Saint Benedict at Auburndale
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2011)|
|Saint Benedict at Auburndale|
Veritas ∙ Caritas ∙ Libertas
|8250 Varnavas Drive
Cordova, Tennessee, (Shelby County), 38016
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|Principal||Mr. George Valadie|
|Color(s)||Red and Blue|
|Accreditation(s)||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Tuition||$8,000-Traditional Program 8,850-PLUS Program|
|Dean of Students||Don Lear|
|Director of Admissions||Ann O'Leary|
|Athletic Director||Greg Stiel|
St. Benedict at Auburndale High School is a Roman Catholic high school of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Memphis. The school teaches grades 9–12 in Cordova, Tennessee and offers special programs for students requiring special learning programs. The school colors are red and blue. The school mascot is the Eagle.
It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and a charter member of the National Catholic Education Association. The school is located on a forty-seven-acre campus in Cordova, Tennessee.
The school was founded in 1966 as The Auburndale School System by Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Smith. The Smiths had long been interested in developing an academic environment where children with disabilities could be educated on the same campus.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith sold the Auburndale System to the Catholic Diocese of Memphis in 1988, and St. Benedict at Auburndale opened its doors as a new 4K-12 diocesan school in the fall of 1988. Chris Hardwick of MTV's Singled Out attended Auburndale School for a few years.
In July, 2004, St. Francis of Assisi Church acquired governance of grades 8 and below and assumed the name of St. Francis of Assisi School. The high school moved into a new campus facility on adjoining property.
Records from previous schools, placement tests, student interviews, and visitations by prospective students are used to evaluate applicants' probabilities for success in the St. Benedict at Auburndale program.
Saint Benedict offers a wide variety of honors classes and ten Advanced Placement courses. AP courses include Calculus, Statistics, American Government, Economics, English Literature, English Composition, Modern European History, World History, and United States History.
In addition students enjoy extensive facilities for general art, photography, ceramics, and 2D/3D design. The class of 2008 had 4 National Merit Scholarship Finalists and 3 Merit Commended Students.
Noted Alumnus: Greg Donahue, Resident Baller
Knowledge Bowl 
The Saint Benedict Knowledge Bowl Team has enjoyed great success over the last three years (2006–2008). The team has made it to the finals of the WREG-TV Knowledge Bowl competition the last three years. The team has won over $54,000 in scholarships in their three year run. In February 2008, the team won the University of Mississippi Academic Invitational Tournament beating out 63 teams from Tennessee and Mississippi. Last year, the Knowledge Bowl team won the WREG-TV Knowledge Bowl competition again.
Once a major player in West Tennessee, the Men's soccer team has undergone a tumultuous few years amid coaching changes and a resulting power struggle.
The Eagles baseball team has become a West Tennessee power. Under first year head coach Steve Heinz, in 2009 the Eagles claimed their first Division II West Tennessee Region title. They also notched a Division II state runner-up title that year. The baseball program has recently graduated several players who have gone on and played, or are playing at the college level.
A major part of the Saint Benedict family of extra curricular is lacrosse. Although the team is a young team, in their sixth year, they have already won first in their region for the 2007-2008 season, in which they also went to state semi-finals competition.
The SBA bowling teams have had great success, with the girls having five TSSAA Division II championships from the past five years. Also, the boys' 2007-08 season had a regionals win and a runner-up in the championship. Their 2010-11 season also resulted in runner-up trophies for both teams at the state championship. During the 2011-12 season, the Boys won the Div. II State Championship, led by Justin Crone, while the Girls placed 2nd. Their coach is Eric Wells and assistant coach is John Cordera.
Dance Team 
The nationally ranked St. Benedict Dance Team Program is currently composed of two competitive teams for the 2012-2013 season. The Junior Varsity team coached by, Lindsay Bartholomew, has 17 members and the Varsity team coached by, Julie Blaydes Henderson, has 22 members. The main purpose of the dance teams at St. Benedict is to promote school spirit. The dance teams perform at pep rallies and also at half-times of football and basketball games. The teams also compete on regional, state, and national levels. The program holds multiple TSSAA state championship titles, with thieir most recent titles won in 2011. The Varsity team has consistently placed in the Top 10 in the hip hop division at the UDA National Dance Team Championship for the last 5 years and has been featured on ESPN multiple times. Tryouts for the dance team take place in late March-early April of each year.
