Christian Brothers High School Principal Newsletter

Volume 1

Issue 5

December 2016

• Theatrical production, The Drowsy Chaperone
    - 7 pm, Bartlett Performing Arts & Conference Ctr.

• High school Placement Test for incoming 8th graders
    - 8 am, Lavecchia Wing
• Varsity Basketball vs. MBA
    - 2:30 pm, gymnasium

• Fall Band Concert
    - 4 pm, Auditorium

• Feast of the Immaculate Conception
    -  9 am, Mass, Heffernan Hall

• Brothers of Faith Christmas Concert
    - 2 pm, Auditorium
• Walnut Groove Jazz Band Christmas Concert
    - 4 pm, Auditorium

• End of 2nd quarter

• Semester Exams
    - 8 am (1st period)
    - 9:20 am (2nd period)

• Semester Exams
    - 8 am (3rd period)
    - 9:20 am (4th period)

• Semester Exams
    - 8 am (5th period)
    - 9:20 am (6th period)
• Young Alumni & Faculty Christmas Lunch
    - 11 am, Heffernan Hall

• Semester Exams
    - 8 am (7th period)
    - 9:20 am (8th period)

• Christamas Break (NO SCHOOL)

• Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)

• Classes resume/Beginning of 3rd quarter

• Fall Band Concert
- 4 pm, Auditorium
• Fall Band Concert
- 4 pm, Auditorium


Because of the ongoing construction, the increased number of students, and the growing number of students driving, there is a limited amount of parking on the CBHS campus. Thus, we ask for everyone's patience, attentiveness, and awareness when maneuvering around the parking lots.


Previous Issues

From Principal

Chris Fay

I recently read a talk to a group of young people that was given by Bishop Robert Barron (Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles) that is relevant as we begin Advent.  Bishop Robert Barron used an image that I want to share.  He spoke about “emptying ourselves” and contrasted that to the message of popular culture of “filling ourselves.”

We are bombarded with messages today encouraging us to buy or purchase objects to fill our lives with meaning and purpose.  We need things and all of the apps that go with them in order for our lives to have direction.  The bishop’s request to empty ourselves is contrary to what we are doing as a society.

The season of Advent moves us to pause and reflect on our lives and the impact we are having on people around us.  We must consider the courage of the Blessed Mother and her sinless life as she emptied herself in the process of raising the Son of God.  We must acknowledge the choice the wise men made not to return to Herod and inform him of whom they had seen in Bethlehem that winter night.  And, we must be grateful for the humble spirit of St. Joseph who led the Holy Family to safety in Egypt through the desert.  Finally, we must acknowledge the short-sightedness of the inn-keeper who had no “empty” rooms for the Holy Family. 

With which character in the story of Advent and Christmas do we most associate?  Are we saying “yes” to God? Are we living lives of grace, humility, and courage?  Are we too busy to recognize the Christ child in the people around us?  Thank God the season of Advent can help us answer some of these questions.  Bishop Barron provides us with a message of sacrifice and service to empty ourselves, not fill ourselves, for others in the days ahead. 

On behalf of the faculty, staff, and students, I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and happy and healthy 2017.  We also extend our warmest greetings to our Jewish brethren as they celebrate the festival of Hanukah.  May God bless you and your family during this holy season!

God Bless,

Chris Fay

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From: Jamie Brummer, Dean of Academics

Here are some academic updates:

MAS (Mandatory Academic Support) sessions continue Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays before and after school. More information and a detailed schedule can be found under the ACADEMICS tab of the school’s web site
Monday, December 12th is the last day of the first semester
First semester exams begin Tuesday, December 13th and continue through Friday, December 16th. More information can be found on the calendar page of the school’s web site.
Exams count as 20% of the semester grade for each course.
The High School Placement Test will be given at CBHS the morning of Saturday, December 3rd.
The SAT will be also given at CBHS the morning of Saturday, December 3rd.
The ACT will be given at CBHS the morning of Saturday, December 10th.

New Teacher Profiles:

Please help us welcome Tim O'Kane, Tom Sullivan, and Natasha Sublette to the CBHS family!


