CULLMAN, Ala. – “Blessing” is the first word to come to mind as St. Bernard students finished first semester exams at St. Bernard Prep last week. President and Development Director Fr. Joel Martin said the school had certainly been blessed because as to date the coronavirus has not been an issue with anyone residing on campus.
“We’ve had a number of local day students quarantined because of exposure to others with COVID-19, and even a few local students with the virus, but not one boarding student has been ill,” Fr. Joel said.
The first semester proved to be eventful in spite of the challenges the world faces in these times. Saint Bernard hosted the fourth annual Bernard Blues and BBQ in October. The Saint Bernard boys’ cross country team claimed the Class 3-A State Cross Country title. And the Lady Saints bowling team has earned a trip to represent St. Bernard Prep in the state playoffs for its competitive efforts in January. Meanwhile, in-person classes have continued uninterrupted, and online classes have been successfully conducted for individuals as needed.
Basketball season is in full swing and students are playing some area games over the holidays, the ones having been postponed from their earlier scheduled times.
“I am continually amazed at the talents of our teachers and students. When school had to close last March because of COVID concerns, we had little time to convert to effective distance learning, but it happened with hard work and commitment to the St. Bernard education all expect,” said Fr. Joel.
Several teachers have had to be away from classes on quarantine.
Fr. Joel explained, “It is wonderful to see teachers instructing from home and interacting with students, responding to raised hands and calling on students, all of whom they can see from home – and the students can see and respond to the teacher, and in rapt attention, I might add.”
Standard length classes are presented in real time and recorded at St. Bernard to ensure that all students have access to the same quality instruction.
“Some say distance-learning is an oxymoron,” laughed Fr. Joel, “but though there’s no substitute for person-to-person education, we’ve seen it can work if you have dedicated, well-prepared teachers and willing students.”
St. Bernard Preparatory School is a co-educational, residential and day school for grades 7-12 located in Cullman Alabama since 1891. St. Bernard offers a rigorous college preparatory education steeped in the centuries-old tradition of the Benedictine Monks, designed to help the student grow in BODY, MIND, and SPIRIT.
Anyone interested in making application for next semester may apply online at www.stbernardprep.com. For a campus tour, contact Fr. Linus Klucsarits at 256-255- 5890 (office), 256- 727-0980 (cell) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.