Graduation 2014- Presentation of the Bishop’s Medal and De La Salle Faculty Awards

May 24, 2014

 Each year the Bishop’s Medal is given to one Bishop Kelley senior who exemplifies the following qualities:

-They contribute to the life and the spirit of the school

-They share their gifts and talents with other members of the Bishop Kelley community

-They represent the ideals and goals of Bishop Kelley High School

-They show genuine concern for others

-They witnesses to Gospel values and exemplify excellence in academic performance

This year’s recipient has made the most of his Bishop Kelley experience. He has worked hard and involved himself in virtually every aspect of the school.  He took advantage of the opportunities set before him and he has encouraged others to realize their talents and gifts.  A true gentleman in every way, he’s has overcome much in his young life and next year he is headed to college!  One teacher said of him, “It’s one of the greatest 4 year transformations I have witnessed during my career.”  During his time at Bishop Kelley he has participated in football, soccer, Link Crew and was a manager for the baseball team.  He was involved in the KAIROS retreat program where he shared his love for the Lord in a powerful way.  This year he stepped on to the stage and was involved in our musical, “The Music Man.”  During the summers, he worked on the Bishop Kelley maintenance crew to help pay his tuition.  Always the example, he was an outstanding leader of his freshmen in the Link Crew orientation program. He was ever present at Bishop Kelley sporting events cheering on his classmates and coaches. He is a pillar of spiritual strength in our community and is looked up to by peers and teachers alike. You cannot encounter this young man without leaving with a smile.  A graduate of San Miguel School, he is a “cheerful giver” whose academic life saw a dramatic improvement throughout his four years.   Just last year he took the time to go back to San Miguel and share with the 8th graders there his wisdom on how to succeed in high school.  He shared with them the temptations of the neighborhood from which he came and told them to get involved early and to not be afraid to share your God given gifts. He is thoughtful. Spanish teacher Maggie Gabel told me that after she gave birth to her 1st child, he showed up in her class with a Mother’s Day card.

He is one who has truly taken advantage of the BK experience. He leaves Bishop Kelley better than he found it and for that we are grateful. It’s my pleasure to present the 2014 Bishop’s Medal to Mr. Jayro Torres.


Alongside honoring a student who embodies the spirit of Bishop Kelley High School, we also take a moment to honor a faculty member who lives out in their daily life the spirit of the founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, St. John Baptist De La Salle.  De La Salle was a 17th century French priest who reached out to young people in need.  Inspired by his faith in Jesus Christ, De La Salle taught young people that we continually live in God’s presence and our lives should be conducted accordingly.  Each year at graduation, we present the De La Salle award to the faculty member who:

-witnesses to Gospel principles and values

-who is dedicated to the moral, spiritual, physical, and emotional development of the student

-who is actively involved with students

-who contributes to the educational growth and development of Bishop Kelley High School and

-who exemplifies a spirit of faith and zeal characterized in the life of St. John Baptist De La Salle

This year’s recipient is a true Lasallian.  She is selfless, kind, and joyful.  In the way she conducts herself in her classroom, in the hallways and everywhere, she brings with her the “Joy of the Gospel.”  As a teacher in our World Languages Department, she puts her language skills and cultural knowledge to work by translating documents and translating in meetings with many of our Spanish speaking families.  She helps bridge the cultural divide that some students and families experience when they first come to Bishop Kelley.  Because of her, students and families feel welcomed and a part of this great community. 

In the classroom she teaches AP Spanish, Spanish II, III, and Advanced Conversation.  She has high expectations of her students and many go on to achieve high scores on AP exams and even to major in Spanish in college.  She has been involved in Lasallian Youth, Kairos, Senior Suppers, and has taken students on trips abroad.  At Bishop Kelley dances, she and her husband Philip have been known to show the students how it’s really done as they take over the dance floor!  In addition to caring for her students, she loves and reaches out to her colleagues as well in their times of need. When you encounter this educator you come away knowing that you are loved.  If you are a student in her class you know that she cares for your success in Spanish but also in life.  She embodies the best of Bishop Kelley High School and if St. John Baptist de La Salle were here today, he would call her one of his own. It a joy to present the 2014 De La Salle Award to Mrs. Maria Monhaut!



About Rev. Brian O'Brien

Priest of the Diocese of Tulsa and President of Bishop Kelley High School in Tulsa, OK.
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