St. Benedict's Extracurricular Handbook
The Student Ambassadors are the faces of SBA. Ambassadors are not only who prospective parents and students look to for information about St. Benedict, but they are also who current parents and students seek when needing direction. They are SBA’s student leaders who volunteer to work events such as the New Student Orientation Day, Parent Nights, Meet the Teacher Night, 8th Grade Visit Days and Open House.
The only dues related to being an ambassador are paying for a t-shirt that members must wear at all volunteer events. Interested students must complete a detailed application followed by an interview where faculty members have a chance to see and hear each prospect in a tour-like setting.
Mrs. Christine Armour and Mrs. Tammie Ford are the sponsors.
The Art Club works on group and individual projects in the classroom as well as makes several field trips to art museums and exhibits throughout each school year. The club’s service project for the 2012-13 school year is decorating and filling boxes for the residents through the Ave Maria nursing home.
Interested students should have a love for art and an open mind to try new things. Students can become a member by signing up at the annual club fair. There are not any dues to be a member and members typically meet once a month. The Art Club honors one student at the end of each academic year with a certificate for outstanding participation. Ms. Kristen Black sponsors the Art Club.
National Art Honor Society
The purpose of our NAHS chapter is to help recognize and appreciate the artistic talents here at SBA as well as share them with our school and community. They create projects, like our NAHS calendar as well as participate in community art projects. The yearly dues for this club are $15 (Due September 22nd). They meet the first Tuesday of every month. Mrs. Laura Beck sponsors this club.
Benedicteens is a faith-based club whose motto is one of Saint Benedict’s sayings – Ora Et Labora – Pray and Work. We do both. We take student and faculty prayer requests, and we pray for the monthly intentions of the Holy Father as well. We take part in many Pro-Life activities like the Life Chain and the March on Washington. We have our “What Can One Can Do” campaign where we collect one can from each SBA student and faculty member to stock the local food pantries at the beginning of each year. We spearhead a ‘Gently Used’ Coat drive every winter to benefit Project Outreach through Incarnation Church. We also educate ourselves and others on Church teaching by having clergy and other speak to us on issues such as stem cell research and artificial contraception. Benedicteens meets every 3rd Tuesday of the month during activity period, and the sponsor is Mrs. Lori Wade. Membership is open to all St. Benedict students.
The Bridge Builders Club is a part of the BRIDGES organization. All meetings are held at the BRIDGES headquarters in downtown Memphis. Meeting times vary, however most of the meetings are offered on the weekend. Other impromptu meetings are held either at BRIDGES or SBA. BRIDGES has several events throughout the year in which students can take part (Gandhi-King Conference, Spring Break for Change, etc.). There are three levels of involvement with BRIDGES, but the majority of SBA’s students are part of the Collaborate Initiative, which involves a monthly meeting requirement as well as a one-week conference at the end of the student’s sophomore and junior years.
There is an application process involved with the Bridge Builders Club that can be completed online at bridgesusa.org. There are also dues involved, but they are determined based on each family’s income level. Fees may be applied for certain events such as the Gandhi-King conference and Spring Break For Change.
Yearly, St. Benedict has around 50 students who are selected to be Bridge Builders. Up until last year, all Bridge Builders were rising juniors and seniors, however the BRIDGES organization has made an effort over the past year to get students of all grade levels involved in the program. Students receive awards at a presentation after the Conferences held at CBU. Coach Tom Brezina sponsors the SBA Bridge Builders.
In Bridge Club, students learn how to play the challenging game of bridge, a challenging card game. The SBA Bridge Club was founded in 2011-12 when a student, also a member of the ACBL (American Contract Bridge League) started the SBA chapter. The ACBL started a program for school-age players in 2011.
Members meet weekly and interested students can either sign up to join at the annual club fair or they can come to any meeting. There are annual dues which go towards the purchase of a club t-shirts for each member. Coach Dianna Cervetti, a bridge player for over 25 years, sponsors the club.
The Chess Club is a well-rounded beginner-to-advanced club where students can indulge in their love of chess. Members conduct lessons for beginner players and provide chess materials in the library for members to sharpen their skills during the lunch periods.
