Below are the speeches I gave at the 2017 graduation of Bishop Kelley High School. It took place on May 20, 2017 at the Donald W. Reynolds Center at the University of Tulsa.
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
Out of an extraordinarily talented group of students, this year’s recipient represents the best of Bishop Kelley High School both on and off campus. In the spiritual life of the school, in athletics, and in many other activities, he gives his all when people are watching and when they are not. An Eagle Scout, Boys State representative, Link Crew leader, Search retreat Co-Director, a leader on Kairos and member of the basketball and track teams, this young man has high ideals and strives to live them out every day.
One of his teachers described him as having “incredible perseverance, a calm presence and a quiet intensity.” I saw that first hand one Friday night at a basketball game in Owasso. On a strong drive to the basket, he was hit hard and went to the floor, banging his head on the hard court surface. He was temporarily knocked out and hand to be transported by ambulance to a local hospital. After getting stitched up and being cleared to go home, he asked the doctor if he could go back and watch the game. The doctor said “yes” and he headed back to watch his teammates defeat Owasso in double overtime. Although he wasn’t on the floor, it didn’t diminish his happiness for his teammates on a great win.
He is hardworking and polite. He is a positive and conscientious student. He is passionate and deeply spiritual confiding to friends that he has a desire to serve humanity, perhaps as a priest or as a member of the state highway patrol. Throughout his junior and senior year, he took seriously his role as a mentor of younger students, not to build his resume but because he genuinely cared and wanted everyone to be as passionate about his high school as he is.
A graduate of All Saints Catholic School in Broken Arrow and a future OSU Cowboy, he is a gentlemen in every sense of the word. He is a young man who is proud to be a Comet, it gives me great joy to present the 2017 Bishop’s Medal to Mr. Ryan Roy.
Alongside honoring a student who embodies the spirit of Bishop Kelley High School, we also take time 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 loved to teach. He loved Jesus Christ and that love of Jesus inspired him to teach young people and to encourage others to do the same. The Lasallian charism founded by St. John Baptist De La Salle is now in 82 countries educating over a one million students a year.
The De La Salle award goes to a 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 has the respect of her peers and students alike. She brings a personal touch to her teaching allowing students to not just tolerate Math but to embrace it and to love it. She knows that math isn’t everyone’s favorite subject and that it often comes with difficulty but she works hard, meeting every student where they are to give them that boost of confidence they need. She is kind hearted, compassionate, and helpful to students and colleagues alike.
As Chair of the Math Department she has shepherded her faculty to strive for excellence leading to higher test scores and more diverse offerings across the curriculum meeting the needs of a diverse group of learners. This includes including our new concurrent enrollment initiative and increased summer offerings for students who struggle or who want to get ahead.
Now finishing her 13th year of teaching at BK, she’s also the loving mother of two BK grads and one current student. She dedicates herself to her craft, she loves her students, her colleagues, her subject and our school. She is the kind of educator that St. John Baptist de La Salle would observe and say “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” It’s my distinct privilege to present the 2017 De La Salle Award to Mrs. Susan Edmonson.