HONOLULU – Kalani High School students received a visit today from Kalani alumnus Roy Gerela, former National Football League (NFL) Pittsburgh Steeler kicker and three-time Super Bowl champion. Gerela returned to his former campus to recognize the school for its positive contributions to athletics, American football and Super Bowl history.
Gerela delivered a commemorative Wilson Golden Football to the school to recognize its impact on Super Bowl history as part of the NFL's Super Bowl High School Honor Roll program. High schools across the US and around the world will receive a commemorative Golden Football for every player or head coach who graduated from their school and was on an active Super Bowl roster. Nearly 3,000 players and head coaches, and more than 2,000 high schools, will be recognized. Each football features the school's name, location, the honoree's name and the Super Bowl(s) the honoree appeared in. The Honor Roll program will become a Super Bowl tradition starting this season.
Gerela also made a generous donation of $2,500 to the school, which will be matched by the NFL Foundation for a total donation of $5,000. "I'm really very thankful and grateful to the Kalani family and for what they have done for me," said Gerela to an assembly of over 1,300 students. "Today is about you, Kalani High School." Gerela's participation in the Super Bowl High School Honor Roll program allows Kalani High to apply for an additional NFL Foundation grant of $5,000, which will be received in April.
"It's so gratifying to see our alumni return and give back to their former schools and show our students the types of success that's possible after graduation," said Hawaii Department of Education Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. "Roy talent and positive attitude helped him to achieve remarkable success and he serves as a great example for our students."
Gerela attended Kalani High School and New Mexico State University before being drafted by the Houston Oilers in 1969 in the American Football League, just before their first NFL season in 1970. He then joined the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1971 and helped them to become one of the NFL's most dominant teams of the decade. He led the American Football Conference in scoring for two consecutive years in 1973 and 1974, earned Pro Bowl honors in 1972 and 1974, and is third on the Steelers all-time scoring list. He went on to win three Super Bowl championships with the Steelers in 1974, 1975 and 1978.
The NFL Foundation will provide the schools with a new character education curriculum and the opportunity to apply for grants of up to $5,000 to help support and develop their football programs. The NFL Foundation has invested $1 million towards the campaign.
About the Hawaii State Department of Education
The Hawaii State Department of Education is the ninth-largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 256 schools and 34 charter schools, and serves more than 180,000 students. King Kamehameha III established Hawaii's public school system in 1840. To learn more, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.