There are no dues or application process. Interested students can sign up during the annual club fair. Members formally meet once a month but materials are available for students who want to come on additional days. Students must be in good academic standing to become and remain a member. Mr. Pearson Allen sponsors the Chess Club.
The Chinese Club promotes the Chinese language and culture through enjoying Chinese food, making Chinese crafts and learning about Chinese characters. Members meet monthly. There is not an application process or dues. Foreign Language teacher, Ms. Cheryl West, is the club’s sponsor.
The Ecology club is a club sponsored by Mrs. Beno that meets every second Tuesday of the month after school, with no dues. The purpose of the club is to raise environmental awareness around the school, through events such as SBA carpool day. We also strive to participate in local events in which the students can provide service to beautifying or bettering the ecosystems in the community. Along with these events, every year we adopt an Eagle at the zoo with funds raised through our flower sale.
The Engineering club promotes student interest in engineering careers. The club participates in three design competitions each academic year as well as invites field professionals to make presentations about their careers and the educational requirements to be an engineer. The SBA Engineering Club hosts their annual Canstruction competition in March, which is a fundraiser to collect canned goods. During the 2011-12 school year, also the club’s third year at SBA, members placed 2nd in two events at the EDAY competition, another team won 3rd at competition and an individual member won 1st place at the CBU competition.
There is no application process to join; interested students can sign up at the annual club fair. There are dues and members meet monthly. There are no formal requirements but all students must take part in some competition sponsored during the year. Generally, science-oriented students are encouraged to join. Math and science teacher, Mr. Blair Seymour, is the Engineering Club’s sponsor.
Forensics (Competitive Speech) Team
The SBA Forensics Team competes in local high school tournaments in affiliation with the National Forensics League and the Tennessee High School Speech and Drama League. Students compete with prepared selections in categories like Dramatic or Humorous Interpretation, Original Oratory, Duet Acting, Solo Acting, Poetry, or Prose, as well as improvised categories like Extemporaneous Speaking or Impromptu Speaking, among others. Tournaments are typically held on Saturdays at various schools around Memphis and Nashville. The team meets a few times a month or schedules individual practice time with Coach Ryan Kathman. Tournaments are typically held on Saturdays at various schools around Memphis and Nashville. Students prepare their pieces independently and pay small entry fees for the tournaments.
The French Club promotes the French language and culture through different activities including cheese-tasting, speakers (from France or from a francophone country), crepe-making, International Day and French cinema through Rhodes College.
There is not an application process nor are there any dues. Members meet once a month. French teacher, Ms. Cheryl West, sponsors both the French Club and Honor Society.
French Honor Society
'The French Honor Society or "Société honoraire de français" is an official charter of the American Association of Teachers of French. The chapter at St. Benedict was founded in 2002. Students in French 2 Honors must have a 91 or higher and students in French 2 regular must have a 95 or higher at mid-term of their second year of French to be inducted into the honor society.
The German Club promotes awareness and appreciation of the German culture. Members hold an annual “German Week,” where creative and informative posters on Germany are displayed. Students pray in the language and members host a German trivia competition. Members provide tutoring for German students and organize study sessions for German classes.
Members meet twice a month to plan upcoming events and share information. Fundraisers are held for club t-shirts and to offset the cost of participating in the Foreign Language Fair. The German Club is open to any student interested in the German language and culture. There are no dues or application process and interested students should see the club’s sponsor, Ms. Maria Sanders, for membership information.
Global Outreach Club
The Global Outreach Club is designed to raise awareness of human rights issues around the world. Members conduct research into a variety of global issues and identify opportunities for student involvement through international aid organizations. Moved by the plight of children in Northern Uganda, the club’s first goal is to raise funds for the children and families of Patongo that have been displaced by violence. The club’s hope is to raise money that will go towards nutritional, educational and musical goals of international aid agencies operating in the region, giving these children an opportunity for something better.
