St. Bernard's School

St. Bernard's School

:"St. Bernard's School redirects here. For the college in Melbourne, see St. Bernard's College, Melbourne. For the elementary school in Brantford, ON, see St. Bernard's School (Brantford)."Infobox Secondary school
name = St. Bernard's School

motto = "Perge sed caute"
(Proceed with caution)
established = 1904
city = New York City
state = New York
country = United States
campus = Urban
type = Indepedent, secular, all-male
headmaster = Stuart H. Johnson, III
founder =
faculty =
enrollment = 372 Boys
grades = K-9
address = 4 E. 98th Street
mascot = St. Bernard (dog)
colors = Red and white
newspaper =
yearbook = The Keg
website =

St. Bernard's School, founded in 1904 by Francis Tabor and John Jenkins, is a private all-male elementary school on Manhattan's Upper East Side and is regarded as one of the top elementary schools in the nation Fact|date=February 2007. St. Bernard's offers motivated young boys of diverse backgrounds an exceptionally thorough, rigorous, and enjoyable introduction to learning and community life. The school "aims to inspire boys to appreciate hard work and fair play, to develop confidence in themselves, consideration for others and a sense of citizenship, and to have fun while doing these things." (Source: St. Bernard's official website; see link below). St. Bernard's educates boys from grades K-9, and is seen by its students, faculty and friends as a bastion of old-fashioned values (in terms of education and teaching methods), which are often very British in tone. St. Bernard's alumni, known as Old Boys, tend to go on to attend some of the nation's finest boarding schools, such as St. Paul's School, The Lawrenceville School,Phillips Exeter Academy, Phillips Academy (Andover), and St. George's School. There has also been a number of students who go on to English boarding schools, most commonly Eton, Harrow, and Winchester, which can be attributed to both the high number of students with English parents and the overall Anglophilia of the school. Recently, though, the trend has turned toward Old Boys matriculating at prestigious high schools in New York including Horace Mann School, Trinity School, Riverdale Country School,Friends Seminary, Loyola [] , and The Collegiate School.

The school shield depicts an eagle (representing the United States of America), a lion (representing Great Britain), a book (symbol of education), and a cross (representing a tradition of Episcopalianism; the school is secular, however.)

Although the school's name is spelled (though not pronounced) the same as that of the breed of dog, which is also its mascot, it was in fact named for the rue St-Bernard in Brussels, where a relative of one of St. Bernard's founders had also founded a school.

The school's yearbook is named "the Keg", and is edited each year by Grade 9.

The schools has three divisions: the Lower School consists of grades K through 3, the Middle School grades 4 through 6, and the Upper School grades 7 through 9. Mondays through Thursdays, boys in the Lower School must wear St. Bernard's polo shirts (polo shirts with the school shield emblazoned upon the chest) in either red, white, or blue, khakis, and a blazer. Boys in the Middle and Upper Schools may wear any collared or polo shirts of their choosing, accompanied by khakis and blazers as well. On Fridays, all boys wear jackets and ties (with the exception of the Kindergarteners).

Many team sports are played at the school, including soccer, basketball, lacrosse, baseball, and track. Fencing has recently been re-introduced after a long hiatus. Furthermore, sports such as bombardment (a form of dodgeball) and capture the flag are played in gym class.

The school has an unusually high endowment for an institution of its nature,Fact|date=February 2007 and its Development Office continues to be the envy of most other New York City private schools; Old Boys tend to possess an enormous sense of gratitude towards the school and hence are ready to support it financially. The tuition is currently $28,000. [ [] - the school's website]

The current headmaster of the school is Stuart H. Johnson III (b. August 14, 1954). A graduate of Yale University, he previously taught at St. Bernard's, and at Groton School, before becoming headmaster in 1985.


St. Bernard's is home to a number of traditions. The most noteworthy (and oldest) of these is the annual Shakespeare Play, performed by the entire eighth grade. Other important traditions include:

*The Budget - a biannual student-edited literature magazine with poems, essays, compositions and photographs of artwork of boys from every grade.
*The Keg- the school's yearbook edited by the ninth grade.
*Friday Assembly - each Friday, the entire school gathers in the small gym, during which sports scores are announced, school news is related, the Alligator is given away, one homeroom performs a play, and hymns and school songs are sung. By the end of the academic year, each homeroom will have performed once at Friday Assembly. This tradition teaches boys to be comfortable speaking in public from an early age.
*The Alligator - At each Friday assembly, a taxidermal baby alligator is presented to the neatest classroom by the class which held it the previous week. This ceremony usually involves an elaborate skit.
*School Songs - a number of school songs, most of them written by one of the school's founders, and collected in a beloved "Red Song Book" are sung regularly. The songs vary from descriptions of life in each of the school's divisions ("The Lower School Song", "The Middle School Song", "The Upper School Song") to an exemplification of values the school deems important ("The Sportsmanship Song"), to a celebration of some of the sports played at the school ("The Baseball Song", "The Football Song"--which refers to not to American football, but rather soccer.)
*Sports Day - once a year, the entire school gathers in Central Park to engage in a fun day of athletic competitions, sports games and races. The day used to include events that have subsequently been canceled as they are no longer appropriate in twenty-first century America (e.g. a chauffeur's race) and which indicate the historic socio-economic status of St. Bernard's families, which has remained largely unchanged.
*The Debate Society - the entire eighth grade engages in a Lincoln-Douglas style debate once every other week during the second semester of the year. Topics range from questions of national interest such as the legalization of marijuana to those of more local interest, such as the abolishment of the school's dress code.
*Christmas Carols - on the last day of classes before the Christmas Recess, the entire school gathers at a church on Madison Avenue (the location sometimes varies from year to year) to sing a number of traditional Christmas carols. Students, faculty and friends of the school tend to participate regardless of religious affiliation, as the event's major purpose is to celebrate the values of Christmas (and, by extension, unity as a school) rather than specific Christian events. Historically, however, most of the school's students have nevertheless been Christian, although the number of students of different religions is on the rise.
*The Singers & Special Singers - there are two boys' choirs, the Singers and the Special Singers, both of which are selective in terms of admission. The Special Singers have performed at Carnegie Hall and some boys have sung children's roles at the Metropolitan Opera. The group of singers from the 7th through 9th grades is called the "Glee Club".
*"Britishness" - the school has a British tone and feel to it, and historically many of its faculty have been (and continue to be) British. This aspect of the school is accompanied by a respect for old-fashioned methods of education. In fact, St. Bernard's now has a short exchange with The Dragon School in Oxford, a prestigious English prep school.

Notable Alumni

*Andrew Eristoff - New York City Councilman
*Larry Fessenden - art-horror filmmaker
*Mark Hedin - editor, San Francisco Chronicle
*Paul Klebnikov - journalist
*Gifford Miller - New York City politician
*Peter Matthiessen - writer
*Jake Paltrow - filmmaker, brother of Gwyneth Paltrow
*Doane Perry - drummer of Jethro Tull (band)
*George Plimpton - writer
*Louis Stanton Auchincloss - writer
*John Rubinstein - actor
*Peter Halley - artist and founder of Index Magazine
*Bartle Bull - writer
*Greg Daniels - co-creator of The Office and King of the Hill
*Jonathan Levine - writer/director, "The Wackness" (2008), "All The Boys Love Mandy Lane" (2006)


External links

* [ Official St. Bernard's School Website]

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