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Dear Bishop Kelley Community, The Ambassador Magazine is published by the Bishop Kelley Advancement Office. Rev. Gary Kastl President Doug Thomas Director of Advancement Lauren Hillenberg Director of Communications Katherine Devonshire ’09 Director of Alumni Relations Margaret Jones Advancement Services Coordinator

It is with great joy that I write my first President’s Letter for the Ambassador as we begin this new year and new semester. The month of December was a month of transition within the Bishop Kelley Community as so many said thank you and goodbye to Fr. O’Brien. In the weeks leading up to his departure, Fr. O’Brien stayed true to his dedication to the school as he generously helped in the transition process. Whenever change is introduced into an environment, there is always a mixed bag of uneasiness and excitement about what the new leader will bring to the table. What will change? What will stay the same? These natural questions are only put to rest as time marches on, new relationships are built and trust is established. As I envision my role as President of this school, I see it through the lens of being a pastor, a shepherd, a leader, a collaborative colleague and an ambassador of the school. I desire to learn as I lead and live life alongside of you.

Robin Lewis Advancement Event Coordinator

I am excited to immerse myself in the culture of Bishop Kelley. There is so much to appreciate about the Catholic Mission of this school which is built upon the Lasallian spirituality, a strong academic rigor, the arts, our athletic programs and student life.

Special thanks to: Brother Richard Merkel, Russ Hembrey & BK Journalism students

Inside this edition of the Ambassador you’ll see stories about campus retreats, the communications requirement in our curriculum, alumni involvement in our school today as well as an interview of myself and Principal Jim Franz.

We welcome your submissions and suggestions.

In this spring semester, I will continue with my duties as pastor of St. Anne Catholic Church in Broken Arrow. During this time of double duty my presence at some of the school functions may be limited. I ask for your patience as I complete my parish work and prepare to be full time at BK at the end of June.

Please direct all updates to

Thank you for your prayers and support of our school. May God make us His ambassadors.

Bishop Kelley High School 3905 S. Hudson Ave. Tulsa, OK 74135

Rev. Gary D. Kastl President

Points of Pride Faith

BK students volunteered over 39,000 hours of Christian service last year. Every school day, class and event begins and ends in prayer. More than half of students participate in religious retreats such as SEARCH, KAIROS, and class retreats. BK students volunteer on mission trips within Oklahoma and out–of-state.


BK has a student-teacher ratio of 13:1. Average class size is 19. BK offers 23 Honors and 21 Advanced Placement classes. With 930 students, enrollment is the highest it’s been in 20 years. The Class of 2018 hold a record 270 students. The iConnect program helps students with study and test-taking skills, study hours, and learning strategies. 100% of the Class of 2017 took the ACT; the average score for 235 students was 25.1, the highest in BK’s history. BK’s Academic Bowl Team is the fivetime State Champion and is undefeated this season. National Merit recognized 3 semi-finalists and six commended students in the Class of 2018. Bishop Kelley has had 49 National Merit Finalists in the past six years.

Students received more than $800,000 in annual tuition assistance this year, thanks to generous donors. One-fifth of students receive tuition assistance. Summer credit classes are increasingly popular. Options are: Traveling Oklahoma History, Social Justice in Action, Basic Design, Ecology, Speech I, Personal Financial Literacy, Catholicism and World Religions, Computer Science, Painting I, and Life-time Fitness. BK grads attend Air Force Academy, Boston College, Colorado School of Mines, University of Dallas, Fordham, Notre Dame, Purdue, Rice, Stanford, USC, St. Louis University, Saint Mary’s of Notre Dame, Southern Methodist, Texas Christian, West Point, Vanderbilt, Yale, and area schools such as TU, OSU, OU, and TCC, as well as many others.


BK offers 20 OSSAA sports at the 5A level. 17+ students signed letters of intent to continue their sports in college. Over 11% of students participated in the all-school musical, West Side Story. Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer, Girls Cross Country, Boys Golf and the Spirit Squad are current state champions.

Points of Pride


Interview with New Leadership of Bishop Kelley


Gabby Henry


Patrick Callan


Overcoming Challenges


The Chromebook Standard


38th Annual Auction: The Kelley Derby


How to Start a Club


Class of 1967 Raises $23,000


Trivia Night Recap: Let’s Get Social!


Campus Retreats


Girls are State Champs


Speech Credit


Believe in Kelley Annual Fund


Alumni Updates


Once a Comet, Always a Comet!


Class Reunions


Senior Class Legacy Gift


Blessed Stanley Rother Relics on Campus


Track Dedication for John Heckenkemper


Angelo Prassa Golf Tournament


2017-2018 Musicals


The Catholic Church is committed to protect our children and to help heal those affected by child abuse. As part of a Diocese of Tulsa effort to support a safe environment for all students, Bishop Kelley is working together with the Diocese of Tulsa to prevent child abuse and neglect in our communities and assure that all children have access to safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments. If you were ever abused by anyone who worked for the Catholic Church, please contact 918-307-4970 to share your story and receive help from the Church. 1

An Interview with the New Leadership of Bishop Kelley Get to know the new heads of Bishop Kelley High School: Principal Jim Franz and President Fr. Gary Kastl by Lauren Hillenberg

Hillenberg: Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for the Bishop Kelley community! Can you please start with telling us a little bit about your careers? Kastl: I was ordained on May 26, 2007 by Bishop Slattery. I was assigned Associate Pastor of the Church of St. Mary here in Tulsa from 2007 to 2011. In my first year as a priest, I was one of the co-chaplains of the University of Tulsa Newman Center. After those 4 years, I was pastor of St Pius X for a short time. I was then asked to work full time with the Catholic Leadership Institute, an apostolate in Philadelphia that provides leadership training. I was there for 2 years and then was invited by Bishop Slattery to come home and take the parish of St Anne’s in Broken Arrow and be the pastor of All Saints school in 2013. Franz: I began as a teacher in 1982 in a mission school in the Samoan islands. I was there for 3 years as an English and Theology teacher. I then 2 moved to my first real job

at Holy Cross High School in San Antonio, TX. I worked there for 13 years, 10 of those as the Assistant Principal for academics, and all 13 years as an English teacher. Then I moved to the second job in my life as principal of Bishop Gorman Catholic High School in Tyler, TX for 19 years. Bishop Kelley is the third job I’ve had in my entire life. Hillenberg: Wow. People today don’t stay in one spot long-term, it sounds great to have been part of those communities for so long. Franz: Well, working at a school now where there are people who have been here 40 years, that’s a little intimidating! Hillenberg: What was your impression of the BK community, students and faculty when you first came here? Franz: Warm. Very hospitable. My first interaction with the school was with Fr. O’Brien in November 2016. I asked if I could visit the school for 10 minutes,

and he spent an hour with me. That whole meeting was just an example of how BK is a warm, welcoming community, full of giving, receptive and supportive people. Hillenberg: Fr. Kastl, you were in seminary with Fr. O’Brien. You were, in fact, ordained the same day as him, so you’ve known about Bishop Kelley for quite some time. Kastl: Yes. My impressions were also formed by being a pastor to BK students who were also my parishioners. My interactions with them were always good, they seemed to be well-formed, service-oriented young people. From the sidelines looking at what the school was producing, I had a good sense of how strong the community was. Arriving in this new role and being immersed in the community, I’ve been warmly welcomed. My sense from interactions with the students in the hallway is that they are happy and engaged here. Overall, my

impression is that I’ve inherited a healthy school community, from the administration all the way down to the students. Hillenberg: Has your impression of the school changed since that first meeting? Franz: If anything, I’ve become far more respectful of the type of student who is here. Students at BK are very appreciative and comfortable with teachers and administrators, probably more than I’ve been used to at any other school in which I’ve been involved. In October, we had a homecoming dance downtown, and I was a chaperone. At the end of the dance, I was standing in the hallway as students exited the room, and there were a significant number of them who shook my hand and said “thank you”. I’ve chaperoned many dances in my life, and I don’t think I’ve ever been thanked so much by students before for helping. The fact that it happened many times that evening is astounding

to me. I teach an English class at BK and there is one student in the class who thanks me everyday for teaching. Every day. That’s impressive to me! I’ve taught in really good schools, but the particular student here at BK is kind and respectful in a way that’s extraordinary. Hillenberg: One thing people still have trouble distinguishing between is the role of the principal and the role of the president. Can you describe it to me in your own words? Franz: It’s an important distinction to make. Primarily, the principal’s job is the day-to-day running of the school. I ensure the everyday function of the campus in the way it needs to serve the needs of the students the best that I can. The President’s role is more global, macro. He’s the community representative for this school, he’s charged with the vision and mission of the school.