There are currently no dues to be a member and interested students can sign up at the annual club fair. Members meet every other Tuesday. Students must be in good academic standing to be a member. In its first year, the 2011-12 members raised $530 dollars and membership has tripled for the 2012-13 school year. Principal Sondra Morris sponsors the Global Outreach Club.
SBA Honor Council is composed of an elective body of students and teachers from all grades who hold hearings dealing with cheating issues, should they arise. Teachers who witness cheating in their classroom have the right to handle the incident or turn it over to the Honor Council. Students who witness cheating may also inform the council of any incident. Cases are confidentially heard and the council members pledge to not discuss any information presented at hearings. Mr. John Beattie sponsors Honor Council.
Faculty and students who serve on the council are elected by the student body for a one year term.
The Key Club is a student-driven service club dedicated to helping our school, community and world become a better place. Being one of the largest organizations on campus, the Key Club is open to all students interested in meeting new people and helping the less fortunate. Of the countless projects the Key Club has been involved with over the years, a few of the most notable would include: visiting with residents of the Ave Maria Home, Special Olympics bowling, volunteering at the Memory Walk and St. Jude Marathon, the Angel Tree, Step Up For Down Syndrome (Buddy Walk), volunteering at many Memphis-area soup kitchens, volunteering at the annual St. Francis Fall Fest, Polar Bear Plunge and the Walk for MS and Wolf River Conservancy Clean-Up. The Key Club is associated with the Kiwanis Club and is an internationally recognized high school service organization.
Yearly dues are paid for each member who then receives a t-shirt, membership card and frequent newsletters. SBA’s Key Club has student officers and the events are generally coordinated by the students. Colleges across the country are familiar with the work of the Key Club and recognize it as one of the best ways to become a well-rounded student and leader. Theology teacher, Mr. Eric Wells, and senior guidance counselor, Mrs. Mary Cox, sponsor the Key Club.
Knowledge Bowl Team
Knowledge Bowl is a televised version of Quiz Bowl where students have the opportunity to compete for their school and win scholarship money for college. At the beginning of the school year, students qualify by taking a test and those with the highest score are selected for the competition team. All other students are given the opportunity to increase their knowledge on the prep team and those members are occasionally asked to fill-in for meets. Interested students must be in good academic standing. There are no dues and students meet for about two hours every week. Award certificates are presented at the end of each academic year to participants. Science teacher, Dr. Kristin Hennessy-McDonald, is the team’s sponsor.
Members of the Make-A-Wish Club volunteer and donate to help raise the funds needed to grant the wish of a child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition in the United States. Make-A-Wish believes that a wish experience can be a game-changer and this belief inspires us to grant wishes that change the lives of the kids we serve. We meet every first Tuesday of the month in the gym at 2:20pm and I am the only sponsor. Club dues are $10 which are used for any supplies that the club may need to fundraise and the remainder of the money is used to grant a wish. English teacher, Mrs. Vaughan, sponsors Make-A-Wish.
The Medical Club’s purpose is to expose students to medical careers and medical care education. Speakers are invited for members with opportunities to ask questions. The club does perform various service projects with a medical aspect. Currently for the 2012-13 school year, members are collecting shoe boxes for the Ava Maria home care residents. In the past, items have been collected for the Haiti Medical Mission and Methodist Hospice.
There are no dues but there is cost in the mandatory service project for members. Meetings are monthly and anyone interested in the topic can come to the meetings, even non-members. Certificates are awarded at the end of the academic year based on dedication to the club. Science teachers, Mrs. Jamie Schneider and Mrs. Mary Sutton, are the sponsors of the Medical Club.
Mock Trial is a city-wide, state-wide and nation-wide high school competition in which students reenact trial—complete with witnesses and attorneys. In late November or early December, the Young Lawyers division of the Tennessee Bar Association distributes copies of the year’s trial competition, typically held in February. Each school is responsible for developing a prosecution and a defense—three attorneys and three witnesses for each side. The witnesses are provided with affidavits as their “scripts,” but the attorneys must create their own opening and closing statements, direct and cross-examination questions. Mock Trial is a challenging adventure, but it’s most rewarding for the students.
Interested students should see Ms. Karen Terre, the organization’s sponsor, for information on joining.
Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society
Mu Alpha Theta is a national honorary fraternity that honors high achieving students in math-based classes. By promoting their love of math, Mu Alpha Theta members tutor their math peers. SBA’s members of the honor society raise money by trick-or-treating for UNICEF and hosting “Pi Day,” where slices of pie are sold and profits are donated to a non-profit organization.
To be eligible for membership, interested students must have at least a 3.75 overall GPA and a 4.00 cumulative GPA in all math classes. Student must also have completed two semesters of Algebra I, two semesters of Geometry and at least one semester of Algebra II. Students will know if they are eligible by the second semester of either the sophomore or junior year. The dues required for membership go towards a t-shirt and membership into the national organization. Meetings are held monthly and senior members are honored at graduation by wearing the club’s light blue and yellow cord. Mu Alpha Theta is sponsored by math teachers Mr. Blair Seymour and Ms. Andrea Smith.
National Honor Society
The National Honor Society recognizes outstanding high school students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of Scholarship, Leadership, Service and Character. SBA members of NHS are required to maintain a 3.5 GPA and participate in service hours, peer tutoring and academic advancement. SBA’s NHS has been involved with Lifeblood for many years and they host two blood drives on campus each year.
The application process consists of an essay, teacher recommendations, and student resume. Students must also have a 3.5 GPA or higher and make positive contributions to the SBA community. Members pay dues each year. NHS members meet monthly and senior NHS members are honored at graduation by wearing the white stole. Ms. Julie Vaughan sponsors the National Honor Society.
Ping Pong Club
Ping Pong Club gives students an opportunity to play ping pong and to be social! They meet twice a month (on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month) from 2:20 until 3:00 in the Dining Hall. Students sign in, help set up tables, play ping pong and visit with each other, and help pick up tables and accessories before departing for the afternoon. Theology teacher, Mrs. Nevle, is the sponsor.
The Photography Club allows students to further their knowledge of black and white and digital film. Members meet monthly on campus to use the darkroom to print black and white pictures. Guest speakers are also invited to give students different perspectives on taking pictures. Several off-campus fieldtrips are scheduled each academic year for members to practice their photography skills together. Students can work in black and white or digital film. After the pictures are processed, members gather to critique the photographs as well as provide encouragement for each other in the pursuit of art.
Interested students should have a camera and can sign up at the beginning of each academic year with Ms. Kristin Black, the club’s sponsor. There are annual dues and an optional t-shirt for members to purchase.
The Poetry Club welcomes students interested in reading, writing and reciting poems. The club encourages self-expression through poetry while also giving its members a chance to practice public speaking.
Members meet twice a month to either read or share what they’ve written. Many of their meetings are theme-oriented (Halloween, Christmas, etc.). There are no dues or application process to join. Interested students simply need a love for poetry. The Poetry Club is sponsored by English and Foreign Language teacher, Ms. Maria Sanders.
The random acts of kindness club is new this year at St. Benedict. They plan to boost moral and spread positivity throughout our school and community by committing random acts of kindness. This club will meet the 3rd Tuesday of every month and orchestrate a kind act at school each month. The due for this club is only 5 dollars and it will go directly towards helping conduct our kind acts. Emily Reber is the club's president, and Ms. Hasley is the sponsor.
Each year, the Theology department hosts religious retreats that give students the opportunity to come together with their classmates to grow spiritually. SBA’s Senior Retreat Leader team leads the students through games, activities, skits and songs, all dealing with issues that teens face. The themes of the retreats reflect SBA’s school themes and are reflective of the particular grade level. The retreats offer students the chance to express their faith and support one another.
Juniors may apply to become a Senior Retreat Leader during their spring semester. They must have attended their Junior Class Retreat to be considered for a position. Applications are available through their Theology teacher and selection is based on student applications and teachers’ evaluations. There are no dues for the organization but members do pay for a t-shirt, which they wear at each retreat. The SRLs meet monthly but do hold additional meetings as needed for planning. The SRLs are sponsored by theology teachers, Mrs. Christine Giles, and Nick Brashier.
