A CENTURY OF LOVE
ST. BERNARD SCHOOL THROUGH THE YEARS ST. BERNARD CATHOLIC CHURCH
1891-1913: Under the guidance and financial support of the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration / Sisters of the Most Holy Sacrament
1891 - Sisters of Perpetual Adoration come to Breaux Bridge on invitation from Father Antoine Borias to teach in the public school. The highest grade taught was the sixth.
1899 - Sisters purchased the land.
1903 - A two-room frame building on Bridge Street, formerly the store of Jules T. Rousseau, was opened as a school house for the primary grades.
1905 - Sisters paid for the construction of a three-story brick veneered building that housed St. Bernard School until 1959.
1913-1971: Under the guidance of the Pastor / Sisters and the financial support of St. Bernard Church Parish
1913 - A contract between Mother Augustine and Rev. Auguste Rochard concerning the administration of the school, included the following points:
-each teaching nun would receive $20 / month salary for the ten months annually.
-all school equipment and furniture would be supplied by the church parish.
1921 - The School became accredited.
1926 - The High School Department was added and approved by the State Department of Education.
1934 - Parent-Teacher Association was formed to help support the School.
1935 - The Community Center is built, providing two new classrooms and an auditorium for the School.
1944 - St. Bernard Church Parish purchased the Sisters' property and buildings and incorporated them into the parish plant.
1946 - The old three-story building was thoroughly remodeled and modernized adding a large library, a spacious science room, and an assembly hall.
1958 Under the guidance of Father George Braquet a "new" school building, cafeteria, and gymnasium was completed for a cost of $366,555.
1969 - 70 School year revealed that the decreasing number of religious in the classroom and the added expense of paying lay teachers ($5,150 / year as compared to $1,125 for the religious) greatly increased the cost of Catholic Education. The school was operated with $21,600 tuition, $2,916 registration fees, $500 miscellaneous, and $20,000 from parish subsidy.
1971-1982 St. Bernard School was closed.
Under the guidance of the Pastor / Principal and self-supported dedicated parents and alumni never gave up on the idea of providing a quality Catholic education for the students of the community. As a result of their determination and three years of organizational meetings, St. Bernard School reopened its doors in 1982 as a K-5 school with an enrollment of 190 students.
Among those who labored in this effort was Rene' Calais, who served as Principal from 1982-1991. Under his leadership, St. Bernard grew to a K-8 school, with a new junior high building added, which was dedicated to him on May 17, 1990.
During his tenure, St. Bernard School received the St. Elizabeth Seton Award in 1983 and the national honor of a U.S. Exemplary School in 1988.
Mr. J. Carrol Mouton served the students of St. Bernard School as their Principal from 1991-1993. The school continued to thrive and many new families joined the St. Bernard School family.
Former Principal, L. Keith Bartlett, spent five years (1993-1998) at St. Bernard School. During this time, he was instrumental in establishing a Pre-Kindergarten Program (1995) as well as an Annual Science Symposium and a cultural arts series, "Baggin' on the Bayou". In July 1994, St. Bernard was selected to attend New Frontiers at the University of Dayton.
Jeannine Menard served as St. Bernard School's Principal from July 1998 through May 2005. St. Bernard School continued to thrive under her direction and leadership. A second Pre-Kindergarten class was added in 1999. Mrs. Menard was voted "Administrator of the Year" and the school received the distinction of being named the Acadiana Reading Council's School of the Year for 1998-1999. The 2004-2005 school year was the first-year students and teachers were in classrooms in the new Pre-K building, the Sidonie Thevenet Morgan Early Learning Center. In the spring of 2005, the new Ana Belle T. Huval Memorial Library opened. This beautiful building is truly a treasure for all the library books as well as the addition of computers to aid in students' research.
Bill Butcher was the interim Principal for St. Bernard School for the 2005-2006 school year. The school's enrollment included two sections of Pre-K, three sections of kindergarten, and two sections of first through eighth grades. Mr. Butcher is also credited with beginning a Jr. Beta Honors Club at St. Bernard School which saw membership of over 60 sixth through eighth-graders in its first year. Mr. Butcher also introduced the St. Bernard School families to the now annual eighth-grade / kindergarten Candlelight Ceremony.
The 2006-2009 school years welcomed Glen Breaux as Principal. He came to St. Bernard School with over three decades of administrative experience within St. Martin Parish. Mr. Breaux brought his experience in brain research and passion for professional development to the students and staff of St. Bernard in order to take the school to the next level.
Robin Couvillion, Principal for the 2009-2010 school year, is credited for supporting the revival of the Annual Fall Festival, implementing the Family Service Hours Program, and for launching the school-wide RenWeb software program.
Ray Latiolais joined the St. Bernard School Family in 2010. He was child-focused, curriculum-driven, and most of all spiritually attentive. During his first year, he helped create a parent spiritual group, sought over $345,100 in grant funds, and monitored the improvement of test scores.
John Paul Masterson, the current Principal, began in June 2017. With his background in theology, Mr. Masterson has spent his first year investigating the school's Catholic identity. He has initiated the process of establishing the school-wide Virtues in Practice program, which is a program for children to grow closer to Jesus by imitating His life and virtues.
St. Bernard School has many exciting programs and events that involve the community. There is an annual Passion Play as well as an annual spring musical production. There is a cultural arts program available to the students.
St. Bernard School continues to succeed with the assistance of parents, faculty, alumni, and community support.
For the past 40 years, the St. Bernard School Foundation has helped ensure that the school will never again be faced with the dire straits of the past. Through generous donations and grants, community involvement, parental support, a dedicated church pastor, and hardworking and caring staff, St. Bernard School faces a very bright future.