The District of Eastern North America is proud to present the 2016 Distinguished Lasallian Educators
Each year The Brothers of the Christian Schools of the Lasallian Region of North America recognize Lasallian Educators for their outstanding work and dedication to the charism of Saint La Salle, with the Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award at the annual Huether Lasallian Conference. This year in Chicago, IL, with the focus on The Good Samaritan: Confronting New Poverties in the 21st Century, these three educators will be honored for their dedication to the Lasallian family.
Ms. Jennifer Robinson Edwards
Assistant Director – Campus Ministry and Social Action
Manhattan College – Riverdale, NY
Jenn is an extraordinarily effective and passionate Lasallian educator, a well-known and beloved mentor who nurtures and challenges students as they discover their gifts, talents, and vocation to be of service to others. While she is the “Director” of the L.O.V.E. program, in reality she is the “Lasallian heart and soul” of this profoundly transformative experience. Jenn’s work directly speaks to this year’s Huether theme, “The Good Samaritan: Confronting New Poverties in the 21st Century.” LOVE trips are a conscious attempt to enter into the lives, experiences and issues of the poor and marginalized. They provide opportunities to experience mercy and compassion while challenging the unjust structures that exclude and oppress. Jenn adeptly brings together texts, documentaries, and Scripture to provide students with tools to understand and experience issues of power and privilege, race, class, and oppression, the commodification of migrants, the urban and rural poor, and the needs of youth and the elderly – both domestically and internationally.
When Jenn’s son was about six months old, she participated in the first LOVE and LIFT program. During her reflection time, Jenn spoke eloquently about her hopes for her son, how she wants him to realize his privilege in our society and to become a boy, adolescent and man who is loving, compassionate and concerned with justice for others. Her hopes for her son are reflected in her hopes for the students entrusted to her care.
With deep gratitude and appreciation for her 11 years of service at Manhattan College and for the Lasallian Mission it gives me great pleasure to announce Jennifer Edwards Robinson as a Distinguished Lasallian Educator from the District of Eastern North America for 2016.
Mr. Anthony Shilen
Teacher, Natural Science
St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute – Buffalo, NY
While science may be Tony’s starting base for educating young men, it is all of his other pursuits that make him an outstanding role model and mentor. Anthony pours his heart and soul into promoting Gospel values in the St. Joe’s community. His faith sharing on Kairos retreats, leadership of the CRS partner group, accompaniment of students on immersion trips to the Romero Center in Camden, co-coordinating the Food Basket drive to support rural poor, tutoring at Buffalo Prep (a school for economically disadvantaged students), or developing an online Social Justice course, Tony engages young people in understanding the political and economic forces at the root cause of social problems.
The words of his colleagues best reveal who Tony is:
- a gentle man who whose inner light is the light of faith with a clear understanding of the presence of God.
- Tony is an authentic, faithful, man of integrity, influenced by his own sense of zeal.
- He believes in the need for just solutions to issues of poverty and the destruction of our environment
- Tony works tirelessly towards confronting new poverties
- Mr. Shilen offers students and adults…a clear example of what St. La Salle meant when referring to each child “as if he were the child of a king.”
- He understands the lost and the marginalized, walks with them and leads others to them
With deep gratitude and appreciation for his 13 years of service at St. Joseph Collegiate Institute and for the Lasallian Mission it gives me great pleasure to announce Anthony F. Shilen as a Distinguished Lasallian Educator from the District of Eastern North America for 2016.
Ms. Kate Ward-Gaus
Director, Alcohol and Other Drug Education Program
La Salle University – Philadelphia, PA
In nominating Kate for this recognition, her colleagues focused on her ministerial work at La Salle, especially to the young men and women on their campus. Her particular strength is how she educates young people on the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse, helping them deal with high risk behavior and guiding them toward understanding their limits and making better choices. She accomplishes this through listening, authentic compassion, advice based on research and pedagogy in her field, and insightful and judicious responses to their questions and problems. As a Lasallian educator she meets students where they are and works to bring about constructive behavior change.
As a strong advocate for students who feel marginalized or emotionally at-risk she sees all people as children of God. As one colleague said “She helps victims. She helps survivors. She helps perpetrators. She helps her community. She knows people have hardships and triumphs. And her job is to love them.”
She builds community both at La Salle and in the broader Philadelphia area. She is a person of faith and integrity who unabashedly expresses her zeal for Gospel values. She has a strong commitment to social justice both in the spoken word and in direct action. She “walks the walk” of a Lasallian educator. In essence, she is that “Good Samaritan” that we all strive and hope to be.
With deep gratitude and appreciation for her 13 years of service at La Salle University and for the Lasallian Mission it gives me great pleasure to announce Kate Ward-Gaus as a Distinguished Lasallian Educator from the District of Eastern North America for 2016.
Congratulations to all of the nominees for Distinguished Lasallian Educators Award throughout DENA!
Ms. Lynda Burlon
De La Salle College “Oaklands” – Toronto, Ontario, CN
Mr. David Fitzmaurice
Calvert Hall College High School – Towson, MD
Mr. Terrence Gillespie
La Salle College High School – Wyndmoor, PA
Ms. Jenifer Kish
Christian Brothers Academy – Albany, NY
Ms. Kathleen Kyne
St. John’s College High School – Washington, DC
Mr. Geoff Marcone
La Salle Academy – Providence, RI
Ms. Vivianne Saba
Christian Brothers Academy – Syracuse, NY
Mr. Christopher Shea
Ocean Tides School – Narragansett, RI
Ms. Alicia Ver Hoven
Christian Brothers Academy – Lincroft, NJ
Mr. John Walsh
St. Peter’s Boys High School – Staten Island, NY