District Announces 2014 Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award Recipients
NAPA, California (October 9, 2014)
The District of San Francisco New Orleans has announced that Mr. Tony Behan and Mr. Ed O’Connor have been named its recipients of the 2014 Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award. The announcement was made by District Office of Education directors Mr. Gery Short and Mr. Charles Legendre.
Mr. Behan and Mr. O’Connor each will be presented the Award at the 41st Huether Lasallian Conference, which will be held November 20-22 in Chicago.
Mr. Tony Behan is Lead Theology Teacher and Campus Minister at De La Salle High School in New Orleans, LA, where he has worked as a Lasallian educator since 2004. He has an MA in Theological Studies from Notre Dame Seminary, New Orleans and currently is in the doctoral program at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. In nominating Mr. Behan for the Award, his colleagues at De La Salle High School stated:
“Its as if Tony never stops thinking about students and their tomorrows. And in doing so, he gives them todays filled with life changing experiences of service, of leadership, of prayer, and of hope. He has been recognized by the Anti-Defamation League as the Educator of the Year in 2013, a rare tribute for a Catholic school religion teacher. He uses the Holocaust to teach students about the value of life and the need for good people to stand up against evil. He is organizing a service experience to Nicaragua next summer based on a trip he took with two other teachers earlier this year. Tony is always searching for meaningful ways to involve our young people in planning and designing their own experiences of faith. As a result, he and our senior student leaders conducted the most effective senior retreat in recent school memory. His innovative approach to the five core principles led our school to the ONE BOOK project, engaging students, faculty, administration, and board in reading and sharing the same book about a topic that advances justice in our school and community. At every turn, he challenges the conventional definitions of Campus Minister and enlivens our lives, our spirits, and our school family.”
Mr. Ed O’Connor is a Religious Studies Instructor and Director of Student Life at La Salle High School in Pasadena, CA, where he has worked as a Lasallian educator since 1995. He has an MA in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University, Chicago and an MA in Educational Leadership from the University of San Francisco. His nomination by his colleagues at La Salle High School reads in part:
“Mr. Ed O’Connor’s passion has been to work with young men and women as they discern their goals, vocation and involvement within the Church. This passion made him the ideal choice to lead, what was then called, Campus Ministry at La Salle High School. As the environment of effective and relevant Campus Ministry evolved over the last two decades, Ed decided to merge Campus Ministry with the ASB program. He believed that both programs would benefit from close interaction with each other. He was particularly concerned that the values of Campus Ministry shape and inform the activities of student government. As a way of emphasizing this priority, he named the merged programs Student Life. This was more than just a change in names; it was a true evolution in which the primary goal of Student Life is now understood to be the active involvement and engagement of the entire student body…Along with his work at La Salle, he has led the development of the annual District’s summer Lasallian Student Leadership Program since its inception in 1998. He also serves as a support and mentor to those involved in campus ministry, student life, and student leadership programs in schools across the District.”
The Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award honors an educator who exemplifies the ideals of St. John Baptist de La Salle, Patron of Christian Teachers of Youth. Educators from each District in the Lasallian Region of North America (RELAN) are selected by their ministries and recognized for their exceptional work as leaders among faculty and students.