May 23rd, 2016
Principal and President
In 2001 Mr. Morton was appointed by Archbishop Eusebius Beltran as the twelfth Principal of Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School. David has two children and three grandchildren. His son Zack is a 1998 graduate of McGuinness.
Week ofMay 23rd, 2016
Happy Monday everyone! This is the last week of school for our students. Finals begin Wednesday, May 25th. Please see the schedule in the bulletin for days and times.
This is the last Irish Eyes for this school year. Watch for our return next August. The first day of classes for the 2016-17 school year will be August 16, 2016.
During graduation ceremonies, the Bishop McGuinness Alumni Association honored 1978 alum Chris Engel as the 2016 Alumni of the Year.
In case you missed it, I am including my speech from graduation ceremonies last week. I hope everyone has a blessed and restful summer!
Mr. Morton’s 2016 Graduation Speech
Before I begin my comments regarding the class of 2016, I again want to thank you the parents, grandparents, and special friends who have made sacrifices to help our graduates sit on the stage tonight. Without your commitment to Catholic education, this school would not exist and the lessons taught and learned over the past four years would not have occurred. I, too, wish to thank the teachers, coaches, sponsors, counselors, administrators and staff members who have worked tirelessly to create the best possible education for your child. Know as your graduate walks out of our doors tonight, they do so armed with the knowledge, faith development and character traits necessary to meet any challenge they might face in life.
Every day ordinary people do extraordinary things! United Airlines flight 93 sat on the tarmac an extra 41 minutes before taking off on its cross-country flight from Newark, New Jersey to San Francisco. Minutes before its departure American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the north tower of 1 World Trade Center. Moments later United Airlines Flight 175, traveling in excess of 500 mph, turned on its side and penetrated 2 World Trade Center engulfing floors 77 to 85 in flames. At 9:27 a.m. eastern daylight time American Airlines Flight 77 struck the west side of the Pentagon instantly killing its 6 crew members and 64 passengers. 125 people on the ground lost their lives. United Flight 93 never reached its target.
The events of September 11, 2001 have served as the backdrop to your life. Like December 7, 1941, the events of September 11 have forever changed how we live our lives. America was once again under attack. Common people performed uncommon acts, and heroism abounded that day. Police, firefighters. and ordinary citizens took matters into their own hands in an effort to save the lives and preserve the freedoms we so often take for granted.
Since entering the first grade you have witnessed a multitude of events that have shaped and reshaped the life you live. These events include the devastation of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, the Indian Ocean earthquake and ensuing tsunami, and the earthquake in Japan resulting in another tsunami and the meltdown of two nuclear reactors in Okuma, Fukushima, Japan. Who would have thought that Oklahoma would become the earthquake capital of the world? In your short lives, you have witnessed the first ever Olympic Games to be held in main land China, the election of America’s first African-American president, the death of Pope John Paul II, The election and resignation of Pope Benedict the 161h, and the election of Pope Francis I. You have seen the birth of iPads, Apps, Twitter, and YouTube, and most importantly you have survived the short skirt crisis of 2016 at Bishop McGuinness!
High school has served as the ground floor for the life you are about to lead. On August 15, 2012 when the boys kissed their mommies goodbye and the girls were presented a rose and walked to their lockers by a senior boy, your high school life began. Much has happened since that day in August, and I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to mention to your parents, relatives and friends, your many accomplishments. The class of 2016 has maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.37 on a four point scale over the past seven semesters. Four of you are National Merit Scholars, two of you are Commended Scholars, and one was honored with the National Hispanic Recognition Program. Recently, 86 of you received the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence, an honor reserved for those students who maintained a 3.5 grade point average while attending high school. 33 of you were named Oklahoma Academic Scholars. These students maintained a 3.7 GPA or higher and scored 27 or higher on the ACT exam or a combine score of 1220 on the SAT. In addition, tonight 80 of you are wearing gold cords signifying that you will graduate with a 3.7 or higher GPA accumulated over the past four years and a 22 or higher ACT score. 77 seniors have been awarded $1,000 or more in scholarships for the upcoming school year. In all, the class of 2016 has been awarded grants and scholarships in excess of 4 million dollars.
Becoming a “Person for Others” is at the heart of our mission statement, and faith, hope and love are at the root of everything we do! Pier Giorgio wrote, “Nothing is more beautiful than love. Indeed, faith and hope will end when we die, whereas love, that is charity, will last eternally.” This year, your class embodied our mission statement by “Becoming a Person for Others.” For your senior service project, the entire class spent a day at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club. The work performed brought a greater sense of hope to all those involved. I ask the entire class to please stand, along with your sponsors Christine Pankratz and Lynda Schaffel, so we can honor your efforts.
Taking a moment to open a door, carry a bag, tend to the sick, pick up trash, or acknowledge someone with a smile or welcoming comment are simple acts of service and kindness. Such acts have been performed by each of you since you entered our school as freshmen. Collectively, the class of 2016 completed 32,368 combined hours of service within the greater Oklahoma City Community and beyond, and along the way, you have learned what it means to be a person for others.
Tonight, 74 of you are wearing a Red Cord signifying you have completed 300 or more Christian Service hours. 17 of you have gone beyond 500 hours, 4 of you have served more than 1000 hours and one of you has served our community with over 2000 hours, indicating that service has truly become a part of your lives.
