Character Is Who and What You Are When Nobody Is Watching

(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Wednesday morning, 1 February 2017–3rd day of Catholic Schools Week)

Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle founded his first school in 1685 with his sole purpose and mission to educate students on not just science, math and history, but to educate them on how to become better people. With this mission in mind and his courageous drive to step away from the norms of society, De La Salle knew that he could not fulfill this mission alone and began to not just educate, but empower teachers to become leaders to fulfill his mission.

When I think about La Salle Academy today, I think about the people who have answered this calling of selflessness and who truly resemble what De La Salle would expect from a Lasallian teacher—the people that when you step away from La Salle Academy have made a lasting impact on your life.

One of these people is Geoff Marcone. Mr. Marcone or Coach Marcone is someone who exemplifies the Lasallian educator. He is a true leader. Coach Marcone gets the most out of his students and athletes daily by encouraging and motivating them to be the best at whatever they are doing. This is something that he models on a day to day basis. He always strives to be his best.

Coach Marcone builds relationships through trust. There is truly not a more sincere, genuine and caring person than Geoff Marcone. He checks in with his students daily and puts their needs and well-being ahead of his own, even when he does not have to. Coach Marcone is selfless. He wants all of his students and athletes to be successful. He will do whatever he can to make that happen.

“Character is who and what you are, when nobody’s watching.” This is something Coach preaches day in and day out. In this day and age, it is easy to say things and not follow through. In my opinion, he embodies the definition of character. Geoff Marcone is character. He is the same person all of the time, no matter the circumstances, which is an incredible attribute. He treats everyone with respect. He cares about the people he has developed a relationship with. He is a great father, teacher, coach, role model and friend.

I am blessed to have been a student, an athlete, and a colleague of Geoff Marcone. I am just one of the many examples of someone who has been made better, not just in the classroom or on the field but in the most important game of all, Life.

Today, he will accept one more honor to his already impressive list of accomplishments. He will be named the Distinguished Lasallian Educator at La Salle Academy for this year. I am honored to call Geoff Marcone a friend and even extremely more honored to congratulate him on this prestigious award. Thank you, Coach, for your mission and your leadership.

Let us pray,

Lord, thank you for bringing people like Geoff Marcone into our lives, who truly strive to make us better each and every day with their leadership. Thank you for giving us teachers, coaches, and mentors who model your love and dedication even when we don’t deserve it. Please continue to bring us leaders who will continue to carry out your will and goodness on earth.  Amen.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle…Pray for Us.

Live Jesus in Our Hearts…Forever.

Michael McParlin–Social Studies Teacher and Alumnus (Class of 2004)

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