President Al Falkner's last year at Gonzaga Prep is off to a great start! On Saturday, September 17, in front of a packed Hemmingson Center on Gonzaga University's campus, student-body president August Corppetts`17 presented Mr. Falkner with the Nazareth Guild's Lifetime Achievement Award, honoring his 43 years in service to Catholic education.
Starting as an English teacher in 1974, Al has held almost every position possible - teacher, coach, Athletic Director, Principal, and President. Now, as he stood in front of his family, friends, colleagues and past students, in the passionate and poised manner we know so well, he thanked his wife, Vicki, his children Tom`99, Kristen`97 and Dan`01, and reflected on the importance of Catholic education. His experience started when he attended St. Paschal’s and St. Mary’s grade schools.
If Fair Share (which Al helped create) and the Nazareth Guild had been around when he was in high school, Al knows he would have graduated a Bullpup. He spoke about how the faith, the strong academic preparation, and the sense of community “gives our graduates a confidence that is uncommon – a confidence to go out into the world and make a difference.”
“Because they and I are part of something special,” he said, “something unique and intentional, we walk into our lives, our families, our work and our communities with a confidence and lifelong tools that are unique and lasting.”
Al’s love and support of Catholic education in Spokane was made clear in his constant reminder of the importance of it in our community. “Don’t take Catholic education for granted,” he urged. “We are all in this together and we need each other.” “Together we can make our schools the best. Yes, I used the word ‘best.’ It is okay to say that and we should never apologize.” “ You are part of something special. Let’s make sure that our children and the next generation of children are part of something special and important to our world.”