alumni news

Kaelen Park in China for January Term

Kaelen Park (class of '06) is in China for January term, studying Physics along with 10 other students and 2 faculty from Linfield College.  She will be in Beijing, Xining, Tibet and Shanghai.  She returns to study in Hong Kong next year for a full semester.  Her degree is in International Business and Chinese.  
Attached is a link to pictures of Kaelen in China.

WWCS Alumnus Conley a first-team All-American

DeSales Alum (2004) and University of Idaho punter T.J. Conley was selected to the 2008 Walter Camp All-American Football team, the oldest All-American team in the nation.  Conley, who led the nation in punting and will earn his degree in engineering, earlier was named to the second team ESPN Academic All-American team.
Commenting on Conley's achievement, DeSales principal John Lesko said that "DeSales High School is extremely proud to have T.J. as an alum."  He is "an outstanding young many who excelled in the athletic arena as well as academically and as a school role model and leader.  The honor is well deserved for his tremendous commitment and dedication." 
His football coach at DeSales, Kim Cox, stated that "obviously, the honor is tremendous and all of us who know T.J. feel he is extremely deserving of this honor."  This sentiment is broadly shared.  As Cox noted, "I think I can speak for the other teachers here at DeSales when I say we are double proud of this young man who has already been an Academic All-American as well. T.J. will graduate this year with a degree in Engineering. This is pretty rare for college varsity athletes." 
Other former coaches and teachers echaoed Cox's statement.  Math teacher and DeSales Athletic Director Greg Fazzari noted that he had "the pleasure of teaching TJ math and science as well as coaching him in basketball.  T.J. is now an engineer, which is a great testament to his abilities.  But what has always most impressed me about TJ is his character.  He is a man of faith and extraordinary virtue."  Current DeSales head coach Mike Spiess said: "I am very happy for T.J..  He is very deserving of the award.  T.J. is a great student athlete.  In his time in the Walla Walla Catholic Schools he showed a work ethic second to none, he was a great student, and a great role model in his faith and citizenship to his classmates and schoolmates."
Another positive attribute noted by many is Conley's ability to overcome adversity.  As Spiess noted, during his athletic career at DeSales T.J. experienced many successes on the field individually and for the teams he played on.  He also experienced setbacks (season ending losses and a broken leg in the football championship game his senior year).  Through it all T.J. has been a humble young man of great character."  Cox said the same was true of his time at Idaho.  "I think there is a great underlying message for all of us," Cox said. "T.J. went through some very frustrating times at Idaho because he wanted to play QB. He would get some time with the #2 offense but as time went on, he found himself off #2 and getting few reps. We had a couple of conversations on the phone about his situation. When Erickson's staff arrived, they were the first to say to him, "Son, do you know that you have the ability to be an NFL punter?"  The rest is history. It is a good lesson because sometimes...'what we want, may not be what is best for us in a bigger picture'.

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