Luke Robert Young ’16

I spent ten years at St. Bernard’s, roughly two thirds of my life.  Although it was often challenging, St. B’s helped me mature into a thoughtful, open-minded person with a love of learning, music, and the value of good friendships.  My closest friends today have been my buddies since kindergarten and I believe we will be life-long friends.
I am currently a fourth former at the Lawrenceville School.  The study habits I learned at St. Bernard’s helped me adjust well to the academic rigors and busy schedule at Lawrenceville.  St. Bernard’s opened my world to much more than scholarly information.  Because of my exposure at St. B’s, I now sing in the Lawrenceville Singers, have a major role in a Shakespeare play, and continue to nourish my strong interest in music and piano.

Recently, I performed Mozart’s Fantasie in D Minor at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.  I submitted a video performance of this piece in October of 2017 and was informed several weeks later that I was a first prize winner and selected to perform at Carnegie Hall.  The competition featured talented young musicians from around the world.  I credit my love for music to my long time Manhattan piano teacher as well as the excellent music department at St. Bernard’s.

One of my favorite memories of St. Bernard’s was being a mentor to Ms. Loree’s kindergarten class when I was a ninth grader.  My close friend, Michael, and I would visit the kindergarten boys once a week and help them with their studies.  The boys looked forward to seeing us every week, screaming out our names with big smiles on their faces as we walked into their class.  It made us so happy to watch their enthusiasm and remember our early years at St. B’s.

I was also fortunate to have the privilege of completing ninth grade at St. Bernard’s.  This was a very special year for me.  My class included my closest friends and an outstanding teacher, Mr. White.  Ninth grade utilized the Harkness method of learning, which is the hallmark of the Lawrenceville School.  I gained confidence in critical thinking and articulating my ideas clearly.  I also learned to listen to my classmates and understand their views, which were often much different than mine.

My favorite teacher in Junior School was my first grade teacher, Ms. Flannigan.  I was so happy to go to school every day because she seemed to always have a big smile on her face and encouraged us to do our best.  I remember her as a genuinely caring and supportive teacher.

My favorite Upper School teachers were Madame de Haugoubart, Dr. John Lee, and Mr. Andy White.  Madame was always kind, understanding, and funny.  Madame was always light-hearted and helped make us feel relaxed when the stress level got too high.  She was my confidant and close friend.  I will always remember her fondly.

Dr. Lee was interesting, approachable, and kind.  He was a Presbyterian minister who liked to talk about investing and business; he was a true scholar and was always upbeat.  I was lucky to have Mr. White both in eighth and ninth grade.  He was an amazing English teacher and had us read the best books – from Julius Caesar and Macbeth to Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried and Hemingway.  He made class exciting and was able to engage us in the Harkness method every day.

If I had to give any advice to younger students at St. B’s, I would say, stay positive, be happy, and understand that the hard work will prepare you well for your future education.  You will be well prepared.  You are at one of the best all boys’ elementary schools in the country.