March 2nd, Servite High School hosted its 3rd Annual Excellence in Leadership Formation Dinner. Servite honored 3-time Emmy Award winner, author, professor of law, and national radio talk show host, Hugh Hewitt; a distinguished retired faculty member and coach, Dale Eccleston; and an alumnus, USC All-American, All-Pro Center Carolina Panthers player, Ryan Kalil as the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.
Since 1958, Servite High School has helped address the need for faith-filled leaders. The Excellence in Leadership Dinner is an event, which raises money to develop the facilities and financial aid necessary to serve a student body of 1,000 young men at Servite. Over 500 Orange county leaders were in attendance for this inspirational and entertaining event.
The evening began with members of the Servite High School choir singing as guests entered the beautiful ballroom. Servite’s President, Pete Bowen proudly presented each honoree with their distinguished awards, accompanied by Mr. Tim Brundige, the master of ceremonies.
Mr. Dale Eccelston was honored first, as a distinguished Servite faculty member. Eccelston was best known for his excellence in teaching English in a unique and memorable way, sometimes using only hand gestures to conduct an entire class period. As a memorial video played of past students reliving their favorite classroom moments, members of the audience roared with laughter. It was clear hundreds of Mr. Eccelsteon’s students were in the room and could relate to the stories. He was honored for his dedication and commitment to all of the men he taught over the 28 years he served at Servite High School.
Award winner Hugh Hewitt was the second honoree. He was presented with the Servite Orange County Leadership Award. He took over the stage and introduced and honored many of his colleagues and also left the audience with several laughs. He has been connected to Servite for many years and praised the school on their commitment to forming faith-filled leaders and their dedication to service.
Last to be honored was Ryan Kalil, Servite High School class of 2003. Ryan is currently an All-Pro Center for the Carolina Panthers. Ryan was honored as this year’s Distinguished Alumnus of the Year for his excellence in leadership on and off the football field. That night, Kalil demonstrated the faith and leadership he learned at Servite; following in the footsteps Servite alumni and NFL quarterback Steve Beuerlein who raised money for his former high school teammate who had ALS. He turned what was meant to be an honor to him; into a message about the foundation he is starting in honor of his High School quarterback, Ryan Coffelt. Coffelt was diagnosed 5 months ago with stage-4 brain cancer, and Kalil is doing everything he can to help his former Servite teammate.
Servite High School is not just about academic success. It is about preparing young men for success in life, by becoming faith-filled leaders. Dale Eccleston, Hugh Hewitt, and Ryan Kalil personify the term “Faith-filled leaders”.