This year is the ‘maiden voyage’ in the robotics competition, and they are up for the challenge. Our school is a coeducational institution with an emphasis on excellence in all academic areas while promoting Christian values. Numerous graduates of St. Benedict have gone on to careers in mechanical, electrical, chemical and nuclear engineering to name a few. We also have numerous graduates who had majored in mathematics and computer science, some of who are actively involved in their careers at present. Mr. Blair Seymour is the sponsor.
Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)
Students Against Destructive Decisions is a national organization that helps students in their decision-making skills. The goal is to increase awareness of the dangers of such behaviors as drinking, texting or being distracted while driving. The SBA chapter of SADD has a monthly activity to remind students to make good decisions. These activities range from giving quizzes during lunch, handing out stickers and acknowledging Red Ribbon Week. SADD members also hold special activities during homecoming week and prom season. SADD is open to all SBA students.
Members meet monthly and interested students can attend any of the meetings to join. SADD members invite all to help make the lives of everyone safer! Nick Brashier is the sponsor of SADD.
St. Jude Club
St. Jude supports the Ronald McDonald House and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Since the club was founded in 2006, Club St. Jude members have held a variety of bake sales with profits going towards the purchase of food for a dinner prepared by members for the RMH [for approximately 100 people] in the fall and spring. Members also have an arts-and-crafts session after dinner for the kids. The club collects Pop Tabs and kitchen supplies to further support the RMH. SBA has a history of being the high school winner of the Pop Tab Palooza. This is a city-wide contest collecting pop tabs. SBA collected 158.5 lbs of tabs! In 2011, the club president was a finalist in the Give-A-Heart Award which recognizes student leaders that assist St. Jude.
Members meet monthly and interested students can sign up during the annual club fair. There are no dues or application process. At the end of the academic year, officers and outstanding members are recognized with certificates. Members may also be recognized for their work by the Ronald McDonald House. Spanish teacher Ms. Mary Calhoun is Club St. Jude’s sponsor.
The Shakespeare Competition offers SBA students an opportunity to present a memorized Shakespearean monologue to a panel of three SBA faculty judges. The student who wins advances to the Memphis area Shakespeare competition to present a memorized sonnet and monologue. All students are eligible to compete. There is no application process or dues. Interested students should see Mr. Ryan Kathman, the competition’s sponsor.
The Spanish Club positively participates in activities that promote the Spanish language and highlights the cultures of the different Spanish-speaking countries. Activities include: watching movies and videos in Spanish, discussing issues affecting Spanish countries and its people and having fiestas to celebrate a variety of holidays.
There are no dues or application process. Interested students can sign up during the annual club fair. Members meet monthly. Spanish teacher, Mr. Paul Bryant, is the club’s sponsors.
Spanish National Honor Society
The Spanish National Honor Society is a society that recognizes high achievement in Spanish and Portuguese, and to promote a continuity of interest in Hispanic studies. It was founded by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) in 1953 for the students of North American schools. The SBA chapter was established in 1998 based on the efforts of Mrs. Lydia Martin and Mrs. Joy Lannum. The motto is "Todos a una", which means "All together."
To be considered for induction, students will have to be enrolled in their second year of honors Spanish, (so in Spanish III). A student who was in Spanish II Honors can apply the following year provided he/she is in Spanish III Honors. If the student does not move to honors until Spanish III Honors, then the student can apply while enrolled in Spanish IV Honors or AP if offered. Students will have to have a weighted average in Spanish of 4.0 and an overall weighted average of 3.5. In order to be eligible, students should also be in good standing without any unsatisfactory comments on the report card, should not have been suspended. This society considers the student as a whole person, and thus he/she should follow all the rules of SBA.
Students must maintain their GPA in Spanish and overall. Additionally, Students should plan to tutor 2 hours per semester, and if students are not in need of tutoring, then the tutors should expect they may need to work on Society projects. In addition to the 2 hours for tutoring, all members as well as prospective candidates should give at least 1 hour per semester of general service to be applied to a Society project. Service hours will need to be approved in order to count. Spanish teacher, Ms.Yasenis Ayers, is the club sponsor.
