Saint Bernard School
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|Saint Bernard School
Schola Sancti Bernardi
|1593 Norwich-New London Turnpike
Uncasville, Connecticut, (New London County) 06382
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic,
|Patron saint(s)||Saint Bernard of Clairvaux,
Saint Francis Xavier
|Head of school||Donald Macrino|
|Campus size||113 acres (0.46 km2)|
|Color(s)||Red and Grey|
|Song||When the Saints go marching in|
Men's and Women's Cross Country
Men's and Women's Soccer
Men's and Women's Basketball
Men's and Women's Lacrosse
Men's and Women's Tennis
Track and Field
Coed Varsity Ice hockey
|Athletics conference||Eastern Connecticut Conference|
|Mascot||St. Bernard (dog)|
|Rival||Montville/Norwich Free Academy|
|Accreditation||New England Association of Schools and Colleges|
|Average SAT scores||Critical Reading 550
The early years
Saint Bernard was established in 1956 as an all-girls school in New London, Connecticut. The school became coeducational in 1958. In 1967, the New London Campus reverted to an all-girls school, while a new boys' school opened in Uncasville. In addition, another all-girls school named Notre Dame opened in Norwich, Connecticut. This three-school model only lasted five years due to high operating costs and in 1972, the Norwich diocese closed Notre Dame and St. Bernard Girls' School, merging them with the Boys' school in Uncasville.
The former Notre Dame campus has since served as Three Rivers Community College Mohegan Campus and in the fall of 2008 became Norwich Regional Technical High School.
Rise and decline
The present site of St. Bernard in Uncasville thrived from the early 1970s through the 1980s. Peak enrollment was about 1300 students, and its athletic and academic programs soared. However, as the region's economy changed in the 1990s, the school's population declined. Athletics have since not been as strong, but some teams are still known to hold their own against larger schools.
In an effort to reverse the enrollment trend, the Diocese of Norwich established St. Bernard Academy in 1997 as the diocese's only middle school, on the SBHS campus. This program grew quickly over the next few years, eventually adding a sixth grade class. Despite this, the high school's enrollment dropped to an all-time low of 330 for the 2000-2001 school year.
In the fall of 1998, the St. Bernard High School Marching Band returned to the field after a nearly twenty-year hiatus. In the fall of 1999, St. Bernard High School reclaimed its status as the only Catholic high school in the state of Connecticut with a competitive marching band. During the 1999 season, St. Bernard hosted the inaugural Big Dog Fall Preview, a USSBA sanctioned competition, named in honor of the school's mascot, Butler the Saint Bernard. Butler served in that role for seven years until his retirement in the summer of 2005.
St. Bernard today
St. Bernard established a relationship with the Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools in 2006. Under this new model, St. Bernard High School and St. Bernard Academy have merged into one school, under the new name of St. Bernard School. The high school and middle school programs remain separate, with their own principals who report to a headmaster, a new position for the school. The first headmaster of St. Bernard School was William McKenna.
In late July 2007, the Diocese of Norwich announced that Brother Robert Daszkiewicz, principal for the previous two years, had resigned. At that point, Science teacher and wrestling coach Tony Baginski was named the new principal. In July 2009, it was announced that Tony Baginski was leaving St. Bernard to pursue life as a religious brother, and History teacher Deborah Fitzgerald was named principal.
In September 2010, St. Bernard became a part of the Xaverian Brother School Community. At the end of the 2010-2011 school year, it was announced that Headmaster William McKenna was stepping down. He was then replaced by Thomas J. Doherty III, the former Dean of Mission and Advancement at Lowell Catholic High School in Massachusetts. Subsequently, in 2014, Thomas J. Doherty III also resigned as Headmaster and was later replaced by Donald Macrino.
St. Bernard's athletic programs have become increasingly successful, with several trips to state championships, as well as numerous ECC victories.
In 2015, the Saint Bernard Mock Trial Team were Regional champions and advanced to second round of Civics First CT semi-finals before being eliminated. This is the farthest the team has ever advanced, since its creation at the school in 2001.
Notes and references
- NEASC-CIS. "NEASC-Commission on Independent Schools". Retrieved 2009-07-28.
- SBHS. "About SBS". Archived from the original on 2007-07-03. Retrieved 2007-05-11.
- TheDay. "St. Bernard Gets New Principal and Athletic Director". Retrieved 2007-07-31.