Bruin Press October 8, 2019 Edition

St. Bernard of Clairvaux Catholic School

Laurie Senecal , M.Ed., LDT, CALT



Dear Parents and Guardians,

Happy Fall! It is nice to finally have some cool temperatures. This is a welcomed change, especially with our 8th grade students heading to The Pines for their Awakening Retreat on Wednesday (10/9). The retreat theme is “Seek". They will learn how God seeks them and the many ways they can seek a relationship with God. Please join me in praying for a meaningful experience of our 8th graders while they are at The Pines.

The month of October is off to a busy start. Teachers and families enjoyed a night of fellowship at Spring Creek BBQ for Tuesday Night Bites. Thank you to all those that attended this event and to the teachers who volunteered as servers. In remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi and his love for all creatures, families and their pets were invited to a blessing of the animals after Mass on Thursday (10/3). Dogs, cats, a rabbit, hermit crab and a host of stuffed animals were part of the special celebration. On Friday (10/11), teachers will attend the 13th Annual University of Dallas Ministry Conference. This is an opportunity for teachers to receive exceptional faith formation from nationally recognized speakers who will address relevant topics of faith, catechesis, education, theology, prayer and ministry. Students will take the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) the week of 10/14-10/18. The ITBS achievement test measures a student’s knowledge in reading, language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. The last day of the first quarter is quickly approaching (10/15) and report cards will be issued soon (10/16). The Virtue of the Month is Reverence - showing your deepest respect for God and the things of God. Students continue to learn how they can imitate the Saints as they learn about the virtue of Reverence.

Thank you for your continued prayers for our school and parish community.


Laurie Senecal, M.Ed., LDT, CALT


St. Bernard of Clairvaux Catholic School


Wednesday, Oct. 9th - Friday, Oct. 11th - 8th Grade Pines Trip

Thursday, Oct. 10th - 8 AM - School Mass, led by 7th Grade - St. John XXIII

Friday, Oct. 11th - NO SCHOOL, End of 1st Quarter

Saturday, Oct. 12th - 7:00-11:00 PM, KC Club - H&S Parent Social

Sunday, Oct. 13th - 2:00 PM, Flag Pole Hill - Rosary Coast To Coast

Monday, Oct. 14th - 6:30 PM, The Lot - Dad's Club Golf Tournament Planning Meeting

Monday, Oct. 14th - Friday, Oct. 18th - ITBS Testing


Monday, Oct. 14th - Friday, Oct. 18th - ITBS Testing

Thursday, Oct. 17th - 9:00 AM, Church - 1st Quarter Awards

Friday, Oct. 18th - Deadline to Register for SBS Golf Tournament

Monday, Oct. 21st - 6:00 PM, St. Elizabeth of Hungary - Catholic High School Preview Night

Tuesday, Oct. 22nd - SBS PINK Day for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Tuesday, Oct. 22nd - Prepping for High School Night

Wednesday, Oct. 23rd - 8th Grade Visit to Cristo Rey

Friday, Oct. 25th - 8:00 AM, Tenison Park Golf Course - 5th Annual SBS Golf Tournament

Friday, Oct. 25th - 12:10 PM, EARLY DISMISSAL

Friday, Oct. 25th - Parent-Teacher Conferences


Dallas Rosary Coast To Coast - Sunday, October 13th

Join Bishop Burns at Flag Pole Hill on Sunday, as he consecrates Dallas to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the anniversary of the Fatima Miracle of the Sun. The rosary will be prayed in unison with over 1200 locations across the USA and internationally. Please see the link below for more details.

Rosary and Consecration of Dallas to Immaculate Heart of Mary

SBS Golf Tournament - Friday, October 25th

The 5th Annual SBS Community Golf Tournament is around the corner! Consider sponsoring individually or thru your company OR getting a team together! Registrations are still open. Go to the SBS Golf website to register or to sponsor a hole.

Flyers about the golf tournament will be going home with students today and be on the lookout for a signup genius to volunteer the day of. Contact Chairs for the event are Peter Casiano (214)208-9143 & David Sutton (469)682-8495.


8th Grade Pines Trip

Our 8th Grade students are counting the hours until they leave for their Pines Awakening Retreat tomorrow (Wednesday, October 9th). The Indemnity Form below must be completed to allow the student to attend! Students should arrive at the school by 8:15 AM with all their gear (and medications/forms if needed). Students will be returning on Friday, October 11th around 2:30 PM, and should have an adult at the school to pick them up at that time.

