Approximately 250 people gathered recently to honor teachers, businesspeople and community leaders who promote virtue during the Virtue First Foundation awards dinner in Mount Angel.
A non-profit, Virtue First Foundation, is dedicated to promoting virtue to “re-build the character of America’s youth.” It was founded by Randy Traeger, a high school football coach and member of St. Mary Parish.
More information about those who were honored:
HEALTH CARE PROVIDER OF YEAR: ALEX STAVROS (CEO) CALO YOUTH TREATMENT CENTERS, LAKE OZARK, MISSOURI
As the son of social workers, Alex grew up in Peru working, playing and living with the troubled youth and desolate orphans of Lima’s slums. Alex's childhood shaped his professional and personal aspirations. Alex is now the CEO of CALO, based in Lake Ozark, Missouri, a world leader in treating attachment disorders and developmental trauma amongst teenagers and pre-adolescents in a residential setting. All of CALO's students are adopted. CALO is has integrated Virtue First into both their patient treatment programs and employee management systems. Prior to joining CALO, Alex was the Managing Partner of a small private equity fund, Lia Capital Partners, which he founded, focused on making acquisitions of mission-driven businesses. Alex graduated with Honors from American University with both an Economic Theory and International Relations degree and he earned an MBA and Certificate of Public Management from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Alex is happily married to his wife, Maria-Paz, who has the most important job in the world, raising their two beautiful children: Lia and Mateo.
YOUTH MINISTER OF YEAR: SARAH KRESSE, ST. JOSEPH CHURCH, SALEM, OR
Sarah has been the Youth and Young Adult Coordinator at St. Joseph Parish in Salem since 2007. Sarah attended the University of Washington, studying Wildlife Science and Statistics. While at the University of Washington she served as a peer minister through the University of Washington Catholic Newman Center. She participated in a year-long internship with the Oregon Department of Forestry and discerned that working with youth was where her heart is. Over the last seven years Sarah has been blessed with growth in the youth ministry at St. Joseph Parish, and she currently ministers with over 300 mid-high and high school youth every week.
TEACHER OF YEAR: MIKE GUMP, HORIZON CHRISTIAN- WILSONVILLE, OR
Born in Walla Walla, Washington, Mike graduated from West Linn High School. Mike served in U.S. Air Force and eventually graduated with a BS and a MS from Portland State University. Mike taught at Lake Oswego High School from 1982-2011 before changing jobs and moving to Horizon Christian. Mike has taught at Horizon Christian High School from 2011 to the present. Mike is married to Kim, and they have two children: Bethany, who is married to husband Trevor, teaches at Banks Elementary; and Erik, who currently is serving as a Ranger in the Army.
BUSINESS OF YEAR: BUTSCH INSURANCE CO., MT. ANGEL, OR.
Owners Bill Schaecher and Craig Emch have operated Clem Butsch Insurance since 2006. All employees stay very active in the community and volunteer as coaches, mentors, firefighters, city officials and committee members among other things. Butsch Insurance specializes in farm insurance. Since 1941 they have relied on a simple formula to guide them in what they do; treat others as you would like to be treated. Butsch Insurance was recognized by the Chamber of Commerce as Mt Angel’s Business of the Year in 2007. Butsch Insurance was also honored by the Mt Angel Fire District for significant contributions to the District. In 2010 Butsch Insurance was honored as a “Farm Certified” agency being selected as a key partner by Allied and Nationwide Agribusiness.
COACH OF YEAR: ISAAC PARKER, HEAD FOOTBALL COACH, MC NARY HIGH SCHOOL, SALEM, OR
Isaac Parker is a math teacher and the head football coach at Mc Nary High School. Isaac was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and graduated from the Kamehameha Schools in 1998. After playing football at Willamette University and graduating in 2002, it was through Isaac’s involvement in Keizer Young Life that first got him interested in coaching high school sports. Isaac began his teaching and coaching career at South Salem High. In 2012, Isaac landed his first head coach job at Mc Nary High School. In his first season, the Celtics reached the state playoffs, breaking a 5-year drought. As exciting as the on-field growth has been, Coach Parker is most proud of the team’s off-field growth. The team pride, school spirit, and leadership development has helped to improve the overall school culture, and the virtues that Coach Parker has injected to the football program is having an effect on the entire Keizer community. Isaac and his wife Anna met while serving in the Young Life ministry and were married in 2009.