Kastl: I agree with Jim’s assessment. From the governance structure, we have a board of directors, and the Bishop is the chair of the board. The president works closely with the board to ensure Bishop Kelley High School is fulfilling its mission and preparing students for life in the Catholic context. I work closely with Mr. Franz as he works with the academic side of the administration, discipline and day-to-day operations. I also work closely with Doug Thomas in the Advancement office, admissions, campus ministry, and the rest of administration to provide leadership to these different functions, who will further direct other employees. Franz: Schools have evolved so much that 30 years ago, it would be very rare to find a high school with a president and principal. It was one person who did all of that. In the 21st century, schools have evolved to realize there’s a need for 3 both roles, there needs to

be two strong people to do it. It becomes almost impossible for a single person to handle the internal needs as well as the needs of communication, social media, capital campaign and academic growth.

Jim Franz works his first Watermelon day with Gary Oberste ’70 and Lance Parks

Hillenberg: Seeing what you do separately, it’s hard to imagine one person doing it all. Franz: But someone did it. It’s good that schools are moving in the direction of the president/ principal model now. I just left a school where I was principal and head of the school, but over the past 5 years they’ve prepared to move into a president/principal model that began after I left. Hillenberg: Fr. Kastl, one of Fr. O’Brien’s closing remarks as President of Bishop Kelley was that once he became a priest, he didn’t expect he’d return to education Bishop Kelley, no less. When you became a priest, did you ever think you might work in education? Kastl: I think all of us, when our faces hit the cold, marble floors of the cathedrals when we’re ordained, we never anticipate how much of our time will be spent in the administrative side of things. I think as a young 4 priest in 2007, looking to

the future, I anticipated myself as spending more time in pastoral work, whether that be counseling, spiritual direction, or retreat work. That has always been a part of the priest’s work that attracted me. What changed the trajectory of what I’ve been doing the past 6-7 years was having the opportunity to go through an intensive leadership training course called Good Leaders, Good Shepherds, a classroom curriculum to help a priest become more effective in his leadership. This two-year endeavor reshaped my thinking on how I executed not only preaching and teaching as a priest, but the governance and leadership side of things. It propelled me to work full-term with CLI, which deploys that curriculum in the diocese. I never anticipated my priesthood being as focused on roles of leadership, but I can say it’s become a great fulfilling part of my life as a priest. Hillenberg: What leadership styles?



Franz: Strongly collaborative, highly relational. The Academic Council is charged with academic growth and addressing the needs of the school. My role in that council is to facilitate, ask the right kind of questions, and bring consensus to move forward with teachers. It isn’t about doing what I want to do; I don’t know because I haven’t worked here 42 years. I don’t understand the institution as well as many who have been here for so long and understand the culture and mission of the school so much better than I do. In many decisions, I see my role as a consensus builder facilitating the movement and direction of the school, particularly in academics.

It’s the realm in which I’m most charged. I am much more of a collaborative leader. The human within the institution is very important to me. Through the development of relationships and focusing on the human person, we can grow BK in the right way. It’s not like a business that’s about profits and losses, it’s not about money making for us. It has to be about the way we enhance the community of humans within our BK family. Kastl: My style is a combination of collaborative leadership with a focus on getting things done. It’s important to be a leader who focuses on collaboration as a way all of us to realize things. The mission of BK isn’t up to me, it has been entrusted to me to keep going. It’s our mission. The way we all invest in the well-being in BK is allowing everyone to have a voice at the appropriate level of what their needs, hopes and concerns are, and together, navigate through that. However, a leader has to be decisive in their decision making, not to be afraid, to acknowledge the consensus and to make the decision that’s best for the school, even if it’s not the most comfortable. Hillenberg: I like the similarities in your responses, it sounds like you will make a great team in advancing and maintaining the mission of Bishop Kelley. Kastl: I agree, our conversations up to this point have always had healthy dialogue, both of us learning, and oftentimes the right thing to do organically comes up in our conversation. I think Jim has a humility in himself that allows that to happen, but he also has

an experience base that gives him the credibility to also be decisive in his decision making as well. Hillenberg: Where do you see the school in the next 5-10 years? Franz: The role of the principal is to flesh out and build strategies, it involves the voice of many people in the community, including staff, students and families. The school leaders’ roles are to put that plan into action. So it’s not necessarily my vision, it’s the community vision, that we will be putting forward as the school grows. Kastl: I look forward in the immediate moments of planning that will allow us to surface what that vision is. As that vision surfaces and allows the Holy Spirit to animate that process, I’m looking forward to that emerging. I look forward to executing it and leading the vision forward. In 3-5 years, I hope it continues to be a healthy, vibrant, Lasallian school that is accessible to those who wish to come and be part of the culture of Catholic education, and to maintain the integrity the school has. Hillenberg: I’m excited to look at the development of the school more through that perspective, waiting and watching to see where the Holy Spirit leads us at any given moment and following through with that plan. Kastl: Yes, schools are organic, they’re made up of human beings. There is institutional history we have to honor, but at the same time the institution can’t always drive who we are and where we’re

going. Times change, just look at the evolution of academics from being chalkboard lectures to being interactive with chromebooks! We have to be humble in the presence of the Holy Spirit to allow that call to well up from our experience. It’s a beautiful thing to watch it happen, because it always happens! What is right always emerges if we trust that God is part of that process. Hillenberg: Anything you like to do in your spare time? Franz: I’m a pretty strong sports person. Everyday, I either swim, run, walk or cycle. On a really good day, I do more than one. I also do an extreme sport called canyoneering, mostly in Slot Canyons in the west. I’ve done that sport for about 10 years now. I love outdoor stuff, canoeing, hiking, and just being outdoors. I also read a lot of fiction. Kastl: Cooking is definitely my happy place. I love to cook, I love to have people in my home and have a full table of conversations. There’s nothing more disarming than having a meal with somebody. Entertaining and hosting is a beautiful way to engage someone. I also love to garden. I grow vegetables and flowers in raised beds at my rectory. There’s something grounding about being in the dirt. Cycling is something else I enjoy. I love to travel and meet people from different parts of the world. I also love to spend time with my family, which I don’t get to do very often. Making time in a life

that is very schedule-driven to be spontaneous and visit family and friends can be difficult, but I hope that when this transition is complete, I can make more time for that. Hillenberg: Anything else you’d like the community to know? Franz: I’m thankful for the reception and support people have given me. Kastl: I’d like everyone to know that I’m accessible through conversations, emails and phone calls. I’m all about direct, honest feedback and would like to facilitate an open door policy where people can bring their concerns to me in a way that is helpful and beneficial for the school.