Please remember to send any items you signed up for, such as snacks, water, or drinks. Double-check the packing list below, paying special attention to ensuring no electronics (including phones) are brought! Chaperones will be taking pictures, so cameras are not needed, either.

The Indemnity (Hold Harmless/Parent Release) Form Link

Packing List

ITBS Testing

ITBS testing is just around the corner, running Monday, October 14th - Friday, October 18th. This is an opportunity for our students to demonstrate their knowledge, and allows teachers and parents to assess each student's strengths and weaknesses, so as to provide the best educational environment possible. While we don't wish this week to be stressful for our students, we do want them prepared and focused. So we ask that parents ensure students are well-rested, eat healthy meals (especially breakfast), get some physical activity outside of school, and are generally at their best each day next week.

Tuesday Night Bites Follow-up

Thanks to all who came out to Spring Creek Barbecue last Tuesday night! Everyone enjoyed a wonderful barbecue dinner, as well as those toasty (and tasty!) rolls served by many of our teachers. The class with the highest attendance was a tie between PreK-3, 3rd, and 4th. They each will receive the prize packages. Thank you to Spring Creek Barbecue for a successful FUN-raiser!

Christmas Fundraiser

Home and School Association has a school wide fundraiser coming up- Poinsettia Sales. Sales forms will be going out to students soon. If you would like to get a head start on your reservation of poinsettias download the sales form HERE Costs of the plants are $10 each. Last years proceeds were used to remodel the teachers lounge. Lets make this years a success for other campus beautification projects planned.

Home & School Updates

Interested in finding out what goes on in Home & School meetings? Do you know what events are being planned, or how money is budgeted for those events? Check out the links below to stay abreast of all that goes on with our Home & School Assoc. or Reach out to any of our H&S Board members if you would like to get involved.

Sept. Minutes

Oct. Agenda

2019-2020 Budget

Virtue of the Month - Reverence

The virtue of the month for October is Reverance, and we will be focusing on that with our students throughout the month. Visit the link below for suggestions for home projects focusing on Reverance.

Home Projects on Reverence for October


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Sports Concession Booth Sign-Up

The final date for hosting the volleyball games and thus the concession stand is this Saturday, October 12th. We still need a few more volunteers to man the concessions, so please sign up now and earn those volunteer hours!

Cross Country

Saturday's Cross Country meet was a definite success for both our JV and Varsity runners. 105 total Varsity runners ran a 2.0 mile course, while 103 total JV runners ran a 1.5 mile course. Lino Gonzalez was our top Varsity runner, coming in 12th place, while Kevin Gleason was our top JV runner, finishing in 29th place. All of our runners did a great job!

Bye next week

October 19th - Norbuck Park, around 7:30 AM start time

Flag Football

The Flag Football team suffered their first loss of the season on Sunday to a talented Good Shepherd team. Quarterback Santana Cobio threw touchdown passes to both Dylan Scott and Grant Benavides, but it wasn't enough to overcome Good Shepherd's strength. Next week, our game is at Bishop Lynch, so come out to see us play!

NEXT GAME: MIS 6th Grade (Away) - Sunday10/13/19, 3:45 PM - Bishop Lynch HS

Boys Football

The Boys Varsity Football team lost to a tough St. Rita team on Sunday, but continue to play hard and improve weekly. Quarterback Coleman Prine is in action to the right, and in Bruin Flashbacks below are pictures of Gerardo's pass reception and Jared's kick-off.

NEXT GAME: Prince of Peace Stars (Away) - Sunday 10/13/19, 2:00 PM - POP Baseball Field

Girls Volleyball - 7th Grade

Last week's extra game against Christ the King was re-scheduled to Monday night (yesterday). The Lady Bruins came ready to play hard, and defeated CTK in two sets, maintaining their undefeated status. Way to go, Bruins!

NEXT GAME: St. Thomas D2 - Sat. 10/12/19, 1:00 PM - St. Joseph Gym

Girls Volleyball - 8th Grade

Our 8th grade girls played a tough back-and-forth game against St. Rita, but ultimately lost both sets and the game. They are currently 1-1 in conference play. They will be playing two games at St. Bernard this Saturday, so come cheer on the Lady Bruins!

