Newspaper Archive of
The Message
Evansville, Indiana
March 6, 1992     The Message
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March 6, 1992

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DISCOVER St Bernard 00chool 00rin 00S-ma-00-ness--m00c sense of i1 By PAUL R. LEINGANG, Message Editor   s'-- . "1' .... uur mission at Dernaro s :00cnool is:. ' It s a small school, said Father Raymond  . . _ Kuper, pastor of St. Bernard Church and 1o help our students to: principal of the parish school. But it has v ....... U ....... 1 ...... been here since the 1860s aud it has never ,xovv uxL,av, been large." Think elonrlv Enrollment in the K-8 progrm, n is 112. -- ........... d, Because of its size, there is a high level of Exoress themselves well SCHOOLSma00 intense involvement and activity" at the -. ' school, Father Kuper said. "Eighth graders Begin to develop a way of life that rests //," know kindergartners. The smallness makes  ,2._ ,.: .... , .... it more conducive to a sense of family." uu tu tattnn6 el ju. All students have responsibilities, Father Kuper said, and that gives them an edge in learning how to accept responsibility and exercise leadership, "Small is wonderful," he said, but smallness can also be a worry. With only six students in Kindergarten this year, there is concern about determining the point at which smallness might become too much of a ..... "A lot of soul searchiug" about financing and enrolhnent projections has taken place, and committees are ing various areas, Father Kuper said.  Some facts of  parish history . are unrecorded and uncertain, but schooling wasbelieved to have been a part of parish activ- ity in the 1860s. The parish itself Father Raymond Kuper is pastor goes back to of St. Bernard Church and princi- 1849 when Fa- pal of the parish school, ther Joseph Kundek visited from First graders Dustin Young, Gerorgie Jasper. WiIhelmus and Jonathan Thorpe listen Land was to a tape. donated for a church in 1850. St. Bernard School was established in 1877 by Benedic- tine Sisters from Ferdinand. That academy closed in 1892. Some years after the new church was built in 1876, the old church was used as a school, again taught by Benedic- First grader David Birchler talks things tine Sisters. From 1912 to 1915, students from Indiana and with Jack Stern, husband of the teacher Kentucky roomed in the rectory and the sisters' house "resident grandfather." while attending the parish school. More than 60 students , attended school, learning their first through tenth grade lessons from two sisters The high school discontinued in 1916. A school ad'dition was built in 1925 and used until 1948. A portion of the building now in use o 1949 for 105 students and three teachers. In 1960, the old brick church building was demolished school was built up to its present size in 1961. Parents have always been highly inxolved in the school, according to the current pastor- principal. Parents are now working to put a computer into each classroom, in addition to Doris Schulte and Stacy Sorensen meet the computers in the lab. Students are active in sports, but the small at the podium, enrollment means that an eighth grade team. for example, has to include younger students to make up a full team. Students at St. Bernard Scliool have the advantage of a very high level of cooperation with the public school corporation, Father Kuper said. Catholic school students partici- pate in band, extra-curricular activities, drug education and reading and math assistance for the disadvantaged. A school nurse and a speech therapist are also available. The community newspaper in Rockport gives a lot of attention to the students and their achievements. Father Kuper noted that the Spencer County Spelling Bee La lpion for the past three years has been St. Bernard student, Jacob Newkirk. Involvement in the community is made easy for the students by the size of the community and the way local businesses welcome them. At Halloween,merchants invite all the students to come to Main Street for treats. Students are able to walk to the Rockport library. They also walk to a nearby nursing home to play bingo with the residents. Only a very few of St. Bernard students live in the city of Rockport. About 90 per- cent of the pupils are transported from homes in many smaller colamunities and residential developments in the area, As principal, Father Kuper said he han-  dles the paperwork and e public rela- ! tions/While lead teacher Betty Thomas handles much of the internal workings of the school. Thomas has the eighth grade , home room and teaches English and social studies. probla Ryan Champion and Iyan Sherwood work out a the blackboard, Seventh and Eighth graders Shirley Stern watches over the poster preparation for a Lenten liturgy. work of Mariah Atkinson and Kim Deal. -- Message Photos , INC., EVANSVILLE, support Catholic Schools and the