Orillion, LaMothe, Roberts, and Rossi: Model Ignatian Educators
The 2013 winners of the Profile of a Jesuit Teacher Award were honored for their accomplishments at the faculty-staff end-of-year dinner reception, which was held Friday, May 17 in the Student Commons. Each honoree received a beautiful engraved plaque and a $2,500 check. Congratulations to these four outstanding teachers.
The winners are:
- Matthew P. “Matt” Orillion, a theology teacher who serves as moderator of the Pro-Life Club as well as the Student Council.
- Christopher J. “Chris” LaMothe, a theology and physical education teacher who serves as an assistant football coach and moderator of the St. Peter Claver Club.
- Mollie Roberts, the director of guidance and a counselor to seniors who also serves as moderator of Peer Support.
- Ronald C. “Ron” Rossi, a social studies teacher who serves as moderator of the varsity quiz bowl team.
Matt Orillion: Challenging Blue Jays to Think and Feel Deeply About Faith
Matthew P. Orillion, an alumnus of the Class of 1998, has been a dedicated member of Jesuit’s faculty for the past eight years. As Student Council moderator, Matt has spent countless hours behind the scenes supporting and working with students to plan and prepare for school events such as Welcome Week, Homecoming, dances, pep rallies, lunchtime activities, and elections. He has initiated and developed a program of training and formation for the Student Council executive board as well as a school leadership training program for all clubs and organizations on campus.
As moderator of the Pro-Life Club, he has spent numerous hours promoting the respect, dignity, and worth of all human life. Every year since coming to Jesuit, Matt has led the annual March for Life trip to Washington, D.C. His leadership in planning and directing the trip has allowed many students to live their faith through prayer and action.
As a theology teacher Matt is actively involved in the religious formation of his students. He gives the students a concrete and compelling case for Christianity in an atmosphere where the students are allowed the freedom to think and express their beliefs. He is constantly striving to find new ways to break open the material for his students that will challenge them to think and feel deeply about their faith.
Matt has high moral and ethical standards, yet he does not judge others for thinking differently. He readily interacts with his students in ways that make them feel comfortable and at ease. As a loving husband and father of two young children, Matt has come to value the uniqueness of each individual. He treats others with kindness, humility, and respect. For these reasons and many more, Jesuit is proud to honor Matt Orillion as a model Ignatian educator worthy of the Profile Award.
Chris LaMothe: Fostering Tolerance, Understanding, and Acceptance
Christopher J. LaMothe has been challenging his students to be the very best that they can be for God’s greater glory, both in his theology classroom and on the playing field of competitive sports. Chris, who arrived at Jesuit eight years ago, sets high standards for his students and motivates them to work hard to reach these lofty goals. While for many of us this may seem like a Herculean task, Chris succeeds in this endeavor the only way he knows how: by example.
After all those hours spent in the theology classroom, where he shares his faith and commitment to Christ, and all those long hours coaching and preparing his football players for the next game, Chris can still be found in the small chapel for adoration at the end of a long day, or in Rosaryville for a three-day Kairos retreat, or in a summer classroom to experiment with Research Based Teaching techniques for his classes, or moderating the St. Peter Claver Club, or most recently working tirelessly on the school’s 50th year Celebration of the Integration of Jesuit High School.
So when Chris asks for the best that his students have to offer, they rise to the challenge because they see him working as hard as he is asking them to work, the mark of a true leader.
Chris is positive, enthusiastic, and above all passionate when challenging students to reach their full potential, both academically and athletically. But the true gift he gives his students and the Jesuit community is his desire to foster understanding, tolerance, and acceptance of others at all times and all places. Chris is a man of faith and a blessing to the Jesuit community. Jesuit is proud to honor him as an Ignatian educator and recipient of the Profile Award.
Mollie Roberts: Kindhearted, Genuine, and Always Wearing a Smile
Mollie Roberts has competently and lovingly served Jesuit for seven years. As director of the guidance department, she oversees the Peer Support Program, the Advanced Placement Program, College Night, Teen Life Counts Program, and the Rising Junior Interview Program. She also once served as a College Placement Counselor.
Fellow faculty members know her as a trusted professional who readily offers a listening ear and a kind heart. Students know her as a loving and caring counselor. Parents know her as one who always goes far out of her way to support their children.
Mollie has a very strong commitment to justice. For several summers she worked with Operation Upgrade. And for many years Mollie worked with the Desmond Project, sacrificing her time on the weekends to prepare and distribute food to New Orleans’s homeless. Many Jesuit students followed Mollie’s lead and accompanied her in this service project.
Besides attending Administrative Team, Academic Council, and monthly department meetings, Mollie monitors more than 250 students. She is a member of the Ignatian Identity Team. She once directed the District Rally Program and served for five years on the Profile Award Selection Committee. A woman and a mother of prayer and deep faith, Mollie completed the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and is devoted to God and His service. She has also attended Kairos retreats and regularly participates in Friday adoration.
Mollie always shares a smile and greeting when she sees a colleague. One faculty member commented that you can feel Mollie’s positive energy when you are in her presence. Another commented that Mollie is the most kindhearted and genuine person that she has ever met. Jesuit proudly recognizes Mollie Roberts as an Ignatian Educator and Profile Award recipient.
Ron Rossi: A Love of History Kindles the Passion to Teach It
Ronald C. Rossi, who has served Jesuit High School for 28 years, is thought of by his fellow department members as “Mr. Social Studies” because he has modeled not just a love of history but also a passion for teaching it.
When students enter Ron’s classroom, their senses are engulfed with history as all four walls are covered with exhibits and nary an inch of empty space — maps of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast; pictures of Teddy Roosevelt and James Garfield; student-produced posters diagramming and explaining the Battles of Shiloh or Antietam; model airplanes, stealth bombers, and helicopters hanging from the ceiling.
Ron is a stellar teacher of history because he is a passionate student of history. Each summer he attends professional development workshops around the country, always learning and gathering materials useful to his students. Ron has been awarded six times a National Endowment for the Humanities grant for summer historical studies.
Also adorning his classroom walls are numerous Quiz Bowl victory plaques and trophies. Ron has moderated Jesuit’s Varsity Quiz Bowl team for 28 years. Because Quiz Bowl competition begins each August and ends in June, Ron affectionately calls Quiz Bowl his “other life.” Under Ron’s tutelage Jesuit’s Varsity Quiz Bowl teams have won numerous Louisiana state championships.
Ron has also published an educational game — Louisiana Trivia Challenge — that has been officially adopted by the state.
But the greatest display in Ron’s classroom is Ron himself, who models openness to growth, professionalism, a loving attitude, and a commitment to justice. A model of Ignatian pedagogy, Ron mixes clear teaching and a passion for history with a deep respect for his students. Jesuit commends Ron Rossi as an Ignatian educator, worthy of Jesuit’s Profile Award.