The Student Government Association represents the students as well as the teachers at SBA. SGA plans Homecoming, The Food Drive and assists in planning Winterfest and Springfest. Various teacher lunches & treats are also hosted to thank our faculty for all their help throughout the year. SGA puts community and service first. In years past, events like Penny Wars and dances were hosted with profits being donated to various charities including Wounded Warriors, Catholic Charities, Warrior Wish and SBA Teens for Life.
In November, SGA’s focus shifts to the Memphis Food Bank Canned Food Drive. For the past five years, SBA has won the overall school Food Drive competition. In 2007, SBA won the Food Drive by collecting 10,000 pounds of donated food. Each year SBA has increased its donation, with last year's donation surpassing 44,000 pounds. Over the years, SGA has increased activities adding an Alumni Concert, Raffles and a Can-Struction to each year’s events lineup as well as continued the classic Class Competition and Powder Puff Game.
SGA consists of six offices and students are elected into each position by their classmates. Each grade level also has four representatives.
There are not any dues involved with SGA. Officers meet once a week after school. Students who go above and beyond the required duty are given Award Certificates of Recognition at the end of the academic year. SGA also hosts a going away dinner for the seniors with gifts of appreciation. English teacher, Ms. Heather Freel, and Mr. Nick Brashier, are sponsors of SGA.
Students For Life
The SBA Students for Life organization is committed to promoting the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception to natural death by offering students the opportunity take a stand and witness for pre-born children and their mothers, hoping, therefore, to influence others to respect the beautiful gift from God – life. The club was founded when the school became St. Benedict at Auburndale in 1988-89 with students initiating the annual trip to Washington, D.C. in January for the National March for Life.
In addition, members participate in many activities, such as, the Life Chain, Rosary for Life, 40 Days for Life, National Day of Silence for the Unborn, Tree of Life, Cemetery for the Unborn and other Respect Life Month events. SBA students believe that when they work together, they can make a difference.
No dues are required, but there is a fee required to travel on the March for Life trip. Students sign-up and are not required to go to the March for Life to be members of Students for Life. There are three meetings a year – two in the first semester and one in January. The leaders of the club are honored and recognized during end-of-year Honors Day programs. There are no requirements to join Students for Life, but the students going to Washington for the March for Life are required two pro-life service projects performed during October-Respect Life Month. Students for Life is sponsored by Director of Communications, Mrs. Sharon Masterson, and theology teacher, Mr. Philip Valle.
Thespian National Honor Society
The National Thespian Honor Society is affiliated with the International Thespian Society. Members must be involved in theater. Students must meet international requirements of 10 points in theater, which is earned through participation in productions at SBA. Only five points can be transferred from a middle school. There is a one-time fee of $28.00 to join and following that, only $5.00 will be assessed per year to offset the schools' fees. Students who accrue 50 points by their graduation, qualify to wear the royal blue and yellow cord as they walk across the stage. Mr. Ryan Kathman and Mrs. Cindy Wells sponsor SBA’s chapter of the National Thespian Honor Society.WordSmith tests students’ skills in four areas of non-fiction: description, narration, persuasion and exposition. All students receive the same writing assignment and are judged according to their grade level. The first three events are short “dashes” of 40, 80 and 120 words. Top finishers go on to compete in the main event, the 400-word dash. The University Of Memphis Department of English and the Shelby-Memphis Council of Teachers of English sponsor the event. For the 2011-12 school year, SBA had two medalists at the competition. One student placed 3rd in the 40-word dash in the 9th grade division and another received honorable mention in the 40-word dash for the 12th grade division.
There are no dues as SBA pays the entry fees for each student.
Freshman who are interested in WordSmith will participate in a “try-out” before Christmas break. Because there can only be two participants per grade level, the top two freshmen are then added to the team. Students in the upper grades will remain on the team as long as they wish and tryouts are only held as positions are available.
The team meets every week in January for practice and the competition is usually near one of the first Sundays in February. WordSmith is sponsored by English teachers, Mrs. Dory Heideman and Mrs. Jan Kaplan.