St. Bernard Parish
547 Elm Street
Rockport, IN 47635
St Bernard Statue in Rockport, Indiana

About St. Bernard Catholic School

Mission Statement

Saint Bernard Catholic School’s mission is to educate the whole child to serve the world as a responsible Christian.

Vision Statement

We believe that every child is unique and valuable because all life comes from God. Educating the whole child involves helping them grow spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, socially, and physically. The Saint Bernard Catholic School community provides a safe Christian environment in which students can become life-long learners who are prepared to cope with today’s changing world and be responsible, contributing members of a global society.

Facility (Then and Now)

Saint Bernard Catholic School is located in Rockport, Indiana. In addition to being the only Catholic school, Saint Bernard is also the only accredited non-public school in Spencer County. Saint Bernard Catholic School is accredited through the Indiana Department of Education and AdvancED/Cognia, an international accreditation group. 

Saint Bernard Catholic School first opened its doors in 1877 as a boarding school operated by the Sisters of Saint Benedict from Ferdinand, Indiana. It was a one-room school with emphasis on English and German, with opportunities for instruction in needlework and music.

The majority of the current facility was constructed in 1960, with an addition in 1985 that houses additional classrooms, administrative offices and a teacher’s lounge. In 1999 the school added a two-room classroom to accommodate increased enrollment. Our classrooms provide a comfortable learning environment for students to thrive. 

All Kindergarten through eighth grade students have access to individual devices (laptops/Chromebooks/iPads) in their classrooms.  Our preschool and pre-K classrooms have access to devices on an as-needed basis for use in small groups/stations. Our fully-equipped kitchen allows us to offer a hot lunch to our students, faculty, and staff each day. The gymnasium, fitted with a stage, provides a place for numerous student activities. Our outdoor playground offers multiple areas for recreation and physical activity.

Student Demographics

For 2020-2021, the enrollment of Saint Bernard is 99 students in Kindergarten through 8th grade.  Students come from area communities throughout all of Spencer County, Indiana, including Rockport, Richland, Chrisney, Dale, Grandview, Santa Claus, Lamar and St. Meinrad.  We also have students that attend from areas of Kentucky, including Lewisport and Owensboro. 

Our enrollment of 99 students leaves us with a student-teacher ratio of 11:1. These small class sizes help our experienced teachers to enhance each child’s learning and ensure that all of his or her individual needs are met. 67% of our students are Catholic and 33% are non-Catholic this school year.

Faculty and Staff

Saint Bernard Catholic School is led by principal and St. Bernard School alum, Mr. Ryan Nowak. The dedicated faculty is composed of nine full-time classroom teachers, two teaching assistants, a Title I teacher, and a speech specialist.  Our Preschool has a director, a full-time teacher, and three teaching assistants.  In addition, the school is sustained by two cafeteria workers, an administrative assistant, a bus driver, a maintenance person and a custodian. This highly qualified group of professionals is committed to your child’s academic success and overall personal wellness. Specific members of our faculty and staff are listed on the side bar to the right. 

School Council

The purpose of the School Council is to serve and support the Principal and Preschool Director in the governance of the spiritual and academic education program in accordance with diocesan policy. The School Council is an advisory body, established by the Pastor, to assist him, the Principal and the Preschool Director with making policies, fiscal reviews, monitoring curriculum and instruction, school/community relations, and goal setting. The School Board meets the second Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m.. Elected or appointed members serve three year terms with a term limit of two consecutive terms. Specific members of this year’s School Council are listed in the side bar to the right. 

Faculty & Staff

School Administration



  • Mrs. Sandy McFarling
    Cafeteria Manager
  • Mrs. Lynne Morris
  • Mr. Terry Hanaway
  • Mrs. Deb Hall
    K-8 Teacher Assistant
  • Mrs. Natasha Helms
    Preschool/Pre-K Assistant (Mornings)
  • Ms. Claudia Stuteville
    Preschool/Pre-K Assistant (Afternoons)

Student Support

St. Bernard Catholic School Council (2020-2021)

  • Mrs. Sara Kleeman (President)
  • Mr. Aaron Benton (Vice-President)
  • Mrs. Leah Konderding (Secretary)
  • Father Ron Kreilein (Pastor)
  • Mr. Ryan Nowak (Principal; also serves as Finance and Marketing Rep.)
  • Mrs. Lisa Cook (Preschool Director)
  • Mrs. Heather Emmick (Parish Council Rep.)
  • Ms. Lori Page
  • Mr. Rick Kempa
St. Bernard Parish • 547 Elm Street • Rockport, IN 47635 • 812-649-4811
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