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St. Bernard Prep Holds Professional Development Days

In preparation for the 2022-23 academic year at St. Bernard Prep, all teachers and staff members recently spent three days in meetings, professional development, and their classrooms anticipating the arrival of 130 plus students. 

Cullman’s nationally known speaker, Jenny Nolen, traveled from her home in Hattiesburg, Mississippi to deliver a fun, loving, funny message recanting her life story titled “Lessons from an Invisible Child.”

Finding plenty of humor in everyday living, Nolen told those in attendance that sometimes all we have to do is sit back, observe, and listen. However, when it comes to children, adult roles must change to becoming caring, loving, selfless adults.  

While her young life experiences were less than perfect, Nolen experienced trauma and hard knocks that most couldn’t imagine. From living in a children’s home to returning to a home with a mom who suffered physically and mentally, Nolen found humor as a way to overcome her many obstacles. She shared several examples of people in her life who had a great impact on her.

The are many ways to influence young minds by just being observant. Teachers have a special gift and can detect when something is going on with a child by just simply listening. “You impact the life of each child by what you say, what you do, what you wear, and how you respond.”

“Time is precious, and it carries a sense of urgency in everything we do,” Nolen said. “We can’t waste one minute doing anything other than helping them.”

The presentation touched on the role of social media in the lives of children. Often children/students share everything digitally which has the potential for many challenges. When mishaps happen in this digital world, it may have a negative impact on our children and their sense of worth. Social media interactions create digital footprints and must be monitored by loving and caring adults. “Be role models for students by being leaders through faith and scholarship.”

Following the presentation, everyone gathered in the Abbey Church for Mass. The remainder of the sessions included bullying, harassment, re-recruiting students, student discipline, role of leadership teams, volunteerism, student/teacher relations, and mandatory reporting. Jim Miller, CEO, and President Father Joel Martin, O.S.B., presided over the meetings.

St. Bernard greeted students Aug. 14 and classes began Monday, Aug. 15.

Photo Cutline: Jim Miller, St. Bernard Prep School’s CEO, and Father Joel Martin, O.S.B., St. Bernard president/headmaster, thank Jenny Nolan for her wonderful in-service presentation.