Mr. Tim O’Kane was born and raised in Northfield, Ohio.  He attended Walsh Jesuit High School, an all-boys Catholic college-preparatory school in Cuyahoga Falls, OH.  Mr. O’Kane is an Eagle Scout.  He earned a Navy ROTC scholarship and attended Purdue University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.  Upon graduation, Mr. O’Kane was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy as a Submarine Officer.  He spent a little over seven years on active duty, serving three years on the USS BUFFALO (SSN-715) stationed in Pearl Harbor, HI.  He served in various capacities onboard BUFFALO in the Engineering Department and qualified in Submarines.  He completed one Western Pacific deployment while onboard before taking BUFFALO through most of its 27-month Engineering Refueling Overhaul where the nuclear reactor was replaced, a program in which he had a significant role planning and conducting the maintenance in concert with shipyard personnel.  In 2004, he was then transferred to Navy Recruiting Command Headquarters and served as the Nuclear Propulsion Candidate Program Manager for two years followed by one year as the Legislative and Strategic Analysis Program Lead.  Lieutenant O’Kane separated from the Navy and began work in Memphis in Research and Development in the Orthopedic Medical Device Industry as a Product Development Engineer.  He has 9 years’ experience in Orthopedic Medical Device Engineering, with several patents pending.  He has worked for Medtronic Spine and Biologics, Wright Medical Technology and Orchid Orthopedic Solutions.  In 2010, Mr. O’Kane completed a Master of Engineering Management from Old Dominion University. 

Mr. O’Kane currently serves as the Assistant Dean of Students and teaches Physics.  He transitioned from medical device engineering to education because he felt called to give back, and what better way than to help mold the future of our country.  Mr. O’Kane is active as a Board Member at his sons’ school, St. Ann School (Bartlett).  He is a youth (football, soccer, baseball, and basketball) coach, Assistant Scoutmaster, and a Blue and Gold Officer (Admissions Counselor) for the United States Naval Academy.  He is also an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist at his parish, the Catholic Church of the Nativity in Bartlett.  He has two wonderful boys, Brenden (13) and Matthew (12), who attend St. Ann.  Mr. O’Kane enjoys playing adult men’s soccer, hiking/backpacking, rock climbing, fishing, camping and canoeing.  He is a qualified Level II Climbing and COPE instructor for the Boy Scouts of America.  He currently holds the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve, serving as his unit’s Training Officer as a department head, and has over 16 years of service to the U.S. Navy.



After graduating with a BBA in accounting from Memphis State University in 1974, Tom Sullivan immediately went to work at Price Waterhouse (PW).  He was in charge of the Memphis office tax department from 1981 until 1997, when the firm merged and became known as PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC).  He was a partner from 1988 until 2001 at PW and PwC.  He decided a change was needed and started a tax and business consulting business of his own in 2001 until he joined Reynolds Bone & Griesbeck of Memphis in 2009.  He remained at RB&G specially is taxes, mergers and acquisitions, and gift and estate planning until just recently, when he retired from the practice of public accounting to become the CFO for CBHS.

Tom is married to Barbara (Kearney) and they have five daughters, a son (’99) and three grandchildren.  Travel is generally directed to visits of the out-of-town children who live in Baltimore, Chicago and Jackson, MS.  Although time does not allow much anymore, Tom enjoys hiking and backpacking in the Rocky Mountains (or other elevations over 7,000 feet).  Locally, he enjoys playing golf.

Tom currently serves on the boards of the Chickasaw Council of the Boy Scouts and SRVS of Memphis.  In addition to CBHS, Tom has served on the boards of ICCS, the Memphis Chapter of the TSCPAs, and the alumni board of the University of Memphis.  Over the years, he has spoken on various tax and investment topics and has taught numerous continuing education classes at PW.


Natasha Sublette is very excited to have joined the CBHS family!  Both of her younger brothers and her husband graduated from Christian Brothers High School, so she feels right at home.  She grew up in Memphi and attended St. Agnes Academy (K-12). Natasha has a B.S. in Psychology from Spring Hill College and a M.S. in Community Agency Counseling from University of Memphis. After a brief stint as a residential treatment counselor at Youth Villages, she was given the opportunity to work as a counselor and a teacher at Immaculate Conception High School. She quickly learned that she LOVES being in the school setting!  When her husband’s job relocated us to Tampa, Florida, she enjoyed her time there being an elementary school counselor. After taking several years off to do the best job of all –MOM—she returned to work as a school counselor at St. Michael School, a place near and dear to her heart.

