Alumni Team Up to Extend Classroom Traditions Into Book
University of St. Thomas alumna and principal of St. Rose of Lima Catholic School, Bernadette Drabek ’05, M.Ed. ’13, published a children’s book, “If the Moon,” based on her experience as a teacher.
What started out as a trick to get kids to eat their lunch turned into an interactive school tradition and now a book.
“I was a teacher in pre-kindergarten, years before I became principal at St. Rose of Lima Catholic School,” Drabek said. “It was always a challenge to get four-year-olds to eat their lunch in the cafeteria while I was on lunch duty. One day, I came up with a silly saying, ‘If the moon was made out of _____, would you eat it?’ The students would laugh and to my surprise, eat their lunch.”
The watercolor illustration in the children’s book was created by Jonathan Jones ’15, UST graduate and first-grade teacher’s aide at St. Rose. “It’s very exciting and rewarding,” Jones said. “Creating the artwork was enjoyable but not without its difficulties. It was a challenge to come up with a fully illustrated page based off of one or two lines of text. However, that process was aided by being able to have constant dialogue with Mrs. Drabek. The skills I developed at UST helped enhance my natural talent and undoubtedly helped me bring our first book to life.”
The book, released in June, is available on multiple online platforms such as Amazon and MascotBooks.com.
UST Alumnus Becomes New Chief Prosecutor
John Bradley ’81 took the oath of office as the criminal chief prosecutor in the Office of the Attorney General in July 2019.
Bradley’s territory is the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Saipan, an unincorporated territory of the United States in the Northwest Pacific Ocean, “where America starts its day,” he said.
“I previously worked as the attorney general for the Republic of Palau after retiring from serving as the elected district attorney in Williamson County, Texas,” Bradley said. “I’m specializing in island-based jobs now.”
Bradley said his education at UST enhanced his career. He studied English, which gave him a lifelong love of the written word and provided him with the skills to read and write in the legal field without losing his humanity.
He also met a biology major, Leslie Brahney, who became his wife and partner in travels.
“Her similar Catholic education and background provided a solid foundation for raising three kids and having a 38-year marriage that is still surprising me,” he said.
The many international students at UST also educated him to a world outside Texas.
“It prepared me for the adaptation and tolerance needed for work on isolated Pacific islands,” he said.
UST Alumna Recognized as 2019 Women on the Move Honoree
Soledad Tanner, MIB ’02, founded a business and financial management firm, Soledad Tanner Consulting. The growing firm improves profit and productivity of businesses through extensive international experience in finance and controlling; strategy and consulting; and performance and metrics in the global logistics and banking industries.
“We help entrepreneurs and small business owners to become financially literate, increase profit and productivity and stay competitive in the marketplace,” Tanner said.
Tanner was recognized as a 2019 Women on the Move honoree by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.
Nominated by Texas Executive Women, Tanner was among nine other women who also received certificates of recognition by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Texas State Senator Carol Alvarado and U.S. Rep. Sylvia R. Garcia.
Tanner said the education she provides to clients can lead to a life of adventure and growth.
“Particularly for me, this is about the financial sector,” Tanner said. “When we’re educated about how our money works, we can make better decisions about how to grow it. Having a business gives you a sense of pride when you see that you’re growing it and making an impact.”