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2020 Theodore James Ryken Award - Pat Gittings

Speech by Joe Cabigas:


"The definition of ZEAL:

The single-minded devotion to, The ardent enthusiasm for, and The intense drive to fulfill......

No other Xavarian Value better characterizes this year's recipient of the Theodore James Ryken Award. Each day as this person walks thru the doors of Good Counsel, there is the pursuit of one objective: To Teach and Exemplify, What it means to be a Falcon.


There simply aren't enough words to describe this year's recipient, but let's try to choose some:

How about Creative. Innovative. Tireless. Inclusive.

Personally? I'd choose Fiercely Loyal, Very Reliable, Always Dependable. I would also add Dork, Goof, Bromance, and POOR GONZAGA GRADUATE. I'm quite positive everyone has figured out who this well-loved person is! Because I can't think of any student that wouldn't know who Pat Gittings is. He's EVERYWHERE and he PLANS a GAZILLION THINGS! Like:

You'll see Pat running a lively game at freshman orientation. Or You could see him pitting sophomores and juniors against each other during Spirit Week. Pat could be out in the parking lots helping seniors paint their spaces, even if they come back the next day to redo a design for the 5th time. I also don't know of any adult at Good Counsel that doesn't envy Pat's stamina and positivity. He just makes you smile.

But back to those original words:

Pat is Creative -

He's introduced a new way of fostering school spirit at football games with fun themes and some kind of color event, which typically ends up leaving students covered in some messy goop. Remember the Game Week prior to the Covid shutdown? How many kids enjoyed playing games in the gyms and gallery, which gave them a nice break from classes?

He's also Innovative -

I have 2 Words: RAFFLE TICKETS - Who else can motivate kids into selling tickets by some gimmick, like conning me into jumping out of a giant cake? Or flying a full-sized drone carrying the dress down day bracelet into the gym? Or making a video of Pat cheating on our bromance by taking a vacation with the Raffle Ticket in Bethany Beach?


Here's an example how genius Pat is: He got students to use an app to earn class competition points by attending sports events - What a brain!

Pat is Tireless (like the Energizer Bunny) The man has no problem planning and chaperoning senior prom and post prom. He's at every athletic competition organizing the student section. He's sometimes up all night during retreats wrestling with the kids.


Pat's Very Inclusive - He wants FUN for EVERYONE, including GC Faculty and

Staff. What adult hasn't Pat dragged into playing in a Faculty FB/VB/Soccer or

Basketball game? Who loved recently playing Rock and Roll Trivia or trying to figure out The

Masked Singer? All of these activities are just a few of the many traditions we have Pat to thank for!


Personally, I believe that Pat was meant to be a Teacher; More importantly, a Teacher at Our Lady of Good Counsel. He is a trusted colleague who is naturally good at what he does. I absolutely adore the ease in which Pat creates enduring relationships with his current students. I'm also awed by Pat's vast and continuing connections with GC graduates. Just as past students might ask about Dick Burns or Richie Seel, I don't think it will be long before they lump Pat Gittings into the same sentence. What a well-deserved honor that would be!


Let's combine these 2: Zeal + Pat Gittings

The single-minded devotion to Good Counsel students, The ardent enthusiasm for Good Counsel students,

and the intense drive to fulfill WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A GOOD COUNSEL FALCON.


Pat, on behalf of the Faculty, Staff and Students of Good Counsel, I'm proud to recognize you as this year's recipient of the Theodore James Ryken Award!

You'll always be "Forever a Falcon!"

Congratulations!