In addition to honoring the graduating seniors and announcing the 2019 “DeLaSalle Award” and “Islander Award” recipients, the year-end convocation provided an opportunity for multiple recognitions of DeLaSalle’s heritage and student accomplishment.
Reception of the Relic
The assembly began with a prayerful moment, as the school received a relic of the Founder of the Christian Brothers and the namesake of our school, St. Jean Baptiste de La Salle.
From the stage, Vice President for Lasallian Ministry, Ms. Peg Hodapp, explained the meaning behind DeLaSalle’s hosting of the relic this week, a symbolic connector between our school and other Lasallian schools of the Twin Cities, as well as the worldwide Lasallian mission and ministries.. “As part of the Lasallian Jubilee year and the celebrations in honor of the 300th Anniversary of the Founder’s entry into eternal life, the Christian Brothers Midwest District has organized a Pilgrimage of a Relic of Saint John Baptist de La Salle. The idea behind the pilgrimage is to create a connection between every Midwest ministry and to provide an opportunity to reflect on our Lasallian tradition.’
“Each ministry of the District is participating in the pilgrimage of the Founder. For the last several weeks, the relic has moved throughout the ministries in Minnesota including Holy Family, Totino-Grace, Cretin Derham Hall, Benilde St Margaret’s and St. Mary’s University. Today we receive the first-class relic of St. LaSalle…. The relic will be housed in the glass case on the second floor of the B-Building. It is appropriate throughout the week to pause at the relic and offer a prayer. Theology teachers have or will offer further explanation.’
Introduction of 2019-20 Student Leadership
This final assembly of the school afforded an opportunity to formally introduce the newly elected leaders of the 2019-20 Student Council and National Honor Society.
The new co-presidents of Student Council, Rayo Daniel `20 and Jalen Travis `20, were acknowledged by outgoing leaders, Julia Brand `19 and Aidan Scott `19. Joining Rayo and Jalen on the 2019-20 Student Council Executive Board are Evie Kaznessis ‘21 (secretary); Bolu Ilelalboye ‘21 (treasurer); and Hannah Omodt ‘20 (public relations).
National Honor society moderators, Ms. Brenda Wagner and Ms. Keely Wojda, were joined by current officers Quinn Johnson `19, Sasha Kenigsberg `19, Indigo Rudduck `19, and Darlington Yonly `19. They introduced the newly –elected National Honor Society officers for 2019-20: Sydney Riley `20 (president), Hannah Omodt `20 (vice president), Eleanor Snee `20 (secretary), and Henry Fisher `20 (treasurer).
Three Students Recognized for Exceptional Service – the Giving Tree program
Mr CJ Hallman, who manages the DeLaSalle Christian Service program, took to the podium to recognize the exceptional service work of the 2018-19 “Giving Tree” honorees – Jeno Broschofsky `19, Eoghan Gartner `19 and Bolu Ilelalboye ’21.
The Giving Tree program, established in 2009 by DeLaSalle benefactors, Tom `56 and Debbie Healey, highlights and recognizes students that go well beyond the 60-hour Christian Service requirement for graduation. By designing and leading an original service project, or by going above and beyond the total hours of the service requirement, students are recognized as a “Giving Tree” recipient. Their names are engraved on the Giving Tree artwork located in the A-building lobby.
It doesn’t stop with this recognition alone. To honor the exceptional service and to create a “pay it forward” model of support, other students at DeLaSalle will receive need-based financial assistance from the benefactors. This is done anonymously (the student doing the service will not know the student receiving the financial assistance), but the allocation of financial support is directly connected to the kindness and generous donation of time and service offered by Jeno, Eoghan, and Bolu during the year.
Jeno Broschofsky working with his parish, Immaculate Conception, set up a donation drive of athletic equipment for kids who otherwise could not afford cleats, shin guards and pads, hockey sticks and more. Jeno collected significant amounts of equipment, as well as financial donations, and was able to help dozens of young kids in northeast Minneapolis, Columbia Heights, and other communities.
Eoghan Gartner has become a stalwart of Vacation Bible School programming in his church, Annunciation. Starting as an aide several years ago, Eoghan is now assistant director of the program, providing volunteer support for kids of all ages throughout each summer.
A top DeLaSalle chess player, Bolu Ilelaboye, has now helped bring the game to children in his family’s home country of Nigeria. Setting out to provide new chess boards and equipment, Bolu set up multiple fundraising opportunities, purchased the equipment, and accompanied by his mother, University of Minnesota professor Dr. Abimbola Osojo, returned to Nigeria to deliver the supplies and then teach the game to dozens of children in a school.