Her husband, Bill, and Natasha are blessed with three wonderful boys: Duncan (sophomore at CBHS), William (8th grade, St. Dominic) and Luke (4th grade, St. Dominic).  Most days you will either find them on a field, in a gym, or driving to/from a myriad of other boy-related activities. They are constantly amazed at the joy and happiness that comes from raising these fine young fellows!  It is always an adventure.

In her spare time (ha!), Natasha loves to be outdoors, read, run (well, let’s be honest, jog), and spend time with her adorable rescue pups, Lucy and Daisy. The family is very active in their parish, Church of the Holy Spirit, where Natasha is a PRE teacher for grades 1-2. Few things are more rewarding than teaching about our beautiful faith.

In July, Natasha began working at Christian Brothers High School as the Assistant Director of Admissions. "It has been an exciting fall!  This school is so full of energy and enthusiasm. Talk about an adventure…never a dull moment!  It has been so amazing to be behind the scenes and see all the dedication and hard work of our faculty, staff, and students.  So, as a proud mom, wife, sister, and now employee of CBHS, I can honestly see how great it is to be a Brothers’ Boy!"





From Mike Kelly, Director of Athletics

We are very proud of our Student-Athletes who signed National Letters of Intent to continue their Academic and Athletic career at the next level. Our signing ceremony occurred on Wednesday, November 9 in Heffernan Hall.

You might have missed a GREAT event on Tuesday, November 29 as we hosted our first ever Wrestling match in the Brothers Development Center. An overflow crowd helped create a spirited environment as Brothers Wrestling emerged victorious.

While we take time to celebrate the True meaning of Christmas, it definitely is not a Christmas Break for our Coaches and Athletes. Our Winter teams compete around the country during this time and our Spring squads will continue their preparations.

 Upcoming Key Dates for December:


Dec. 6 vs Bolton (at Bolton), 7:30 pm
Dec. 9 vs Baptist Prep (Bartlett), 8:00 pm
Dec. 10 vs Brentwood Acad. (Bartlett), 2:00 pm
Dec. 12 vs Harding (Harding), 7:30 pm
Dec. 19-21 Harding Holiday Tournament
Dec. 27-29 Ft. Walton Beach Blowout


Dec. 8 vs Bartlett (Bartlett), 6:00 pm
Dec. 10 Farmington Duals Farmington, MO
Dec. 16-17 KC StampedeKansas City, MO
Dec. 29-30 Holiday Tournament Granite City, IL


From Jeff Blancett, Director of Counseling Services

It seems as though just yesterday we were just starting off a new school year and yet, here we are looking at the end of the first semester. Although December is a short month regarding the number of days that we are in school, those few days are very valuable to your son’s overall academic performance.

Semester exams will begin on December 13th and continue through December 16th.  Below is the exam schedule.



8:00 – 9:15

9:20 – 10:35

Dec. 13th


1st Period

2nd Period

Dec. 14th


3rd Period

4th Period

Dec. 15th


5th Period

6th Period

Dec. 16th


7th Period

8th Period

Please remember that the semester exams will count for 20% of the total semester grade.

We have one week before the exams begin.  Please encourage your son to begin studying for the exams now. Studying 20 or 30 minutes each day for each exam will pay huge dividends rather than “cramming” the night before.

December is also the month when students will have access to the PSAT/NMSQT (sophomores and juniors) or PSAT 8/9 (freshmen) that they took in October.  Students can login to the College Board website beginning December 12th to view their scores. Click on the link below to get to the student login page. 

The next ACT is December 10th.  The registration deadline for that testing date has passed.  The first ACT for the Spring semester is February 11th.  The registration deadline for the February ACT is January 13th

From the counseling staff at CBHS, we hope that you all have a safe and happy holiday season and enjoy the time with friends and family. 

From the entire CBHS counseling staff, we hope that you all have a safe and enjoyable Christmas holidays.