Fr. Kastl meets students on his first day of school


Gabby Henry Runner. Swimmer. Tri-Athlete.

by Sonora Reagh ’19 and Gabby Henry ’18 Henry training for one of her triathlon events

Bishop Kelley is known for many things, but one would have to be its extraordinary athletes. Gabby Henry is one of those outstanding athletes. Gabby participates at school in cross country, varsity swimming, AP art and more, but she’s taking her talent to a whole new level. Over the past two years, Henry has competed in an event called a triathlon. A triathlon is a multistage competition involving the completion of three continuous sequential endurance disciplines: swimming, biking and running. Her accomplishments in these sports include many first-place finishes in races throughout Oklahoma and Arkansas, a 2016 Oklahoma 15-16 Cycling State Championship, and qualifying for the 2016 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships in Omaha, Nebraska. “It was a pretty big race,” Henry said. “ I love being


Henry warming up for a triathlon

able to compete against athletes of all levels and backgrounds.” She participates in triathlons because she enjoys it, not necessarily for any scholarship opportunities. “Some schools have triathlon clubs, but I’m not sure of any that have a triathlon team,” Henry said. She’s thinking about joining a triathlon club in college and maybe continuing her other sports. “I plan on racing for the rest of my life and I’m hoping to qualify for more national races,” Henry said Henry doesn’t let injury and obstacles stop her. “I fractured both my shins two years in a row. That created speed bumps in training, but they have taught me how to overcome and learn.” Along with athletics, Henry has played the violin since elementary school. In fact, she plays for the Tulsa Youth Symphony Orchestra, where she’s played for two years. In addition, she is an artist, and during her senior year she has dedicated much time working to assemble her AP Art portfolio for college. Gabby was voted Most Artistic Girl by her fellow seniors, and she is consistently on the academic honor roll. That makes her a triple threat in school and on the course.

Patrick Callan His career is going swimmingly. by Bella Meshri ’19

Callan and his 2016-2017 relay team

Patrick Callan is about to make a splash at the next level. The University of Michigan swim recruit is looking forward to competing at the collegiate level, but he’s keeping his eye on an even bigger prize - the Olympics. He seemed destined to follow in his father’s footsteps right out of the blocks. “My dad swam when he was in middle school and high school in Michigan. When I was a kid, he got me into swimming around the age of five,” Callan said. As a highly-sought swimming recruit, Patrick felt at home getting back to his family roots. It doesn’t hurt that the University of Michigan has both a men’s team and a women’s team and is a highly respected swim school. “I felt at home when I took my official visit. The guys on the team were very welcoming and the coaches were very focused on making everyone on Callan signing his intent letter to The University of Michigan

the team better,” Callan said. Patrick will study business, which was a factor in his decision. The University of Michigan is also one of the top business schools in the country. “When you combine their academics with their top-10 swimming program, it was obvious that Michigan was the place for me,” Callan said. Patrick has run a long race getting to where he is today. He has had to make some tough choices along the way to set himself up for success. “When I moved here, I joined a team called Swim Tulsa, but two or three years ago I moved teams to get me to where I needed to be to get to the Olympics,” Callan said. Callan’s little brother Jack ’20 is also a swimmer. As team members, they not only watch each other grow as swimmers, but also learn from each other. “It’s kind of weird, but kind of cool. We are both the same pretty much. It’s cool to see him get better because we train together. While I’m getting better he’s getting better too, and it’s awesome,” Patrick said. Patrick Callan has come very far as a swimmer from practice on his club team and through his school team. As Patrick navigates the waters of success, he keeps an eye on representing the U.S. on a world stage. His future is bright, and he will dive into those opportunities as they come.


Overcoming Challenges

Bishop Kelley students with unique obstacles. by Doug Thomas

Sarah Ray ’21 and her mother, Nan

If you were to ask Bishop Kelley students Sarah, Cate, or Lily how they overcome physical obstacles during the school day, they would respond to you by asking “what obstacles?” Sarah Ray is currently a freshman, who during her eighth grade year at St. Pius X School, underwent back surgery that resulted in her having to have a 8 tracheotomy. Since that

time, she receives oxygen and breathes through her “trach.” As such, she is required to pull with her on a small dolly, a canister of oxygen, around the clock. At the same time, her mother, Nan Ray, or her nurse, Dana, accompanies Sarah to each of her classes, pulling with her a rolling machine that provides suction. “I can’t cough due to the tracheotomy,” said Sarah, “so the machine clears my throat and keeps me from choking.” So what’s it like to have your mom with you during your classes? “It’s something I’ve gotten used to and I’m grateful that my parents have developed good nursing skills,” Sarah said with a smile on her face. “I would call my situation a challenge instead of an obstacle. Everyone at Bishop Kelley has been accepting of my situation. I do get questions from students and others and people hold doors open for me all the time,” Sarah said. “I’m afraid I may run over a few people’s toes with my oxygen cart,” mused Sarah, “but no one has acknowledged it if I have done that.” Sarah tends to look on the bright side in regards to her challenges. “This trach is only temporary. I hope to have it out by the second or third month of 2018 which will mean no more oxygen and no more suctioning machine.” Meanwhile Nan says she’s enjoying sitting in on Bishop Kelley classes with Sarah. “I’ve especially

enjoyed her Theology class and her Speech class. Believe it or not, I’ve learned a lot.” Learning how to overcome a challenge is a process that fellow freshman Cate Collier began at the tender age of two and a half. “I lost my right leg to Trevor’s disease which is also called DEH,” said Cate. The Marquette graduate is the daughter of Mark Collier ’80 and Kim Collier. “Having a prosthetic leg is not an obstacle for me. I’m not disabled—I would call myself disadvantaged,” Cate said. “Sometimes it’s just more difficult for me to get to the end result.” I can’t run as fast as I’d like and the battery in my computerized leg sometimes dies, but I can still do most of what I would like to do.” Cate even works out with her dad in the evenings by doing CrossFit training. “My only limitation is that I can’t do squats,” Cate said with a grin. While Cate enjoys her classes at Bishop Kelley and says the faculty and her fellow students have been great to her, she says students are just now getting comfortable in asking her why she has only one leg. “Some students will come up to me and ask if I mind telling them what happened to me,” Cate said. “I’m okay with the questions. I treat it as a learning opportunity for others as we all face challenges in life” said Cate.

Cate Collier ’21

Lily Rhodes lost more than half of her right arm in an ATV accident just three months before she began her freshman year at Bishop Kelley. “I’m right-handed and lost my dominant arm so that was stressful,” Lily said. “In just three months, I had to teach myself to write left-handed; ironically, my penmanship as a left-handed writer is better than what I was previously producing with my dominant hand.” Coming to BK as a freshman from Edison (not a traditional feeder school for BK), Lily didn’t have many friends when she first arrived in the halls of Bishop Kelley. “I learned that I had to put myself out there and make friends,” Lily said. “By the time I reached my sophomore year, I began making friends that I will have for life.” I don’t think my fellow students shied away from me because I am missing an arm and hand,” said the current junior. “The first time I made a joke about my lost arm, my classmates didn’t know if they were supposed to laugh or if I was being serious; after that, everyone was much more comfortable talking to me about my accident and how I adjusted to all of the life changes.”

Lily says the sense of community is the best thing about Bishop Kelley, something she has seen since the very beginning of her freshman year. “People go out of their way to open doors for me when I have my one hand full of books,” Lily said with a laugh. Losing an arm two years ago has not slowed Lily down one bit. The daughter of Steve and Pam Doherty ’85 Rhodes, Lily rides horses five to six days a week and still competes in dressage. “When I’m on a horse, it’s an equalizer,” Lily said. At BK, she’s president of the Equestrian Club, is a Link Crew Leader, and a member of Comet Ambassadors. Sarah, Cate, and Lily don’t even talk about obstacles. They talk about challenges and how best to address those challenges. Like most every other student at Bishop Kelley, they’re focused on performing well in the classroom so that they can move on to the college of their choice. With the determination and overwhelmingly positive attitude each girl shows on a daily basis, there’s little doubt they will achieve their dreams, at Bishop Kelley, outside the classroom, and in the years that lie ahead.