Theater productions 
The SBA Theatre Department offer students many different ways to express themselves, either on stage or off. They produce three shows each year - a comedy or drama, the Show Choir Musical, and the Spring Musical. Any SBA student can try out for the productions except the Show Choir Musical, which is put on by the Celebration Show Choir class. Students can participate in all aspects of the theatre including acting, singing, directing, managing, working back stage, lighting, sound, set and prop building, costume making, public relations, and more. All of the technical areas of our productions are worked on and managed by SBA students.
Saint Benedict also offers its students the opportunity to perform in multiple plays and musicals over the course of the school year. Students from Theater and Show Choir are traditionally expected to audition, but all students are welcome to try out. During the 2008-09 school year, St. Benedict performed Little Shop of Horrors, Steel Magnolias, Twelve Angry Men, and Grease. In the 2009-2010 school year, they performed Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Foreigner and Singin' in the Rain.
This year's productions will include the drama "Harvey", "Gwee: an original parody of the popular television show Glee as the Show Choir performance and "The Sound of Music" as the Spring Musical which will be reviewed by The Orpheum Theater for possible nominations for the local High School Musical Awards as it was last year.
The Saint Benedict production of Singin' in the Rain was nominated in the local High School Musical awards hosted by The Orpheum Theater for seven awards. They were nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Best Choreography (Otis Smith), Best Scenic Design, Best Cameo Performance, Best Direction (under Cindy Wells and Bret Bilbrey), Best Actor, and Best Overall Musical.
"The Sound of Music" will run these dates at the SBA Performing Arts Theatre: Thursday, March 31 at 7:00 p.m. Friday, April 1 at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, April 2 at 7:00 p.m. Sunday, April 3 at 2:30 p.m.
Clubs and groups 
Students at St. Benedict are encouraged to express their individualtiy and interests in a variety of clubs on campus. St. Benedict boasts special groups for language honor societies, literary analysis, film appreciation, and many others besides.
In past years, students have initiated a Harry Potter Appreciation Club, a Pep Club, a Model UN Club, an Anime Club, an Ecology Club, an Engineering Club, the Reel Society, which is a Film Appreciation Club, and a Computer Club. These groups are open to all students, and are all student-run, with a mandatory teacher sponsor.
Originally founded by Christopher Cahill in the 2005-6, SBA's Ultimate Frisbee team plays other local high school teams in the Memphis Frisbee Association. They were undefeated for their first regular season and placed third in the past Habitat for Humanity Frisbee Tournament losing to Alumni of Collierville High School. They placed third in a loss to Houston for third place overall in the league.
Drug Testing 
Saint Benedict at Auburndale (SBA) drugs tests every student at least once a year with a sample of a students hair. The testing started during the 2003-2004 school year after a girl dropped her purse during church and a bag of marijuana fell out. The following is from the Saint Benedict at Auburndale Student Handbook:
- "We are not immune. Our school is not and our students are not. And all that’s out there in the world scares us more than we’d like to admit. We at St. Benedict at Auburndale are participating in this drug testing program for one PRIMARY purpose … to provide our students with yet one more reason they can draw upon when faced with choosing for or against drugs. Some are able to make that choice on their own without any fear at all of social pressure or peer ramifications. But some are not. And we hope that this program will ease their decision-making."
While the obvious intent is to prevent students from using drugs, these tests have led many students to use harder drugs that will not show up on their tests. Some of these are more mainstream like psychedelic mushrooms and LSD while others are less commonly used, even legal such as: morning glory seeds, cough syrup, various products comparable to cocaine called "charge", and the many marijuana substitutes often referred to as "spice". These marijuana and cocaine substitutes are legally sold as incense and plant fertilizers, and usually labeled "not for human consumption". Their effects of people have not been studied thus the potential health hazards are unknown. The DEA has caught on and has been busy banning these products as quickly as possible, but when one of these products is banned, the distributors simply have their chemists produce another blend to sell for a couple years until it is banned.
- SACS-CASI. "SACS-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Retrieved 2009-06-23.
- Web Design, Speak. "Tuition & Fees". St. Benedict at Auburndale Official Website. St. Benedict at Auburndale. Retrieved 27 October 2011.