Bethlehem Academy (Faribault, Minnesota)

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Bethlehem Academy (B.A.)
Bethlehem Academy (B.A.) is located in Minnesota
Bethlehem Academy (B.A.)
Bethlehem Academy (B.A.)
Bethlehem Academy (B.A.) is located in the United States
Bethlehem Academy (B.A.)
Bethlehem Academy (B.A.)
United States
Coordinates44°17′19″N 93°16′21″W / 44.28861°N 93.27250°W / 44.28861; -93.27250Coordinates: 44°17′19″N 93°16′21″W / 44.28861°N 93.27250°W / 44.28861; -93.27250
School typePrivate, Regular elementary or secondary
Religious affiliation(s)Christian
DenominationRoman Catholic
Patron saint(s)St. Joseph
School boardBethlehem Academy Board of Directors
OversightBethlehem Academy Board of Directors
SuperintendentDr. Chuck Briscoe
CEEB code240800
NCES School ID00701072
PresidentDr. Chuck Briscoe
Board ChairJim Beckmann
AdministratorEd Friesen
Head teacherMelinda O’Connor
Key peopleFather Keller, the early Dominican Sisters, Catherine Murphy, Bishop Grace, Major Fowler and wife
Average class size19
Student to teacher ratio15:1
Hours in school day6.6 hours, 8:05 AM-2:55 PM
School color(s)Red, White, and Black
SloganInspiring Truth Since 1865
Fight songIllinois Fight Song
Athletics conferenceGopher Conference
NicknameCards, B.A., B.A. Cards, Lady Cards, Big Red
Team nameCardinals
RivalsMedford Tigers, Blooming Prairie Awesome Blossoms
AccreditationAdvancED-North Central Accreditation
PublicationBethlehem Star
School fees$8,255
Feeder schoolsDivine Mercy Catholic School
Graduates50 (Class of 2014)
AffiliationsRoman Catholic Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul
Graduation Rate99%

Bethlehem Academy, also known as B.A., is a private, Roman Catholic high school for grades six through twelve located in Faribault, Minnesota. It is part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and is sponsored by the Sinsinawa Dominican Congregation of the Most Holy Rosary.[1] Bethlehem Academy is commonly recognized for its volleyball team which has made eleven state tournament appearances since 2002 and won the Class A State Championship title seven times.


Bethlehem Academy's class offerings include those within the following subjects: English, science, math, social studies, theology, fine arts and industrial technology, physical education/health, and world language. B.A. operates on a semester basis with an unweighted and unranked grade point system. Because of Bethlehem Academy's Catholic tradition, the academic curriculum mandates theology classes at every grade level. The class schedule is altered for the all-school weekly Mass days. Its “block” class schedule implements core classes that are held each day with electives held on a rotational basis. The school is not required by law to complete state testing but rather implements its own form of standardized testing: the ACT series. Made up of three tests, each completed at different grade levels, the series of testing aims to prepare students for the national college entrance ACT exam and serve as a guide to uncover areas of institutional academic need.[2]

Grading System[edit]

  • A (4.000)


  • A- (3.667)


  • B+ (3.333)


  • B (3.000)


  • B- (2.667)


  • C+ (2.333)


  • C (2.000)


  • C- (1.667)


  • D+ (1.333)


  • D (1.000)


  • D- (0.667)


  • F (0.000)

59 & below[3]


Like the volleyball team, the golf, girls basketball, and football team have also made state tournament appearances. In 2008, the Bethlehem Academy golf team took third place in the Class A State Championships. Those team members included Adam Donahue, Dayne Paro, Jason Knoff, Eric Hagen, Grant Wayland, and Nick Murray. Grant Wayland, who also played in the 2007 golf state championships, earned the Class A State Individual Champion title in 2008.[4]

The girls basketball team made brief appearances at the state tournament in both 1998 and 2013.[5]

Lastly, the varsity football team was back-to-back Section 1A champs in 2012 and 2013. In 2012, they were the Minnesota Class A State Runner up, losing 14-20 to Mahnomen High School in Prep Bowl XXXI. In 2013 they lost to the Mahnomen Indians 19-0 in the State Semifinals. In 2015 the Cardinals won Section 2A and were then defeated by the Goodhue Wildcats in the state quarterfinals. In 2017 the Cardinals won section 2A and were then defeated by the Wabasso Rabbits in the state quarterfinals.[6][7]


  • Section Titles: 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017
  • State Semifinalist: 2013
  • State Runner-Up: 2012


The varsity girls volleyball team has made eleven appearances at the Minnesota State High School Volleyball Championship Tournament at the Xcel Energy Center since 2002. The B.A. Cardinals volleyball team was Class A state runner-up in 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008. They have won the Class A State Championship title in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2014.[8] Several girls have been named to the All-State team since they have been playing at the state tournament and one, Betty Slinger, was even named Minnesota Ms. Volleyball and Gatorade Player of the Year in 2003.[9] The team has also been awarded for its outstanding academic achievements and player GPA averages. Most recently, in 2014, the Cardinals were awarded the Gold level of the MSHSL Academic Team award with an average GPA of 3.82.[10] The head coach of the team, Franz Boelter, has received many accolades for his coaching achievements. In 2008, Franz was nominated to the Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association (MNVBCA) Hall of Fame, has received several Minnesota Coach of the Year awards, and has earned a spot on the Win Club 500.[11][12][13]

School Song[edit]

We're loyal to you, oh B.A.

