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The La Salle Falconer

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Celebrating Lasallian Education, Annual Heroic Vow Ceremony Takes Place

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  • Lasallian Educator of the Year and math teacher Mr. Linus Oey is appreciative of all the work students and staff did to show their gratitude for his dedication to the community. “I think that’s really special to me,” he said.

  • To surprise Mr. Oey, the Trail Blazers stunt team, which Mr. Oey coaches, paraded into the gym chanting: “Mr. Oey!”

  • When the stunt team made their entrance into the gym Mr. Oey was shocked. “It was hilarious,” he said. “They are a huge part of my life and to have them just show up, they shocked me and I loved it.”

  • In their speech to celebrate Mr. Oey, teachers Ms. Kristin Boyle and Ms. Carie Coleman dressed up in Halloween costumes that Mr. Oey had worn in previous years.

  • Mr. Oey has been a part of the La Salle community for more than 30 years.

  • Former La Salle president and principal Mr. Andrew Kuffner spoke about his time working alongside Mr. Oey in the math department.

  • Seniors received medals to signify their commitment to the Lasallian mission after taking the Heroic Vow.

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In an annual tradition that always happens around this time in November, students and staff of La Salle, as well as some other guests, once again filed into the Brick Oven on Wednesday, Nov. 15, to celebrate the Heroic Vow ceremony and Lasallian Educator of the year — this year being math teacher Mr. Linus Oey

To kick off the recognition of Mr. Oey’s dedication to the Lasallian mission, speeches were given by staff and alumni.  First was former president Mr. Andrew Kuffner, who spoke about his time working with Mr. Oey, starting in 1996, and what it means to be a Lasallian. Following Mr. Kuffner’s speech, a prerecorded video speech was given by La Salle alum Nyah Torbert, who despite not actually being in one of Mr. Oey’s classes, was greatly impacted by his caring nature, as she was a good friend of Mr. Oey’s daughter. Finally, teachers Ms. Carie Coleman and Ms. Kristin Boyle spoke together in their appreciation for Mr. Oey and what he does for the community. 

“I absolutely loved it,” Mr. Oey said. “It was heartwarming to hear some of the people and to see some of the old teachers. A good handful of old teachers that were here when I first started teaching were here … and I loved that they came. A lot of them drove a long ways to get here for that, so that made me feel really good.” 

Mr. Oey gave a speech of his own — with standing ovations from the entire crowd both before and after his speech —  reflecting on his 30-plus years spent in the La Salle community, which he refers to as his family. 

After the Lasallian Educator of the year award celebrations, the attention shifted to the seniors and new staff, who took the Heroic Vow pledge. 

New staff were asked to respond “I will” to: 

  • Will you recognize the presence of God in all you do?
  • Will you act as a role model to your students, challenging them to live according to the principles of a Lasallian community? 
  • Will you recognize that you are a part of a La Salle family, and that comes with the responsibility of being older brothers and sisters to their students? 

Seniors were asked to respond “I will” to: 

  • Will you carry on the Lasallian call to remember the presence of God, value the individual, except everyone, and respect all people? 
  • Will you call upon the virtue of zeal and push your limits to respond to anyone experiencing poverty to overcome injustice? 
  • Will you continue to prepare for life utilizing the quality education you have received and continue to seek truth in all things? 

“I mean, basically, we’re asking the teachers to be big brothers and big sisters to the students,” said Director of Faith Programs & Campus Ministry Ms. Sarah Maher. “But we are also asking seniors to be big brothers and big sisters to the underclassmen.” She also notes that staff and seniors are vowing to follow the Lasallian core principles, which can be seen throughout the school, but most notably on the banners hanging in the main hallway.

Senior Bella Hanna-Barofsky said that to her taking the Heroic Vow shows her commitment to being a Lasallian and means that she is taking the next step in life, while taking the Lasallian principles wherever she goes. She plans to carry this vow forward by “being good to others, like helping others whenever I can later in life, whether it’s through service or just acts of kindness,” she said. 

The Heroic Vow ceremony has been a longstanding tradition in the La Salle community. It began in the ‘90s when the school no longer had Lasallian brothers serving at the school, but the administration wanted to continue the tradition and mission that De La Salle had started over 300 years ago at the time, even in their absence. 

“I think it represents the importance of community in a Lasallian school,” Ms. Maher said. “That of course all teachers love their students, but we believe in the Lasallian tradition that it is a big brother and big sister, so its relationships first, more than anything.” 

Ms. Maher feels that highlighting a teacher who exemplifies the Lasallian values is inspiring to the community and that the ceremony shows that the seniors — and in turn all students — are a part of the mission as well. 

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