Lily Rhodes ’19 and her horse, Pippin


Seniors at orientation with their new Chromebooks

The Chromebook Standard New Classroom Technology

by Megan Ames ’18


This year, the students and faculty have adapted to the use of Chromebooks, which have provided numerous advantages and educational opportunities within the classroom. In the past, students had to use their smartphones to check websites throughout the school day. However, with Chromebooks, students have easy access to the internet and websites they typically use such as Backpack and Google Classroom. Students can work on online assignments in class and submit their work online as well. Although the school has offered online courses in the past, the Chromebooks ensure that every student has quick access to these courses. For many classes, the course textbooks are available online, so students don’t have to carry a giant pile of books to and from school. This system also helps students stay organized, especially with digital assignments. Julia Do ’20 likes the convenience of having all of her work in one place. “Before, our homework was on paper, but on the Chromebooks it’s just easier because you know you have it done, and you

just send it through instead of worrying about losing the paper,” Do said. Since each student has this technology in the classroom, teachers no longer have to schedule a time slot for students to access the internet. The former computer lab rooms were renovated into more classroom space. The Chromebooks also offer new programs which teachers and students previously could not easily access. Online websites for learning languages and solving math equations can be used to help students learn efficiently. The speech and debate team even uses their Chromebooks to access a database for competition. Erin Clark, a speech and debate coach, likes to use a sports analogy to talk about Chromebooks. “It’s kind of as essential as a basketball would be to a basketball player,” Clark said. Though the change may have taken some time, the students and faculty have welcomed the Chromebooks with open arms. This technology has brought the school countless opportunities to learn in new and exciting ways.

The Kelley Derby The 38th Annual Bishop Kelley Auction by Robin Lewis And we’re off! The 38th Annual Bishop Kelley Auction is Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 6 p.m. at Bishop Kelley. This will not be a night to rein in your enthusiasm. Each year the Annual Auction gathers 450 plus people in the Kelley community for the purpose of fun and fundraising. Each year the Auction raises money for tuition assistance and a specific project that is to benefit all students. That project for the 2018 Auction is new furniture for 35 classrooms on campus. Twenty years is a long time to use a classroom desk; yet many of the BK desks, worn and tattered, are 20 years old and in need of replacement. Most of the faculty desks are also of that same ilk. The Auction will provide funds for tuition assistance for the upcoming school year and for new, modern desks that will easily move from our typical lecture style room configuration to collaborative groups of 4-6 students each. In addition, new teacher work stations will be mobile with the ability to easily integrate into various learning environments. The Live and Silent Auction packages are always a highlight

Former President Fr. O’Brien and Current President Fr. Kastl filming promotional content for the auction

for the evening as the crowd actively bids against one another, friendly competition that is. The Live Auction includes bucket list experiences such as a cabin in Wyoming or Colorado, a jet setter package on a private jet, courtside seats to the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament in NYC, tickets to a live broadcast of American Idol in L.A., a trip to the 2019 Kentucky Derby and the always popular Priests’ Dinner. The Silent Auction this year will be energized with mobile bidding. That means that you do not need to jockey for position over a bid sheet but can continue to bid from your phone (or an iPad station) as you visit with friends. Silent packages include golf at Southern Hills and the Patriot, a beer-tasting party at Elgin Park Brewery, a Grass Court Tennis Party, a Downtown Tulsa date night, tickets to KU basketball and OU football, tickets to Niall Horan at the BOK in a suite, along with BK VIP graduation seats. Don’t forget the online auction, BKbay, with over 300 items to bid on, opening March 28th. Pony up and make your individual or patron reservations at www. today. Patrons are invited to the Kentucky Derby-themed Patron Party on Tuesday, March 13th.


How to Start a Club Student Interests Form New Clubs by Allie McMurry ’18

From photography to video games to food, students have a wide variety of interests. The school nurtures these unique interests and values the necessity of fun and hobbies in addition to classwork by making it accessible to start a club. If you have a couple of friends with the same interest and a teacher who will sponsor you, you can form a club. The school has more than 40 clubs that are all run by students. This year, students added several new clubs. Grace Roy ’18 started “Model Status,” a group that puts on retreats for middle schools girls. They hold the retreats on Sunday afternoons that focus on embracing yourself and having a positive body image. Body image is a huge issue for middle schoolers, so Grace decided to focus on this epidemic for her Girl Scout project by starting “Model Status.” The high schoolers have lived through middle school drama and know what it is like to be in their position; they can give advice and serve as role models for middle school girls in the Diocese. Another new club this year is the Photography club. Emma Thomas ’18, Remmi Smith ’18, and Kara Grace Mirando ’19 started the club this school year. After being inspired by photography for several years, Remmi wanted to help Emma with the club. “Personally, I love photography because it offers a timeless memento for so many of life’s experiences, from friendships to vacations to everyday small things we go through. I enjoy taking pictures of people. Although I am definitely not an expert at it, I love the ability to capture emotions or memories with one click,” Smith said. One of the club’s main goals is to provide opportunities for students to be recognized for 12

Photography Club officers Emma Thomas ’18 and Kara Grace Mirando ’19 stand next to their club’s work.

their photography and gain new skills. The club has a camera that students can sign up to check out for a few days at a time. This is so important because many students have a desire to learn more about photography, but they do not have the money for a nice camera. Additionally, there is a display in the main building where photography club members can submit their work to be displayed for the month. Each month has a theme that students are encouraged to follow for the display. Other students can see their peers’ work on this type of art that often goes unappreciated in high schools. “The leaders are so amazing and devoted to this club. I will be very sad when they have to leave after only one year of leading the club, but I am excited to take over next year and see what the club is able to flourish into,” Mirando ’19 said. Similar to Photography club, there is another new visual arts oriented club. The Vlogging club, started by Catherine Easterling ’18 and Gracie Conklin ’19, makes short videos of events around campus and then shares them on social media. “We get together once a month and talk about the projects we want to do that month. We have just started out, but so far, we have a new

Instagram with several videos about the student section and the daily life at Bishop Kelley,” Easterling said. They are currently working on a video series on Father O’Brien’s last days as a Comet. Vlogging club members got videos of students saying their goodbyes and favorite memories about the beloved president. Previously, the vlogging club made videos of Freshman Orientation. The school’s freshman orientation program, Link Crew, is a unique and valuable aspect of the school community. The Vlogging club saw this event as an opportunity to document the fun moments. They took videos of the upperclassmen’s excitement for the new kids on campus and videos of the freshmen’s faces as they were forced to run through the “welcome tunnel.” The Vlogging club is looking forward to growing their club and working on bigger projects over the next couple years. “I am really looking forward to more of our video diaries about the daily lives of students at BK because they give everyone a voice,” Easterling said. These new clubs build up the community to reach more people through their interests.

