Wright feels right at home at BC

By Noell Barnidge
As the new administrative assistant at Benedictine Military School, Ursula Jones Wright is the first person visitors see when they enter Benedictine Military School’s academic building. She recently replaced Lori Saunders, who retired after more than 10 years of service to BC. Being the first BC representative whom people encounter, whether it’s in person or by telephone, is a vital role that Wright gracefully executes.

“It’s not even been quite two weeks yet,” Wright said during a Sept. 19 interview in between bites of her lunch at her desk. “The biggest challenge I have right now is learning names to go with faces. There have been a few times when somebody might walk in and ask for someone who is actually standing right there and I don’t realize that that’s the person standing right there.

“I think the best part is how warm the parents are when they come in,” she continued. “They’re very welcoming. Other than that, it’s just learning. It’s a different type of office from what I came from.”

Wright came to BC from Georgetown K-8 School in Savannah, where she worked for 13 years. She began as a paraprofessional, a teacher’s aide, and eventually moved into the front office as an administrative assistant.

Wright is no stranger to Benedictine. Two of her four children are BC graduates. Her eldest child, Nick, 27 (BC Class of 2010), attended Mercer University on a wrestling scholarship and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in technical communications. He is pursuing a master’s degree at Georgia State University. Her second child, Nigel, 22 (BC Class of 2014), is majoring in civil engineering at the University of Georgia. Daughter Nadia, 21 (St. Vincent’s Academy Class of 2016), is majoring in biology at Kennesaw State University, and Nathan, 17, is enrolled in a home-school program.

Born and raised in Savannah, Wright grew up attending Catholic schools. She attended Sacred Heart School “which is no more. It’s actually the building that was the original BC on Bull Street,” she said. “And before that, I went to a school called St. Mary’s, which is no more as well. I’m Catholic through and through.”

Wright, then Ursula Jones, graduated from St. Vincent’s Academy in 1985. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Savannah State University in 1990. In 1991, she married Craig Wright, whom she met when they were 12 years old, and started a family. They’re celebrating 28 years of marriage this year. Craig is a chemical engineer at Fuji Vegetable Oil in Savannah. He served as a Navy lieutenant for six years, was stationed aboard the USS Saratoga, and served a tour of duty in Operation Desert Storm.

Although Craig graduated from Windsor Forest High School, Wright always envisioned her sons becoming BC Cadets.

“As a parent, I think it started when I was at Saint Vincent’s,” she said. “There was just a certain brotherhood that I saw among the guys that I knew who went to BC. And I had a few friends whose brothers went to BC. I would ride with (a friend) to pick them up so I would see the guys and the way they would hang out together. There was just a certain solidarity that I like to see. And, of course, the discipline.”

Wright, whose parents and sister live in Savannah, said she cherishes the opportunity to work at 6502 Seawright Drive after being part of the BC family for many years as a BC mom.

“Professionally, I love the fact that it’s a very calming atmosphere,” she said. “Everybody looks out for one another. Everybody takes care of one another. You don’t find yourself alone or trying to figure something out alone. If you can’t figure it out then (BC) will help you find a way. I love the technology. I love the (security) camera system. Even my boys, when I told them about it, were excited. They love that. Just, how much (BC) has advanced. It’s come a long way. I can easily see myself here for quite some time.”