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We are honored to share that Darrel Chen, SBA Class of 2017, has been named a National Merit Finalist by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation!

Darrel is now a senior at Father Ryan High School, and is one of five Father Ryan students to receive this honor (the largest number of any Catholic high school in Tennessee). At Father Ryan, Darrel is a member of Emerald House, Mu Alpha Theta (math honor society), the National Honor Society, and the Cum Laude Society. He is taking six AP courses as a senior and completed six additional AP courses as a junior and sophomore. He also plays on the Irish Lacrosse team.

Darrel is the son of current SBA parents Beverly Zak and Robert Chen, and brother to Candice Chen ’13, Emilio Chen ’18, and Farah Chen, 5th Level.

 

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The Bumpus family has a lifetime of ties to St. Bernard Academy.

As a young boy, John Bumpus watched five of his six sisters graduate from St. Bernard when it was an all-girls high school – one of whom eventually became a Sister of Mercy. In their later years, John’s parents welcomed another Sister of Mercy into the Bumpus family, and she became a virtual and valued sibling. John himself attended SBA for his initial elementary education. Then, he and his wife, May, chose SBA for their two children, Nan ’08, and Griffin ’12.

Among their many volunteer efforts as SBA parents, May served as co-president of the Home and School Association, and John was a member of the Board of Trust. Both Nan and Griffin excelled academically and were heavily involved in athletics and other extra-curricular activities.
 


In 2020, John and May continued their family’s legacy at St. Bernard Academy with a charitable gift to establish the Bumpus Family Special Events Fund. The fund’s mission is to provide experiential learning opportunities to enrich the lives of St. Bernard Academy students, faculty and staff.

Their deep roots at the school provided much of the motivation to make such a gift. However, they also recognized a need they could help fill.

“People often give to their university, or they give to their high school,” John said. “But very rarely do they give to their elementary school. That was an important thought for us as we considered this gift. SBA is such a special place for our family, so we wanted to do something that would make a lasting impact.”

Through the Special Events Fund, the Bumpus family intends to sponsor a variety of projects, events or activities where students, faculty, staff and other community members can learn through experience.

The first project: constructing a mosaic that depicts the history, symbolism and mission of both the Sisters of Mercy and St. Bernard Academy. SBA has commissioned Jairo Prado, a local Nashville visual artist, to design and install the mosaic using colorful porcelain and ceramic tiles. Composed of three separate arched panels, the mosaic will be mounted on the brick wall overlooking SBA’s central courtyard.

“Perhaps the most important piece of this project is that we plan to include all of our SBA families to help construct and install the mosaic,” said Carl J. Sabo, Head of School. “One of the goals of the fund created by the Bumpus family is finding new ways to teach the history of the Sisters of Mercy in addition to the history of SBA students, all while engaging our community at the same time.”

The family also hopes their gift will encourage others to consider giving back to their elementary schools.

“We believe that pre-K through 8th grade is really the foundation of education, and of life,” May said. “Our children were more than prepared to go to high school and college because of the unbelievable foundation they received at St. Bernard.”

John agreed: “We see the strength of that foundation now in the work they do every day.”

John and May’s gift is the largest donation the school has received in the 15 years since Mr. Sabo began his tenure.

“The Bumpuses were one of the first families to befriend and guide me when I arrived at SBA in 2006,” Mr. Sabo said. “The idea of a family giving back in such a significant way to their elementary school is rare in its occurrence. It touches my heart so deeply that they would support St. Bernard with this incredibly generous gift.”

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St. Bernard Academy is honored to welcome Courtney Ross, Fr. Anthony Stewart and Paul Worley as new members of the school’s Board of Trustees. All three began their positions in August and will serve for 3-year terms ending in 2024.

“We are so fortunate to add such an accomplished group of individuals to our Board of Trustees,” said Carl J. Sabo, Head of School. “They truly provide a diverse business background and all three of them are well-respected by their peers and by the community. We look forward to their input and support.”
 

Courtney Ross

Courtney Ross was recently named Senior Manager of External Affairs at Amazon. She is a key member of Amazon’s Public Policy team, supporting and driving engagement with local stakeholders, business organizations, and civic associations. Prior to joining Amazon, Ross was the Chief Economic Development Officer for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, where she was involved in relocation and expansion projects with Amazon, AllianceBerstein, Bridgestone Americas and numerous others. Her 20-year economic development career has also included positions at Applied Marketing, the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Memphis BioWorks and the State of Tennessee. Ross is a native of Memphis, TN, and graduated from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. She is a current SBA parent of Jake ’23, and Ellie ’26.
 

Fr. Anthony Stewart

Fr. Anthony Stewart is parochial vicar (associate pastor) at Holy Family Catholic Church in Brentwood. Fr. Anthony grew up in McEwen, TN, and converted to Catholicism in 2009. He attended two years at Aquinas College in Nashville studying Theology, while discerning a vocation to the priesthood. He was then accepted to the Diocese of Nashville, and began studying for the priesthood at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. After graduating, Bishop David R. Choby sent him to study at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. There he obtained a STB at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, and a license in Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University. After four years in Rome, Fr. Anthony returned to the diocese and was ordained a priest in 2018, at the Cathedral of the Incarnation by Bishop J. Mark Spalding.
 

Paul Worley

Paul Worley is a Grammy-winning record producer and musician who began his career as a session guitarist in the 1970s. He went on to become a music executive, first at Sony BMG then at Warner Bros. Records. In 2004, he and several partners founded Skyline Records and Skyline Music Publishing. Then in 2010, he helped form an independent music label, Skyville Records, which specializes in developing up-and-coming artists. Throughout his career, Worley has discovered and produced some of biggest acts in country music, including Martina McBride, The Dixie Chicks, Lady Antebellum, Big & Rich, and numerous others. Worley is a Nashville native who graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in philosophy. He is a past SBA parent to Owen ’20.

 

Courtney Ross
 

Fr. Anthony Stewart
 

Paul Worley
 

 

 

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