“Best Class Ever” Supports Tuition Assistance The Class of 1967 raises $23,000 for BK students.

by Doug Thomas and Katherine Devonshire ’09

How does the Class of 1967, BK’s self-proclaimed “best class ever,” have a great 50th class reunion while meeting a challenge that results in over $23,000 for tuition assistance? That was a question put forth in the fall of 2017, several weeks before the class reunion was to take place in the Student Commons, which is the space formerly occupied by the BK library. An individual was offering what was initially a $5,000 challenge but instead became a $10,000 challenge. That anonymous donor is a member of the class of 1968. Contacting both BK’s Director of Advancement, Doug Thomas and Director of Alumni Relations, Katherine Devonshire, the anonymous donor approached the two with the idea that a challenge could be presented to the class of ’67

A balloon release in memory of the lost members of the Class of ’67

and, as a result, help more families afford a BK education in the 2018-19 school year. Today, BK’s tuition, while running less than the majority of private high schools in the Tulsa area, is approaching $10,000 for Catholics supporting a parish and even more for non-Catholics. Weeks prior to the reunion, the Bishop Kelley Advancement Office sent a letter to all members of the Class of ’67 to inform them of the challenge. During the reunion, which was well-attended and featured a classic rock band comprised of members of the class, a recent BK graduate who received tuition assistance all four years spoke of how the assistance allowed her to attend BK and receive a scholarship to the University of Tulsa. That student, Mariah Rubino ’14, gave a short talk to members of the class about how the assistance had such a profound impact on her life. “I believe I would not have gotten a scholarship at TU had I not been able to receive a great education at Bishop Kelley,” Rubino said. Currently a senior majoring in biochemistry/ pre-med, Rubino attends TU on

a Presidential Scholarship which provides her with full tuition, room and board for four years. As a result of the challenge and Rubino’s comments, many members of the class made gifts that evening or made pledges that they fulfilled weeks later, resulting in $23,000 in new gifts to BK for tuition assistance that will offer immediate help to families this coming school year. Members of the class came from many states and even countries. Jim Ortega traveled well over 5,000 miles from Uruguay while Rich McDowell flew over 3,800 miles from his home in Hawaii; meanwhile, Pat Morelli traveled nearly 1,600 miles from his home in Seattle while Jim Rohr traveled nearly 1,500 miles from FL in order to attend the reunion. “I wouldn’t have missed our 50th class reunion, said Jim Ortega. “I wanted to be there because we truly had and still have a great class and it was wonderful seeing everyone; and the gifts our class members made to support tuition assistance is a testament to the kind of experience we had at BK and the dedication we continue to have to the BK 13 community today.”

Trivia Night Sponsors enjoying the food and fun

Let’s Get Social!

The 20th Annual Bishop Kelley Trivia Night by Robin Lewis

What unusual geological formation, sacred to American Indians, was declared the U.S.’s first national monument in 1906? Who was the first writer to make it onto Forbes’ Magazine billionaire list? If you don’t know the answer to these questions from past BK Trivia Nights, keep reading to find out what they are. Bishop Kelley’s 20th Trivia Night took place at BK on January 20, Denny Krafft ‘69 and Vicki Valancius ‘69 Krafft


2018. The event has grown in many ways including revenue contribution to BK, number of trivia players, number of volunteers, number of Trivia questions, number of bags of popcorn sold and so much more. For the first time in Trivia Night history, there was a three-way tie for 1st place. Overtime eventully decided the winner of the event: Team Fravel. Team Crowley placed 2nd and Team Edwards placed 3rd. A lucky winner took home $3,730 in the 50/50 raffle. Nearly $57,000 was raised at the 2018 Trivia Night. Trivia Night was started by the Class of 1973 when one of their classmates, Nancy Arp Schooley, chaired the 1999 Bishop Kelley Auction. Another classmate, Rick Buthod, had seen Trivia Night events in the St. Louis area and he encouraged Nancy to start a Trivia Night at Bishop Kelley. Since that first year, it has become a tradition for classes celebrating their 25th reunion year to host Trivia Night.

Some things about Trivia Night have been consistent and one is the participation of Kristi Hansen Grisaffe ’92, Bishop Kelley’s Alumni Director from 1998 to 2008. Kristi worked closely with the Class of ’73 and then Auction Coordinator, Liz Stoven, to coordinate the first BK Trivia Night. Twenty years and four kids later, Kristi still volunteers to help with BK Trivia Night. When asked why she continues to help each year with BK Trivia Night Kristi says, “Because I love BK and I enjoy seeing and working alongside friends in the BK community”.

Advancement Events Coordinator Robin Lewis and volunteers Kathy Turner and Mi-Le Tran

Chris ’81 and Sharon Victor ’81 Edwards have been helping to coordinate and run BK Trivia Night since 2006 when their class was the host class. They have continued to volunteer each year as a way to give back to Bishop Kelley in appreciation for their own three daughters’ experiences as BK students. Chris has developed a database of all of the BK Trivia questions since he has been involved. That provides a wealth of information for us to keep the event fresh and challenging. Two other BK alums, Ray Hornak ’79 and Rick Hornak ’80, are also faithful Trivia Night volunteers that have helped to grow this event over the many years they have been involved.

Some of the special moments of past Trivia Nights that we would love to not repeat in the future include: - When the fire trucks arrived because the electrical switches kept tripping when overloaded - When the microphones wouldn’t work making it impossible to hear the questions - When the computers kept shutting down making displaying the questions and scoring impossible - When the wrong switch was flipped and the lights were off for 20 minutes because they had to warm up before coming back on - And a mishap that started

a change for good was when the bleachers in the Big Gym broke, forcing us to move some of those tables into the Small Gym, thus making it a two-room event. And let’s face it, the Small Gym crowd is legendary. Good times! The Class of 1993 was the host class for Trivia 2018 and had a record-setting forty-two ’93 alums ready to volunteer. Michelle Grabow Shewey, a ’93 alum on the Trivia 2018 planning committee, when asked about her experience getting ready for Trivia Night, “I cannot say enough good things about my classmates and experiences while at Bishop Kelley. I feel like we were in a truly unique class with wonderful people. Just stepping onto campus for that first Trivia Night meeting made my heart happy. Most people can’t wait to leave high school and move onto college. I was of course excited for that next stage of my life but also loved every second at BK. I was thrilled to help out with Trivia Night and to reunite with old friends too!” In conclusion………..Devils Tower and J.K Rowling.

Team Fravel, the Trivia Night 2018 winning team!


Students enjoying the view at Camp Christian for SEARCH

We Shall Never Retreat (...until directed by Campus Ministry.)

by Sydney Tran ’18

Last week, a pile of papers were due. Next week, a ton of tests loom. The week after, there’s that project presentation you’ve been preparing. The academic schedule gets students so wound up, they can forget to focus on their relationships with God. But fear not. Campus ministry offers retreats that calm the mind and quiet the soul. Almost everyone who has gone on a campus ministry retreat recommends it to others. The experience is fulfilling, exciting, and amazing, if you let it be. Director of Campus Ministry Jerri Berna enjoys being a part of the change that students experience. “With any of our retreats, I appreciate the opportunity to watch realizations and then change occur in the individual over the course of the retreat,” Berna said. “I like to watch that personal growth and to watch them, if they do, live it out after the retreat.” As a general rule, each class is offered a retreat for students of the same age. The freshmen retreats last one day, sophomore retreats are overnight events, Search is a full weekend and Kairos is a senior retreat, shared with Cascia Hall, that lasts from 16

Thursday night through Sunday. Campus minister Sarah Dicks sees personal interactions on the retreats that build relationships with each other and with God. “My favorite part of all the retreats is when students pray over other students,” Dicks said. Although each retreat has a different purpose or theme, its goal is for candidates to leave the retreat refreshed and to arm them with some new spiritual tool: anything from character growth, to new perspectives, to lifelong friendships built on faith. Carter Stansbarger ’17 has found the retreats valuable in many ways. “I enjoyed the bond and new relationships I built,” Stansbarger said. Mary Ziegler ’17 found that watching her friends change helped enrich her experience. “It was exciting to see others grow from the start to the final day,” Mary Ziegler said. Teachers are also a valuable part of the retreats. Campus ministry actively recruits teachers to share in the retreats and let students get to know them on a more personal level. Science teacher Elizabeth Gathright has worked several Kairos retreats, and started by being a candidate on

the retreat herself. She knows what the students get out of the retreats, but she also gets something out of it too. “I love those moments at retreat when you see a child realize God’s infinite love for them,” Gathright said. “The students help remind me of the joy of God in my life.”