26 students in the Class of 2016 have accompanied teachers and adult chaperones to Piura, Peru. The week long, hands on service opportunity at the Santisimo Sacraments Parish forever changed the lives of the individuals and families you touched.
The Class of 2016 has demonstrated tremendous pride in our school. Over the past four years as a class, you have collected 443,928 pounds of food for the Greater Oklahoma City Food Bank.
This year, 9 of you were chosen as Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School”Students of the Month”. These individuals were selected by their teachers and classmates for their academic performance, leadership, service and integrity. Religious formation is at the core of our existence. Since the beginning of your junior year, 83 of you, which equates to 54% of your class, attended a four day KAIROS retreat, and 17 volunteered to be a part of the retreat team. The four day retreat enabled you to reflect on your relationship with Jesus and grow in your faith while helping others grow in theirs.
Through Dance recitals, such as “Anything Could Happen”, “Give Me Love”, “Our Day Has Come”, and “A Place We Call Home”, as well as Band and Glee Concerts, art shows, and Speech and Debate competitions, you have dazzled us with your remarkable skills. Your performances in such stage productions as ‘Dearly Departed? “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”, “Little Shop of Ho”ors? “Anything Goes”, and “Godspell” not only entertained us, but confirmed what we already knew, you are very talented.
I could not be more proud in saying scouting is well represented in your class. Ten of your young men have reached the ultimate goal of earning the rank of Eagle Scout. In addition, Venture Crew continued to grow in participation and now provides an avenue for both male and female students to work on their leadership skills that will follow them into life.
Athletics have played an important role in the lives of our students in the Class of 2016. Over the past four years, students in your class have been a part of state championship teams, state qualifying teams, and numerous regional, conference and district championship teams. This year alone, your class has helped lead their teams to a Class SA Regional title in Boys Soccer, Girts Track and Field, Girls Cross Country, and Football. Big 10 conference titles were won by Girts and Boys Cross Country, Volleyball, Boys Golf and Girls Track. District champions were Football, and Girls and Boys Soccer. Finally, the Boys Golf team captured the class SA State Championship and Football and Girls Track brought home the state academic championship trophy.
One Act Play Team and the Technical Support and Set Design crew won their third state title in as many years last fall. I would be remiss if I did not mention that our Academic Team has qualified for state three of the last four years, and the girls Cheerleading Competition squad and Porn squad have earned high acclaim at the state and national level.
Over the past four years our school yearbook and newspaper have both enjoyed much success. Both have received highest honors and have been given the All Oklahoman Award each of the past four years. In addition, the yearbook won the State Championship in 2014, and the newspaper in 2015.
Acts of heroism were no greater that early Monday morning on September 11, 2001 than those performed by the passengers of Flight 93. Minutes following take-off hijackers took control of the cockpit and began turning the aircraft in a direction aimed at our nation’s capital. Huddled in the back of the plane, passengers began communicating with loved ones and ground personnel. After learning that terrorist attacks involving passenger jets were occurring in New York City and Washington D.C. it became evident to those on board that they were part of a large scale attack aimed at destroying our way of life. The names of Glick, Bingham, Burnett, Nacke, Cashman, and Todd Beamer have forever been immortalized as they stood tall and took control of their fate and fought back causing Flight 93 to crash in to an empty field in Pennsylvania saving an untold number of lives.
Saving a life while sacrificing your own is the ultimate act of heroism, but heroic acts often come in many forms. Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on an Atlanta bus in 1955 helped start the civil rights movement in our country. The unknown rebel who stood in front of a tank Tiananmen Square, Hellen Keller-who despite her disabilities changed our country’s view of how deaf people were treated. Mother Teresa who went to India virtually penniless and devoted her life’s work to serving the poor and vulnerable in Calcutta. This year students in our school, some of you sitting on the stage tonight, have sat side by side with Sister Stephanie and popped tabs to supply Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe’s Orphanage. The tabs are used to produce items sold to fund the orphanage, thus lifting up the lives of the young women and children scarred by the Kony reign of terror that tore apart Uganda.
During the past four years you have inspired us with your individual acts of heroism. Many of you have experienced the death of a love one, classmate, or special friend. You have dealt with the tragic illness of a family member that has altered your life. You have been faced with social and emotional issues that had you question your faith and God’s plan for you in this life. Despite these struggles, you have navigated your way to this stage tonight and stand poised and quite possibly better prepared than any previous graduation class to meet the multitude of challenges life has in store for you. When asked to step up and meet a challenge you often took on the task and exceeded expectations.
If you are looking for a hero you probably don’t have to look any farther than the person sitting next to you, and if you truly know their life story you will quickly agree they have risen above those obstacles placed in their path, and they helped and influenced others along the way.
Lilly Forth in her faith story shared with our school a passage from Proverbs. “Trust the Lord with all you heart; do not depend on your understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your path.
As you canenter senior hall there is a quote from Albert Einstein. It reads, “A life lived for other is a life well lived. I have no doubt that when you are called to stand tall and change the course life has taken, you will not shirk your responsibility, but will embrace the challenge.
I leave you with the words from a hymn we sing often at All School Mass: we are the salt in the earth, called to let people see. The love of God in you and me. We are the light of the world, not to be hidden but be seen. Go make a difference in the world.
Godspeed class of 2016, and always remember no matter where the road of life takes you, you will always have a home at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School.
Yours In Christ,
Principal and President