The CBHS Counselors


From: Lindsey Neuman, Lasallian Animator

Words from St. John Baptist de la Salle

“God inspires us to walk in the footsteps of his Son.” 

The Brothers’ Way

The young boys who enter CBHS are challenged to grow into young men of faith and character. Throughout their experience as a Brothers’ Boy they will learn about the Brothers’ Way—a set of virtues that each Brothers’ Boy should embody in his life. Each month throughout the school year, teachers and students will focus on a different virtue in order to expand their understanding of themselves and the world around them. These virtues each connects to one of the 5 Lasallian Core Principles.

During the months of December and January, we focus specifically the Lasallian principle—Concern for the Poor and Social Justice. Throughout December, we will discuss the virtue of sacrifice and how through sacrifice we can show our concern for those who are less fortunate than us. As a part of the holiday season, the students will participate in a mission collection to raise money for the Mid-South Food Bank as a part of their food drive. During advisory, students will discuss small sacrifices they can make in their lives to donate to this collection. Take some time this month to discuss with your son how small sacrifices can be used to benefit others. Also, ask them to consider how the holiday season provides us an opportunity to give to others and show our concern for those who have less through sacrifice.



Prayer of Sacrifice

Dear God, I humbly come before you today in appreciation for all that you have done for me. Thank you, Jesus, for your sacrifice so that I may be reconciled to God and set free from the bondage of sin. Thank you for enduring so much suffering on my behalf. I pray that I will have the same kind of strength to endure life for your sake, in your name I pray. Amen.

Lasallian Youth

Lasallian Youth will be serving at the St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen on Saturday, December 10 from 8:30-11. To sign up to join the group that morning, email Mr. Perry at


December Mass

During the month of December, we will celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on Thursday, December 8. We will be on a morning assembly schedule that day.

Thursday Morning Mass

We will continue offering Mass every Thursday morning at 7:20 am in the Brothers’ chapel. Each week the Mass will be offered for the intentions of a different organization or team on campus, but all are welcome to attend.

Thursday, December 1, Mass will be offered for the intentions of members of Osmund House.

Lasallian Fact

325 years ago on November 21, 1691, John Baptist de La Salle, and two of his principal brothers, Nicholas Vuyart and Gabriel Drolin, professed the ‘The Heroic Vow’, to remain together in society even if they would have to beg and live on bread alone. This vow was monumental in maintaining the mission of the brothers of the Christian schools that de La Salle began. As Lasallians, we remember the faith in God’s Providence that John Baptist de La Salle and his early brothers had that has allowed the Lasallian community to spread internationally today.

St. John Baptist de La Salle. Pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts. Forever.


From Tim O'Kane, Assistant Dean of Students

Status of Clash II:
Clash II will close Friday December 9th.  We have one trivia event left and are still tallying the Theater attendance, Wrestling and the Food Drive.  The students also have a few more days to get their advisory to all tie bow ties.

Class II updated

Rock Wall (November 17):

The BLC held a rock climbing challenge on November 17 after school.  Houses nominated one member per grade level to compete in the challenge.  The Brothers showed support for each other and had a great time.


Thanksgiving Reflection for Advisories (November 22):

The Campus Ministry team held a Thanksgiving Reflection coupled with an Advisory Activity to promote brotherhood.  The event was held during the morning assembly period and started with a reflection followed by several team building activities so that the students could continue to build their House identity and grow closer.  Although some were skeptical at first, there was a lot of good feedback after the event.  A lot of credit goes to the student advisors for making this event a success.  This was an opportunity for them to develop some leadership skills as they led both the reflection and the team building activities.

Small group discussion:


The human knot:


Bow Tie Challenge (November 15, ongoing):

The students participated in the Bow Tie Challenge during an Advisory period.  The challenge was for all students in their Advisory Class to be able to tie a bow tie.  Successful Advisories earned 30 points per grade for a total of 120 possible points in the Clash.  Please encourage your son (and help him if necessary) to learn how to tie a bow tie.  It’s a skill they may not learn elsewhere!

Wrestling Dual Meet (November 29):

This was the first sporting event at the BDC and the Brothers Boys packed the house!  Abban House hosted a pizza party for their house before hand to encourage participation.  We also had a basketball game at Houston High that night which was also well attended.