St. Bernard Preparatory School

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St. Bernard Preparatory School
Schola Praeparatoria Sancti Bernardi
1600 St. Bernard Drive, SE
Cullman, Alabama 35055
Coordinates 34°10′29″N 86°48′55″W / 34.17472°N 86.81528°W / 34.17472; -86.81528Coordinates: 34°10′29″N 86°48′55″W / 34.17472°N 86.81528°W / 34.17472; -86.81528
Type Private, Boarding & Day School
Motto Corpus Mens Spiritus
(Body, Mind, Spirit)
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Patron saint(s) St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Established 1891
President Rev. Joel W. Martin, O.S.B.
Headmaster Daniel Baillargeon
Chairman of the Board of Trustees Rt. Rev. Cletus D. Meagher, O.S.B.
Faculty 21
Grades 712
Gender Coeducational
Enrollment 216 (2016)
Color(s) Navy Blue and White         
Athletics conference AHSAA
Team name Saints / Lady Saints
Accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools[1]
Publication St. Bernard Happenings (Alumni Publication)
Newspaper The Saintly News
Yearbook The Bernardian
Affiliation National Catholic Educational Association [2]
Director of Admissions Diana Urbina

St. Bernard Preparatory School is a private, Roman Catholic day school and boarding school in Cullman, Alabama. It is run independently of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama by the Benedictine monks of St. Bernard Abbey, located on the same campus.


Colonel John G. Cullmann, a German immigrant founded the town of Cullman in 1873. He promoted the town among other German immigrants. Benedictine Monks came to the city from Saint Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania in the 1880s. A number of these monks had come from Bavaria, in order to serve this German-speaking Catholic community. They established St. Bernard Abbey on September 29, 1891, named after St. Bernard of Clairvaux.[3]

In 1891, they also started St. Bernard Preparatory School on the monastery grounds. The state chartered the school 1893. While primarily a prep school, it sometimes granted bachelor's degrees.[3]

In 1929 the Board of Trustees added a junior college. In 1949, this became a senior college.[3]

Over the years, the school and abbey has educated candidates for ordination through its seminary programs from high school through graduate studies.[3]

St. Bernard College was closed in 1979 after serving the baby boomer generation's need for post-secondary education.[citation needed] The institution reopened in 1984 as a coeducational college preparatory school, serving grades 9-12 (these grades became the Upper School in 2007). The Upper School is primarily housed in the Cullman-Swisher School Building, which was refurbished in 2009. Grades 7 and 8, the Middle School, were added in 2007. The Middle School is located in Founders' Hall.[4]


As a member of the Alabama High School Athletic Association, the school competes with public and private schools in football, cross country, basketball, volleyball, soccer, baseball, softball, and tennis.[5]

Boys' sports:

  • Baseball
  • Wrestling

Girls' sports:

  • Cheerleading
  • Softball
  • Volleyball

Co-ed sports:

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis

Football and soccer games at the school are played at one of the school's newest facilities, Alumni Field, which is located in the athletics area of the school campus.

Basketball, volleyball and wrestling games and matches are played in the central facility of the St. Bernard Prep athletics area, the Fazi-Richard Athletic Center. The facility, completed in the mid-1990s, is complete with locker rooms, weight and training rooms, coaches' offices, a state-of-the-art basketball/volleyball court, and conference room. The Fazi-Richard Athletic Center is a multi-purpose facility as it hosts numerous performing arts, scholastic and alumni events yearly for the school, in addition to the athletic events.

Tennis matches are played at the school's tennis grounds, Blevins Courts, which were renovated and subsequently renamed in late 2008, in honor of the alumni donor who funded the project. Blevins Courts are located adjacent to the Fazi-Richard Athletic Center and the project consisted of the renovation of three existing courts and the conversion of three additional courts from clay-surface to hard-surface courts. Also included in the project was the replacement of the deteriorated fence around the clay courts and the restoration of the fencing around the existing courts.[6]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ AdvancED. "AdvancED-Find Accredited Institutions". Retrieved 2015-09-24. 
  2. ^ NCEA. "NCEA School Locator". Archived from the original on 2015-09-25. Retrieved 2015-09-24. 
  3. ^ a b c d "History: St. Bernard's Prep". 2009-11-20. Archived from the original on 2011-07-17. 
  4. ^ SBP. "St. Bernard Prep History". Archived from the original on 2006-12-19. Retrieved 2007-05-09. 
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links[edit]