Mary Gathright ’18, Carter Stansbarger ’18 and Grace Arnold ’18 at SEARCH

The school continually finds new ways to keep the retreats fun and fresh, but the timing and the locations of the retreats are very organized and planned well in advance. Part of the “secret sauce” of Bishop Kelley is a rich and active retreat life. When it’s time to recharge your batteries, clean your slate, or loosen your knots, a student retreat is sometimes just the ticket.

Girls Are State Champs

Cross Country and Cheer win state championships. by Sarah Walter ’19

The spirit squad accomplished something no other team has in BK history: win two state titles within a year. In December 2016, the team won pom state, and on September 9 2017, the team won cheer game day state. The spirit squad competed in three categories: sideline dance, crowd-leading cheer, and fight song. They received the highest preliminary scores in all three categories, which allowed them to advance to the finals, where they received the highest score again, making them state champions. “The team was thrilled with winning the state championship,” cheer coach Liz Ritchie said. The spirit squad competed in division 5A against 17 other teams from high schools across the state. This was the first year for OSSAA to sponsor a state cheer competition. Meg Grundy ’19 thought the timing of the competition was perfect. “I felt like everything peaked

at the exact right moment and everything fell into place at the competition,” Grundy said. “We were so excited to gain a second state title.” The spirit squad’s state win started a strong postseason for the Comets. The Girl’s Cross Country team has won their first state title since 1986. The team competed in Edmond on October 28, placing first with a team time of 1:42:28. Mary Ziegler ’18 loved going out in style. “Winning was amazing, especially since the last championship we won was 31 years ago,” Ziegler said. “Winning as a senior was a perfect end to the sport.” Their state title was not easily won. Practices started in late July and began with running base miles. During the summer, the team would run for three days and do strength and conditioning for two days. During the school year, the team would do longer

intervals of running for two days, a day of strength and conditioning, and then a day of running miles to recover. Coach Terry Stupp recognizes the progress of this senior team. “Everyone was ecstatic over winning. Knowing it is 31 years was hard for some to get their heads around; I explained that was my junior year of high school,” Stupp said. “This group and the seniors in particular have come a long way in their four years. Their freshman year, we were in 6A and did not qualify as a team, only individuals. To go from that point to a state title is a big jump and one the girls have accomplished with their hard work and commitment.” Not only did the team win first in state; junior Tess Crosley placed fifth, sophomore Sara Crosley placed eighth, junior Jenna Swords placed tenth, senior Mary Ziegler placed fifteenth, and freshman Abigail Hills placed seventeenth.


Learning a Lifelong Skill The Speech Credit Requirement

by Lauren Hillenberg

Not every student will continue their history or science studies beyond Bishop Kelley. Many will forget the plot of “The Great Gatsby” or the purpose of the Quadratic Equation once it is no longer relevant in their lives. However, one unique aspect of the Bishop Kelley curriculum gives students a head start in a lifelong skill: public speaking. “Everyone at Bishop Kelley must take a full communication credit,” says teacher Erin Clark, who also coaches the Speech and Debate team. “I’ve been here since 2004 and it was already a requirement then.” The communications requirement is broken up into two quarter-long classes. First, students take a class on public speaking. “They write and deliver speeches several times each week,” says Clark, “which can be informative, persuasive or over current events.” Students have the equal opportunity to practice listening skills as they do speaking skills, listening intently to their peers’ presentations. The second half of the requirement offers a few course options: Group Communications,

Erin Clark teaches her students about proper employer etiquette in a job interview.


Olivia Leavitt ’20 delivers a speech to her Speech I Class

Intro to Debate or Competitive Speech and Debate Team. Speech students are taken out of the context of the classroom and given assignments that simulate real-world events. Speech II students, for example, are taken through the job interview process from start to finish, including researching their prospective employer, writing a resume and dressing for success, ending with a simulated job interview, conducted by Clark. “The job interview helps students know how to present their best selves. It also helps them know how others see them.” Other projects that provide real-world perspective include group problem solving, writing podcasts and developing a sales pitch. Students not only learn how to articulate their own ideas, but how to effectively work as a team to create a complete, coherent

final result. “A little listening and learning the perspective of others is valuable as a communicator,” says Clark. “When a speaker learns the value of listening, everything else falls into place.” Many students appreciate how speech classes prepare them for the future. “I was frustrated at first,” said sophomore Olivia Leavitt, who’s currently in Speech I, “but when I think about how many presentations I’ll have to do in high school and beyond, it really is such a great requirement.” Erin Clark supervises a team of dozens of students every year that consistenly places in state and regional debates. “Speech classes teach you skills used daily for the rest of the students’ lives. We are all members of a larger community and learning how to understand and be understood is a valuable tool for a well functioning society.”

BELIEVE IN KELLEY The 2017-2018 Annual Fund

by Doug Thomas

From geothermal energy for BK facilities to furniture for the cafeteria and Student Commons, Bishop Kelley’s annual fund (Believe in Kelley) has funded a wide range of projects that make life better for our students and help keep operating costs down. And as always, a portion of the annual fund goes toward tuition assistance to new and returning students for the upcoming school year. This year’s Believe in Kelley campaign is no different. Should we reach or exceed our $500,000 goal by June 30th, BK will have security cameras from one end of campus to the other along with an instant background check system for visitors and upgraded security glass at school entrances. In addition, the campaign will fund needed improvements to student restrooms as well as a newly furnished main office to better accommodate our guests. The third and final component of Believe in Kelley is tuition assistance. As of January 1, 2018, the midpoint of the fiscal year, BK received annual fund gifts from around 400 donors, totaling $246,000. Fortunately, many gifts arrive at the end of the calendar year as donors make gifts, in part, to secure tax deductions. But, in the first 2-3 months of the new year, gifts to the annual fund typically decline, making it more challenging to meet the goal of $500,000 by June 30th. Believe in Kelley allows current parents, alumni, parents of alumni, grandparents, and friends of Bishop Kelley to give to the school so that we make it better than it was before for

current and future generations of BK students, their families, and others who visit the campus. “The 2017-18 annual fund will help families better afford BK and will improve two areas of campus,” said BK’s new president, Fr. Gary Kastl. “Those two areas are campus safety and security and upgrades to physical spaces that receive heavy daily use and have not been modified or upgraded in over ten years.” Tuition assistance is a huge need for roughly one out of every five students. Donors who give to BiK can restrict their gift to (1) tuition assistance, or to (2) campus improvements---(restroom and main office upgrades and campus security) or they may choose to leave their gift unrestricted so that it can be used where the need is greatest. “We made our gift to campus security,” said current BK parent Sherie Barron, who also had twin sons graduate from BK. “I’ve always been passionate about keeping our children safe.” “We know the school has many needs, and sometimes, upgrading spaces such as the main office or restrooms can get overlooked,” said current parent and BK alumnae, Patti Thompson Bush ’82. Patti often volunteers in the main office and has seen, firsthand, how a change in the design and layout of that space can benefit current and new families as well as students. “It definitely gets crowded in there at times; the new design for the space will make it much more functional.” Depending on the success of Believe in Kelley and Auction (a

portion of Auction proceeds goes to tuition assistance every year), the amount of tuition assistance given to low and lower middle income families for the next school year will be around $850,000, a significant increase over the $600,000 distributed just five years ago.

