Dexter Dale embodies what we’re grateful for at Leo High School this Thanksgiving season.

Dexter stopped by school the other day, on break from the University of Illinois, where he is a freshman. Four years ago, he was a pudgy little Leo freshman with a great smile and an even better attitude. He quickly realized that Leo offered him the opportunity to be all he can be, and by the time he graduated Dexter was Class of 2015 valedictorian, Catholic League chess champion and four-year starter on the baseball team, among other things.

He’s at the U of I on an academic scholarship, and thriving.

Maybe this year’s Dexter Dale is SirLaurence King, a Leo senior who was too small for football or basketball when he enrolled as a freshman, but was determined to excel at something, so he threw himself into running. By finishing 12th among 250-plus competitors at the state cross country meet, SirLaurence earned first-team All-State distinction, Leo’s first such honoree since 1988.

An honor-roll student, a member of the National Honor Society and a great young man, SirLaurence is an attractive recruit for a number of schools, so he’ll have the opportunity to compete in college on scholarship. Like Dexter, SirLaurence took full advantage of his Leo opportunity.

But Leo would not have been there to offer that opportunity without the loyal support of so many people who share our vision and commitment. We are not only grateful, we are inspired by your remarkable generosity. And we can point to Dexter Dale, SirLaurence King and many, many other terrific young Leo Men as proof that it’s a sound investment.

On Nov. 7, during our annual Veterans Memorial observation, we awarded World War II hero Jim Wilkins his Leo diploma 71 years after he would have earned it had he not dropped out and gone off to fight for his country. The pride in Jim’s lively eyes and the smiles on the faces of his excited family members spoke volumes about what the occasion meant to them. (See Leo Story/Leo Veterans Day 2015)

Leo High School is a special place.

Because of people like Dexter Dale.

And SirLaurence King.

And you.

On this Thanksgiving, I am beyond-words grateful for your support.

It’s an honor to serve.

Holiday best to you and your families. God bless.

Dan McGrath ’68, President

Leo High School