carpet in the Abby Byre for filmmakers, actors, and sponsors of the newly-created documentary, Br. Joseph and the Grotto, featuring the life and times of St. Bernard Abbey monk, Br. Joseph Zoettl.

The documentary about Br. Joseph is an inspiring  true tale involving folk art, Alabama history, perseverance, and a life of devotion

In 1892, a young lad - 14 years of age from Landshut, Bavaria, braved the seas to America.   Br. Joseph Zoettl left his family to become part of monastic community life at St. Bernard Abbey.  

Br. Joseph had an affection for religious life not found in many countries today.   His talent for creating small pieces of work out of cement and cast off materials, to creating miniature shrines of churches and landmarks which are now on display in a four-acre garden park in Cullman, Alabama known as Ave Maria Grotto, has left a legacy of labor and love for many generations to come.
It was his talent that inspired siblings, Cliff Vaughn, documentary filmmaker at Red Clay Pictures in Nashville, Tennessee, and Carol Ann Vaughn Cross, a professor at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama to join forces bringing to life a documented story celebrating Br. Joseph’s life of perseverance, humility and dedication.

Vaughn grew up in Huntsville and had known about the Grotto all of his life, but it was when he heard Kate Campbell’s song, “Ave Maria Grotto,” that he felt this story had cinematic qualities, so he tucked it away in the back of his mind and more than ten years later decided the time was right.
Vaughn said, “My sister, Carol Ann, has a PhD. in History with a concentration in the American South, and we were very interested particularly because the story takes place in Alabama creating a strong interest for the film.  It has a religious and spiritual effect which speaks to people whether religious or not, and the work itself speaks of Br. Joseph’s talents as a folk artist.”

Vaughn and Cross spent many hours researching Br. Joseph’s life combing through the archives at St. Bernard Abbey and finding all kinds of interesting things pertaining to his work, Vaughn said.  “There were literally hundreds of postcards from everywhere that people had sent to Br. Joseph.”

“Br. Joseph was a man of perseverance, humility and had values that don’t get celebrated,” commented Vaughn. 
The filming of the documentary took place at the Abbey at St. Bernard – the powerhouse and the Ave Maria Grotto—and a horse farm in Franklin, Tennessee.  A couple of locations in Nashville were used as well.  The cast included seven members, with the younger Brother Joseph and older Brother Joseph being played by a father and son. 
“It was put together very well,” Abbot Cletus said.  “It was very interesting to note the changes in America when Br. Joseph came from Bavaria in 1892.   Br. Joseph lived to see history in the making from the invention of electricity, the Great Depression, World War I and II to living in the same state as the famous W.C. Handy and Helen Keller.”
Vaughn was beside himself with the excitement shared at St. Bernard and how receptive the community was to the film.  “Saint Bernard Abbey and the people of Cullman were most hospitable while we made "Brother Joseph and the Grotto," and last Thursday night's premiere at the Abbey Byre for the Arts was no exception. Everything was top-notch -- fitting for a celebration of Brother Joseph, who has given so much to our state.”
A reception was held before the premiere with passed appetizers being served by students of St. Bernard Prep School.  A local brewery, Straight to Ale, out of Huntsville premiered their new brew, dedicated to the memory of Br. Joseph and the Grotto, Brother Joseph’s Belgian Dubbel.  Music was provided by the Saint Bernard Prep School Jazz Band. 
Fr. Marcus Voss, Director of Development, opened the evening with a prayer and introduced Kate Campbell whose song inspired the idea for the movie.
Students at St. Bernard were treated to a private showing the following Friday.   

While the energy of the premiere will be tough to duplicate, Vaughn looks forward to sharing the film in other venues.  shows other events already being lined up (Nov. 9 at Samford, Nov. 17 in Elba, Dec. 12 at Wallace State, and more to come!).