An example of the Lobby Guard system, an instant background check station

In addition to BiK and Auction proceeds, sources of income for BK’s tuition assistance program include earnings from the school’s main endowment fund, earnings from several named endowment funds (found on the BK website under “Give”), earnings from a new STEM endowment fund, BK’s portion of earnings from the St. Francis of Assisi Endowment Fund, and gifts directed to BK through a state tax granting organization known as GO for Catholic Schools. To support Believe in Kelley, please make your online gift at www. or send a check made out to Bishop Kelley High School to 3905 South Hudson Ave., Tulsa, OK, 74135 and write BiK on your memo line. To make a gift of appreciated stock to BIK and avoid capital gains taxes, go to 19 for instructions.

Alumni Corner News, Updates, Reunions, etc.

Sandra Styve Thompson ’70 retired after 25 years as chemistry teacher at SAIL High School in Tallahassee, Florida. Alfre Woodard ’70 will be playing Sarabi in Disney’s live-action version of “The Lion King”. Randy Heckenkemper ’76 is renovating Tulsa’ LaFortune Golf Course. Deacon Kevin Maloney ’79 is the newest deacon at the Church of St. Mary in Tulsa. Raegan Kraft ’96 Oliver and husband Michael welcomed a daughter, Margaret Marie, to the world on October 16, 2017. Meredith and Scott Selman ’98 welcomed son, Gage Selman, to the world on December 25, 2017.

Andrew Waruszewski ’98 won an Emmy for his camerawork on “Hairspray Live”.


Patti Otterstrom ’01 married Eric Bringaze on September 3, 2017. John and Carly McKeon ’01 Senger welcomed daughter, Sloane Senger, to the world on October 26, 2017. Macy Snyder ’01 Amatucci is featured in the Tulsa World as one of the Tulsans of the year. Chad and Natalie Hambric ’01 Osgood welcomed their daughter, Madison Lee Osgood, to the world on December 27, 2017. Rhiannon Nutt ’01 was married to Emanuele Cipriani on July 29, 2017 in the coastal town of Camogli, Italy. The couple spent time visiting friends and family after the wedding and they are living in New York City where Rhiannon works for an international wine broker. Tyler Allred ’01 and his wife welcomed a baby girl into the world on October 6, 2017.

Ashley Weyland ’01 married Michael Bullock on October 21, 2017. Peter Burns ’02 and his wife Caitlin welcomed daughter, Lyla Burns, to the world on October 22, 2017. Chris Combs ’02 is set to release his first solo album, “Combsy”.

Ben and Julia Creekmore ’03 Cindrich welcomed daughter, Edith Cindrich, to the world on December 21, 2017. William O’Connor ’03 married Megan Green on October 29, 2017 in Pennsylvania. The couple reside in Houston.

Emily Akin ’02 and Tabor Smith were married on September 23, 2017. Antonio and Nikki Haggard ’02 Cool welcomed twin daughters, Rylan Lee and Logan Nicole, to the world on September 21, 2017. Nick ’02 and Patti Zumwalt ’03 DeBolt welcomed son, Lincoln Phillip DeBolt, to the world on September 18, 2017. Jason Moreau ‘02 and Emily Gotwals ‘02 Moreau welcomed son, Jacob Robert Moreau, to the world on January 28, 2018.

Geoff Hale ’03 was inducted into the Armwrestling Hall of Fame. Bobie Jo Smith ’03 Campbell and husband Mark welcomed son, Creek Walker Campbell, to the world on July 19, 2017. Dorothy Zirkle ’03 and Jordan Leyton-Mange welcomed daughter, Elodie Rachel, to the world on September 2, 2017.

Daniel Bryan ’04 is the new Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at Newman University in Wichita, Kansas.

Kathryn Fox ’07 married David Stuart on July 15, 2017.

1LT Thomas Ritchie ’11 recently graduated from flight school at Fort Rucker in Alabama. Lieutenant Ritchie is now a Blackhawk pilot.

Mandy Johnson ’04 Collins and her husband welcomed daughter, Lydia Collins, to the world on July 14, 2017. Amanda Mattox ’04 Eubanks and her husband Nathan welcomed son, William John, to the world on November 2, 2017. Ryan ’00 and Natalie Dale ’05 Pierce welcomed daughter, Nora Pierce, to the world on November 26, 2017. Anna Stephenson ’05 married Matt Watson on August 5, 2017. Jennifer Kaneshige ’05 married Stephen Lambdin on July 15, 2017. Tim Kelley ’06 was named office head of Cobbs Allen, a risk management consulting and insurance brokerage firm that opened in Tulsa. Mikey Sotelo ’06 recently launched an onsite oil change service. The Mobile Oiler offers on-site oil change service as well as brake work and minor mechanical repair. Morgan and Hannah Scalet ’06 Connelly welcomed son, Aiden Patrick, to the world on November 6, 2017.

Steven King ’08 was hired this year as a new sketch writer for Saturday Night Live. Meg Hartman ’08 married Garrick Ritzky on October 29, 2017. Matt Maguire ’09 married Morgan Hammock on January 4, 2018. Hannah Hoopes ’09 married Stanton Lackey on October 21, 2017. Kristen Miller ’09 has opened a store in Dallas, All Good Things. The shop offers a collection of letter pressed greeting cards, stylish papers, desk accessories and custom stationery. Cassie McAlister ’10 welcomed her daughter, Penelope Rose, to the world on July 29, 2017. Mandy McCrory ’10 married Brandtley Adams on September 23, 2017. Cassie Liotta ’10 Van Fleet and husband Harris welcomed daughter, Taylor Elizabeth, to the world on September 23, 2017. Anna Poole ’10 married Aaron Lytal in November 2017.

Dallas Keuchel ’06 plays for the Houston Astros, winners of the 2017 World Series. Dallas was starting pitcher in games one and five.

Anna Vincent ’11 and Noel Smalley ’11 started a new 501c3 non-profit called Puppy Haven Rescue.

Vince Fernandez ’10 was ordained a deacon on September 28, 2017. God willing, Vince will be ordained a priest on June 30, 2018.

Inky Ajanaku ’12 was nominated for the Best Female College Athlete ESPY and signed with Volero Zurich, a professional volleyball team in Switzerland. Jacob Herburger ’12 married Sydney Butler on July 23, 2017. Kevin Finnegan ’13 married Kayla Wilson on December 29, 2017. Katherine Waller ’13 married Ben Birney on August 5, 2017. Audra Brulc ’13 was on OU homecoming court 2017. Seventy five students applied, 32 were given interviews, and only 6 women and 6 men are chosen to be on the court. Emma Copp ’13 is touring with Children’s Theatre Troupe. Diana Hassink ’14 plays volleyball at the University of Dallas and has been named an honorable mention All-American.

Brent ’13 and Madison Blan’ 15 Kelley welcomed a son, Lincoln Roy, to the world on November 2, 2017. Mo Ahmed ’15 plays basketball for the University of MissouriKansas City. Marshall Thorpe ’15 is a member of the OU men’s basketball team. Matt Hanisch ’15 spent his second semester and most of his summer working at a Catholic film production company run by the Holy Cross Order, specifically by Fr. David Guffy, C.S.C. Natalie Ames ’16 was named one of TU’s “Top Ten Freshmen”. Jonathan Danzi ’17 joined the United States Air Force.

Samantha Isler ’17 plays the younger version of Jessica Chastain’s lead character in “Molly’s Game”.

Alumni Parents! Are you still receiving your student’s mail from Bishop Kelley long after they moved out? Help us update our records. You’ll find a “Keep Us Updated” form on our website under Alumni. You can also call Katherine Devonshire at 918.609.7146 or email Thank you!


