About Us


Among all the schools I have known, as a student or as a teacher, there is no school I love more–indeed, none has had a greater impact on my education or my life–than St. Bernard’s. 
During my years teaching at 4 East 98th Street, I learned more than I ever could have anticipated, both from my impressive colleagues and from my unusually enthusiastic and industrious students.  After ten years away, I have now come back to lead the school, and I feel as though I have come home at last. 

When people ask me what one thing makes St. Bernard’s singularly excellent, I reply that no other school I know fosters in its students such sincere curiosity–the belief that there is always more worth learning. As anyone who knows St. Bernard’s can attest, our students and faculty revel in the asking of great questions and the discovery of new knowledge in a way that is truly exceptional.  Just as it has for generations of alumni (our Old Boys), the school has inspired me to keep learning and developing my intellectual life ever since I first passed through its doors.  I will always be grateful for the gift of being invited to teach here, and I am humbled and honored to lead such an extraordinary school community. 

As you learn more about our school, you will discover that we are a school dedicated to both the life of the mind and the cultivation of the heart, a place of camaraderie and belonging, of sportsmanship, service, and song. St. Bernard’s is a community where the students, faculty, staff, families, and Old Boys care deeply about each other and the values and traditions that the school holds dear.  We have always had high expectations, not only for the boys’ achievement but also for their character, because we have always believed so strongly in them.  We want our boys to become the best versions of themselves, just as we want St. Bernard’s always to be the best version of its inimitable self. 

Welcome, and thank you for your interest in our beloved school, where for nearly 120 years boys have learned fundamental knowledge and skills as well as the value of friendship, hard work, good humor, character, and community.

Joy S. Hurd IV
Head of School

Joy S. Hurd IV studied the classics at Harvard College, where he graduated in 2006 magna cum laude with high honors in Greek and Latin, winning both the David Taggart Clark Prize for delivering the Commencement Latin Oration and the William Richardson King Prize for excellence in Greek and Latin language. He later studied at the Klingenstein Center at Columbia University's Teachers College, where he earned an M.A. in Private School Leadership. He also holds an M.A. in English literature from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College.

Mr. Hurd first joined the St. Bernard’s faculty in 2008 as a seventh-grade homeroom teacher. He taught Latin, English, and history in the Upper School and also served as a secondary school placement advisor.  After completing his degree at Teachers College, Mr. Hurd taught Latin at Riverdale Country School and served as Assistant Director of Middle and Upper School Admissions there. Later, he was the director of the Upper School at Buckley.  Mr. Hurd served most recently as head of school at Lake Forest Country Day School, a PreK-8th grade school in the suburbs of Chicago. 

— Peter Magowan ’55

As I have said many times of all the schools I went to (Groton, Stanford, Oxford, and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies) St. Bernard’s was the best.  I can remember my classmates and my teachers better than any subsequent group of instructors.  Simply put they were the best.  They loved teaching and they loved their students.”