Campaign for St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School
December 20, 2018

Good Evening St. Francis School Parents and Guardians,

This past weekend, I attended the funeral of my high school football coach, Marijon Ancich. He lived a long and fulfilling life so it was truly a celebration of his life. I share this with you because Coach had an impact on me that affected my leadership style and ultimately your children.

I had the good fortune of attending St. Paul High School in Santa Fe Springs.  My brothers and I were blessed that our parents made the sacrifices to send us to a Catholic school. It was not easy for them, but they believed that it was necessary to provide a foundation for success. The fact that I am talking about it today, 40 years later, is confirmation of the lifelong impact of their decision.

Call it fate or good luck, I was educated by great teachers and coaches who had a significant impact on the person I am today. None was greater than Coach Ancich. I had no idea that I was playing for a coach who would become a legendary figure in high school athletics, the second winningest football coach in Southern California history. I also had no idea the impact he would have on me, my teammates and the athletes he would coach over a 50 year career. He was a great football coach, we won almost all of our games and won championships.  He was an even better life coach. He taught us about work ethic, sacrifice, accountability, discipline and respect.  We learned to work together and set goaIs, and to focus all of our efforts to achieve those goals. He made us tough, strong, and confident. He pushed us to go beyond our perceived limits and to fight through adversity. He stressed the importance of preparation and strategy. Most important, he taught us to do things with a purpose and with passion. He inspired us to dream big and leave a legacy.

These are qualities ingrained in me during my days playing for Coach Ancich and they became the attributes that define who I am today. I want our students to develop these powerful and personal qualities so that they have the skills to build a strong foundation for success. They are also qualities that symbolize how I approach the building project.

The Campaign for SFA is a huge endeavor. Building support and raising the money is one of the biggest projects I have undertaken in my years as an educator. I thought about these challenges as I reflected on what I learned from Coach Ancich - dream big, plan, work together as a team, and give everything you've got to achieve the goal. The Campaign for SFA is important for our kids and it is worth fighting for. Coach Ancich's legacy is what he taught his athletes to do after our playing days were over. One of the best ways I can honor Coach's legacy is to inspire our school community to leave a legacy at St. Francis of Assisi School. Our kids will benefit from the enhancements and our school needs these improvements to remain the school of choice in North Orange County. Just like the team effort we needed to face tough opponents, we need a total team effort by our school community to complete our planned campus enhancements as we embark upon the future together.  No one's contribution is too small (or too large!).

I look forward to working with you to Light the Way and Build on Our Legacy !  

For more information about the Campaign for SFA please click on the link

Tom Waszak

5330 Eastside Circle
Yorba Linda, CA 92887
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