We're faithful and true, oh B.A.

We'll back you to stand, you're the best in the land, for we think you are grand, oh B.A. - RAH! RAH!

Keep your hand on the ball, Bethlehem.

Oh Yeah

Go fighting ahead and we'll win.

Our team's truth and loyalty will bring us to victory for our Academy!

(proceeding verse not sung at sporting events)

Oh B.A. we'll show them our speed.

A few points is just what we need.

We'll cheer you right through - it's the best we can do, for it's all up to you, oh B.A. - RAH! RAH!

Keep your hand on the ball, Bethlehem.

Go fighting ahead and we'll win.

Our team's truth and loyalty will bring us to victory for our Academy!


Sports Offered[edit]

The following is a list of sports available to the Bethlehem Academy student body. These sports teams are exclusively made up of students from Bethlehem Academy:

  • Girls Volleyball
  • Football
  • Boys Basketball
  • Girls Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Girls Fastpitch Softball
  • Boys Golf
  • Girls Golf
  • Cheerleading
  • Boys Track & Field
  • Girls Track & Field

The following sports are only available to B.A. students through co-op teams with Faribault Public Schools:

  • Boys Cross-Country Run
  • Girls Cross-Country Run
  • Boys Soccer
  • Girls Soccer
  • Boys Tennis
  • Girls Tennis
  • Boys Swimming & Diving
  • Girls Swimming & Diving
  • Boys Hockey
  • Girls Hockey
  • Men's Wrestling
  • Girls Gymnastics
  • Girls Jazz Dance Team
  • Girls High Kick Dance Team


One-to-One Laptop Program[edit]

Bethlehem Academy is well known in the Faribault area community for being a leading pioneer in incorporating technology in school curriculum. B.A. provides a personal Apple computer to every student and faculty member. Pre-scheduled usage periods and access limits can be programmed into the laptops by the technology administration department and is offered to parents of middle school students. Access privileges can also be revoked or modified for any student as a probationary condition or disciplinary consequence. The school also offers multimedia and film classes which utilizes the computer software programs and develop the student's computer skills.[15]

Middle School “School Within a School”[edit]

With its own “middle school team” of teachers who focus on middle school grade level curriculum, Bethlehem Academy's middle school aims to expose students in grades 6-8 to the core academic areas. The middle school core classes are: theology, English, social studies, science and math. All students in the middle school program additionally take music and physical education classes. Upon entering high school, every middle school student will have participated in interdisciplinary projects developed by the “middle school team” faculty members. These projects are designed to apply multiple different areas of academia to the project solution.[16]

College in the Schools (CIS)[edit]

In partnership with the University of Minnesota, B.A. students in the 11th and 12th grade have the opportunity to earn college credits by taking college courses taught at Bethlehem Academy by accredited B.A. faculty members; however, students wanting to take these courses must meet certain GPA requirements and pay a course fee, comparably lower to that of the college's tuition rate. Courses offered include a semester long U.S. History course equalling 3 college credits, and yearlong 4 credit courses Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology and Calculus.[17]

Student Activities[edit]

Students can participate in a number of extra-curricular activities, clubs, and associations. In addition to the number of sports B.A. students can choose to participate in, students can choose to contribute to the Bethlehem Academy “Star” newspaper as well as the “Veritas” yearbook by joining each's corresponding editing clubs. They may also participate in the theatre program. Every year, the Bethlehem Academy student body holds elections to vote students onto the two branches of B.A.’s student council. Additionally, Bethlehem Academy offers chapters of Students Against Destructive Decisions (S.A.D.D.), Key Club, and National Honor Society. B.A. also collaborates with the area schools’ extra-curricular programs so students can participate in a wider array of activities.[18]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters website
  2. ^ Academics on 2013-2014 School Profile
  3. ^ Grading System on 2013-2014 School Profile
  4. ^ MSHSL School Profile News
  5. ^ MSHSL 2013 Girls State Basketball News Release
  6. ^ MSHSL School Profile News
  7. ^
  8. ^ Bethlehem Academy Volleyball Page on School website
  9. ^ MSHSL School Profile News
  10. ^ Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association Academic Teams page
  11. ^ Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame Page
  12. ^ Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association Coach of the Year Page
  13. ^ Minnesota Volleyball Coaches Association Win Club 500 Page
  14. ^ Bethlehem Academy School Song page on School website
  15. ^ Laptop Program page on School Website
  16. ^ Middle School Program on 2013-2014 School Profile
  17. ^ College in the Schools Page on School website
  18. ^ Student Activities Page on School Website