NEXT GAME: St. Elizabeth (Home) - Sat. 10/12/19, 9:00 AM - St. Bernard Gym

St. Monica (Home) - Sat. 10/12/19, 11:00 AM - St. Bernard Gym


Middle School STEM Classes

If you have a middle-schooler, no doubt you have been getting regular updates about the STEM classes that have everyone so excited. Led by Mr. McCormick, our students are learning the engineering process of robotics. Unlike video games, students' analytical and mechanical abilities are constantly tested by the challenges presented in programming the robots correctly and manipulating them to do exactly what is needed. 8 years ago, Mr. McCormick's robotics team took 1st and 3rd places in a robotics competition. Now that he has returned to St. Bernard's, Mr. McCormick is looking forward to entering robotics competitions with our students again.

Looking ahead, the 8th grade will be transitioning shortly to working on drones, ultimately building a fleet of quadcopters that can be programmed to function simultaneously. In addition, the middle school classes will be working on building robotic claws using 3D printers, then programming them to manipulate and move items using a Raspberry Pi.

Finally, STEM classes are working on building an Aquaponics system, in which they grow fish and plants together in a soil-less, closed-loop system. Mr. McCormick's vision for this science project was inspired by Nobel Peace Prize winner, humanitarian, and scientist Norman Borlaug's work on the "Green Revolution," which is credited with saving over a billion people worldwide from starvation. Our middle school students are being exposed to humanitarian efforts and methods of increasing our food supply. Currently, students have been pouring the concrete, and hope to start the plumbing system soon. Ultimately, they plan to control the entire system using computers.

Stay tuned for updates on all these exciting ventures going on with our Middle School STEM students!


Jeff McCormick - 8th Grade, Math, Science, STEM Lab

Mr. McCormick returned to St. Bernard's last year to teach Middle School Science and Math classes, as well as being the 8th grade homeroom teacher. This year, he has added running the new STEM lab, as well as coaching 7th Grade Volleyball, keeping him quite active at St. Bernards. In addition, he maintains his nursing practice on Saturday evenings as he works nursing shifts in Parkland's Psychiatric ER, providing real-life stories to liven up biology classes.

Mr. McCormick has studied or obtained various degrees in universities throughout Texas, including UT Austin, UT Dallas, and UT Arlington. As a 22 year old, he took a break from academics to become a ranch foreman at a ranch near Lake Lewisville that also served as a B Movie Studio, a time he remembers quite fondly. He ultimately returned to academia to become a lecturer in biology, a corporate trainer, a paramedic, and a middle school science teacher (fortunately for students here at St. Bernard's!).

In his spare time, Mr. McCormick enjoys his vehicles, his cats, and especially, his 10 month old granddaughter, affectionately known as "Spider Monkey," who just took her first steps this past weekend! Mr. McCormick's son and daughter both attended St. Bernard's as children, and we foresee a new Bruin in the family in just a few short years...


What is the most interesting place to which you have travelled?

Fairhope, New Zealand, which has incredibly varied terrain, fascinating people, and a calmer, more peaceful atmosphere. Truly a glorious place.

What is your favorite book and movie?

My favorite book would be Last of the Breed by Louis L'Amour, and my favorite movie would be The Quiet Man starring John Wayne. I almost met him once; he arrived at the ranch I worked at in my 20s, which also served as a B Movie Studio, a mere 2 hours after I had to leave.

What famous person would you like to meet some day?

Linus Pauling, a truly amazing scientist and engineer. I was going to meet him at a lecture, but unfortunately, he passed away the week prior to the engagement.

Do you have a special bucket list item you would like to share?

Actually, my wife asked me the same question, and no, I really don't. I have done everything I have wanted to do already.


Week 8

Tuesday Night Bites at Spring Creek Barbecue was a big success last week; teachers, students, and families enjoyed the food and camaraderie.Thursday was a beautiful day for the Blessing of the Pets after Mass. While it was a bit noisy, the pets were generally well-behaved, and the smiles were everywhere. Friday, 5th graders were surprised by a raccoon checking out their classroom (a bit late for the Blessing?). The weekend was full of sporting events for our Bruins, wrapping up a busy week.



News & Photos

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