Dean of Student Activities Gary Oberste ‘77 and Teacher/Asst. Dean of Student Activities Maggie Cameron ‘00 Gabel

Once a Comet, Always a Comet! Alumni return to Bishop Kelley as Faculty, Staff and Administrators. by Lauren Hillenberg

Upon graduating high school, students cannot fathom where their professional careers will eventually take them. This is certainly the case for several faculty, staff and administrators at Bishop Kelley, who returned right where they started. “It was never my plan to come back to Bishop Kelley,” said Spanish teacher Maggie Cameron ’00 Gabel, “but it was definitely in God’s plan.” Alongside Dean of Student Activities Gary Oberste ’70, Gabel plans many of the events and activities students enjoy everyday. Oberste knew early in his high school career that he 22 would be a Comet for life.

“I had such an amazing freshmen experience, made new friends, and had teachers that changed my life. I told my mom and dad on October 1st 1966 that I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. I told them that I wanted to be a teacher and come back to BK.” His future wife, Jane Ormsby ’77 Oberste, would also return to Bishop Kelley to serve as Admissions Director. While returning wasn’t the plan for all teachers, a few always hoped to return to Bishop Kelley. “There’s something special about this place,” said Dan Schmitz ’77, tennis coach and business/computers teacher. “It was always in the back of my mind. I finally got the chance in September 1989 and decided to go for it.”

The shift in relationship from teacher/student to colleagues can be awkward. “I had the hardest time calling my former teachers by their first name,” said college counselor Maureen Lawler ’80, who has worked at Bishop Kelley for 37 years. “But it was wonderful to see them from a different side. They were human. They still looked out for me and several became my good friends...Today, a good number of the alum faculty and staff were my students!” Many of our alumni faculty are part of a greater family legacy. “Being a Comet is in my bones,” said art teacher Anna Kallstrom ’99. “My dad and four of his siblings went to Kelley. I went to

Kelley. Four of my siblings went to Kelley. My mom worked here. When I walk down the breezeway, it’s exciting to think that my dad walked down the same path and my children will too!” “My dad had an influence on my teaching career,” said Jeff Scardino ’06, a theology teacher and baseball coach. His father, Tony Scardino III, was a teacher and the head baseball coach when Jeff was a student here. “I have been around Bishop Kelley since I was seven years old. My father always loved the Kelley community and felt the support of other teachers and staff members.” Faculty who are BK alumni have seen the campus grow firsthand over many decades. “We didn’t used to have chapel,” Maureen Lawler ’80 said. “We also had a six period day and weren’t able to take electives until Junior year. Block schedule really allows students to have more choices.” “One thing though that has not changed,” said Maggie Gabel ’00, “is the power of the incredible BK community, which is what drew me back to BK.” Stepping into the roles that guided them through their time as a student is seen as an honor and blessing. “I wouldn’t be back here if I didn’t have a wonderful High School experience,” said Alumni Director and cheer coach Katherine Devonshire ’09. “I want to do the same thing for these kids that the faculty and staff did for me; they provided me with a safe and caring atmosphere to grow and learn not just in the classroom but in my faith as well.” Sarah Dicks ’04 loves the faith-building community that this school gave her as a student. “ I am blessed to have the opportunity to share the fruits of that formation now as the Campus Minister.” Many other faculty, staff and administrators at Bishop Kelley were once students in these halls. Those who have returned to this campus really embody the phrase, “Once a Comet, Always a Comet.” According to teacher Colin Manning ’94, “Truer words were never spoken.”

Alumni Director/Cheer Coach Katherine Devonshire ‘09, Theology Teacher/Baseball Coach Jeff Scardino ‘06 and Campus Minister/Volleyball Coach Sarah Dicks ‘04


Bishop Kelley Class Reunions (3’s and 8’s) June 15 - 16, 2018 More information to follow. Questions? Contact Alumni Director Katherine Devonshire at


Senior Class Legacy Gift A memorial fountain will be this year’s Senior Legacy Gift and the class of 2018 has already started donating. This fountain will be located the grass near the U Drive. This new project will replace the fountain that is located between the MQP and Short Art Center. The bricks (at the current fountain) featuring the names of students who died while attending BK will be relocated to the area around the new fountain. Seating around the fountain and customized color lighting that can be changed for special occasions such as homecomings and reunions will also be a feature of the new fountain. This gift from the Class of ’18 will be permanently acknowledged in the stone on the east side of the fountain. The acknowledgement will read: Provided by the Class of 2018. Funding Options: We invite seniors to make gifts of $100-$200 and break up their giving over a fouryear period starting with the first gift made during their senior year, and annual gifts each of the following three years. The Advancement Office will send pledge reminders for the final three years, allowing you to stretch out your support to BK over four years; as such, the student’s name will be listed as a donor in the BK Annual Reports for each year that they give. How to make a gift: Fill out a pledge form and bring it to the Alumni Office located in the Bishop Kelley Advancement area across from the Commons. Checks should be made payable to Bishop Kelley and designated on the memo line for “legacy gift” OR visit www. to make your gift or pledge online.


Blessed Stanley Rother Relics on Campus The Bishop Kelley chapel currently holds relics of Blessed Stanley Rother, a priest from Okarche, Oklahoma who was martyred in Guatemala in 1981. The collection includes a firstclass relic of his rib bone. “Fr. Kastl wrote to the Bishop asking for the first-class relic,” said Campus Ministry Director Jerri Berna. The second-class relic is a stole. “This stole is on loan

from Larry Waltzer, a friend of Father Rother’s.” The multi-colored stole is the one Father Rother is depicted with in all of his iconography. “We were told this is the stole he had with him when he was in Guatemala,” said Campus Minister Sarah Dicks. This is a unique privilege for our students and community to venerate the relics of an Oklahomaborn martyr.

Track Dedication Honors John Heckenkemper In the years he spent teaching and coaching at Bishop Kelley, John Heckenkemper had a huge impact on our students. Mr. Heckenkemper was a math teacher and coach from the first day BKHS opened in 1960 until he retired in 1995. Over the years he was at Bishop Kelley, Mr. Heckenkemper coached Comet cross-country, track, and football. During his time as Athletic Director, he brought girls’ athletic programs to Bishop Kelley.

Friday, February 16, 2018


The ceremony will be at halftime during the girl’s basketball game (approximately at 7 p.m.). We welcome all of the BK community to attend this event. Admission to the game is $5.00. Booster Club passes will also be accepted.

Annual Angelo Prassa Memorial Golf Tournament September 10, 2018 Save the date for this annual event! Check your email and social media for more event details in the coming months.


2017-2018 Musicals The Wizard of Oz September 27, 28 & 30 October 1

West Side Story January 31 February 1, 3 & 4

Comet Sightings Want to share your student/graduate’s accomplishments, updates and news on our social media pages? We want to hear from you! Joe Proszek ‘10 on Wheel of Fortune


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The need to grow our endowment through planned giving is continual. By leaving a legacy gift, you are helping Bishop Kelley build its endowment for today’s students and tomorrow’s leaders. The value of our endowment is currently $10.5M and our goal is to grow it to $20M by 2020; that way, we can assure that Bishop Kelley will be here to serve our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren for another 58 years and beyond. Each year, Bishop Kelley and nearly 60 other Tulsa-area non-profit agencies secure the services of The Advancement Group. This organization is Bishop Kelley’s charitable, financial and estate planning office-offering services to those connected with Bishop Kelley. If you would like to consider a planned gift, please contact The Advancement Group at 918-491-0079 or connect with Doug Thomas, Director of Advancement, at 918-609-7115 or email Doug at 29

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3905 S Hudson Ave Tulsa, OK 74135 918.627.3390

The mission of Bishop Kelley High School is to carry on the teaching ministry of Jesus Christ by providing a Catholic, Lasallian education that develops individuals whose hearts and minds are prepared for a purposeful life.

Bishop Kelley Ambassador - Winter 2018  
Bishop Kelley Ambassador - Winter 2018