2018 Awards of Excellence Winners

2018 Awards of Excellence Winners

BCS Legacy Award Shel Hanser ’89
During Shel’s 17 year tenure as principal of BCCHS, the school has earned Western Catholic Educational Association Accreditation, has been awarded the distinction of being one of the Top 50 Catholic Schools in the Nation, ACT and SAT scores have risen to all time highs, the Advanced Placement and Montana University System Concurrent Enrollment programs have expanded, and technology and infrastructure changes have expanded to meet a growing needs. No matter what the situation, Shel exhibits qualities of generosity, kindness, and hard work, as he seeks to ‘Make God Smile’. A person can’t pass through the halls of Billings Central today without seeing Shel’s legacy on the walls, in the classrooms, or in the spirit of our student body and faculty. Family, and Academic Excellence are the overall goals of the Billings Catholic School System, and no man better represents and strives to accomplish these goals than Shel Hanser.

Philanthropist of the Year Joe and Kathy Rude
Joe and Kathy Rude have shared their talents and their treasures with Billings Catholic Schools for the last 20 years. They have been long-time supporters of Mayfair and the BCS Foundation Annual Fund campaign, and their children attended and graduated from BCS. Their contributions range from securing funding for the construction of the new Saint Francis Catholic School to cooking dinners for Central football players. No task is too big or too small for this couple, and in all that they do, they model the Catholic faith.

Community Partner of the Year Langlas and Associates, Hulteng, Inc, and A&E Architects, PC
In 2017 our brand new Saint Francis Catholic K8 School opened. The pathway to a new school was one none of us had previously navigated, and we knew we would have to put our faith and trust in the experts. The team that came together to make our vision a reality was incredible. From attending meetings, to designing the building, to the actual construction, the project could not have been in better hands.

Outstanding Alumnus Jared and Mallory Harris
Jared and Mallory are a couple who have done amazing things in our Catholic school and Catholic community. While raising three young children, they are frequently in the school volunteering. Together they resurrected the SEARCH program at Billings Central Catholic High School, which is now thriving and impacting Central students every year. They volunteer for Home and School and Mayfair, serve in the religious education program at church, participate in church groups and music ministry, and serve as mentors to other young families. Whenever possible, the couple is spreading the good word about Billings Catholic Schools, and encouraging friends and co-workers to bring their children to our schools at BCS.

Outstanding Young Alum Ryan Huppert ’08
Ryan is connected to both the school and the Church, volunteering his time on the school board and sub-committees, working on school projects, as a youth group leader, and through music ministry. He has spent hours donating his time working on landscaping for Saint Francis Catholic. He speaks in support of our schools every year, along with organizing alumni events. Anytime he is called upon to volunteer for the Church or the school, the answer is always yes. Ryan embodies the Catholic faith, and is a great role model for younger generations of BCS students.

Volunteer of the Year Leo O’Brien
Leo has spent countless hours working behind the scenes on boards, committees, and sub-committees for Billings Catholic Schools. As a result of hours of his time, his prayers, and a selfless dedication to Billings Catholic Schools, we have been able to maintain a balanced budget and increase scholarship dollars, while investing in the tools necessary to keep our schools prospering now and into the future.

Outstanding Support Staff Kelly Fallang
Kelly works tirelessly for Saint Francis, as she has done for years. She consistently takes care of anything staff or students need, and keeps track of everything. She rarely gets rattled, and treats students, staff and parents with respect and kindness. Her faith is evident in the way she demonstrates the importance of always serving others and her consistent kindness and care for others. She has experienced personal trials and suffering, but has never wavered in her love of God, the Rosary, prayerful thoughts and words and her Catholic faith.

Educator of the Year Shane Fairbanks
One of the students who nominated Shane said, ‘He makes me want to do more and be more as a student, citizen, and simply a human being. I am grateful to have a teacher like him in my life.’ His love for learning and teaching is contagious; through his actions, he makes everyone that he encounters want to do more and be more. The impact he has on his students is not only evident in the way that he teaches, it is apparent in the care and concern he has for his students, and in the way he strives to draw out the very best in every one of them.