Two students and one coach from Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Catholic School were recently
honored with the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) highest awards.
Sloane Salitore received the TAPPS 4A Female Fine Arts Student of the Year award while Tori Burnette received the TAPPS 4A Female Athlete of the Year award. These awards are presented annually to the athletes in each division who have been nominated by TAPPS member schools and are selected by members of the Athletic Executive Committee (AEC).
Cross Country and Women’s Track & Field Coach Monica Davis received the Edd Burleson Leadership Award as TAPPS 4A Female Coach of the Year. This award is presented annually to the male and female coaches of the year who have been nominated by TAPPS member schools and are selected by members of the AEC. Mr. Edd Burleson served as TAPPS Executive Director for 20 years and oversaw TAPPS growth from 100 schools to over 230.
Sloane Salitore was a varsity cheerleader for all four years, serving as captain her senior year. At the TAPPS State Cheer competition, her team placed in the top 5 all four years, with a 3rd place finish in 2019. Sloane was a National Cheerleaders Association All American Cheerleader in 2018 and 2020. She was awarded First Team All State in 2019 and 2020 and All State Honorable Mention in 2018. She served as a staff instructor for the National Cheerleaders Association and a member of Spirit of Tyler All Star Cheer Level 5 Co-Ed Team in 2021. In addition to cheer, she participated in State One Act Play in 2017 and 2018 and was a varsity track athlete who qualified for the state meet in 2018 and 2019 for the 4x100 relay. Sloane will be attending Texas Tech University in the fall.
According to Bishop Gorman Cheer Coach Christie Strong, "Sloane is an outstanding cheerleader, a strong leader and a team player who loves to teach others about cheerleading. Her work ethic and determination are impeccable."
Tori Burnette was a member of the Bishop Gorman cross country and track & field programs from junior high through high school and served as captain of both the cross country and track teams her senior year. As a varsity athlete, Tori was named All State Cross Country in 2018, 2019, and 2020, All State Track & Field for the 800 and 1600 in 2019 and 2021, and Academic All State in both cross country and track & field her junior and senior year. As a senior, Tori was a bronze medalist at the state cross country meet, leading her team to a State Championship. As a sophomore, Tori was a silver medalist at the state track & field meet in the 800 and a bronze medalist in the 1600. As a senior, she qualified for the state track & field meet in the 800, 1600, and 4x400 relay where she earned a silver medal in both the 800 and 1600. Tori is the current school record holder for the 800. Tori was also honored as the CHRISTUS Health Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Athlete of the Week and the Best Preps East Texas Female Cross Country Athlete of the Year. She placed first in the Literary Criticism category at the 2021 TAPPS state academic competition. Tori was the Class of 2021 salutatorian, the 2021 Bishop Gorman Female Athlete of the Year, and the Bishop Gorman MVP for both cross country and track & field. Tori will be attending the University of Texas at Austin in the fall.
"Tori is the best example that all dreams can be achieved by placing God first and trusting in His plan. She showed up each day to work hard, build up her teammates, and strive for excellence. Tori's accolades are only matched by her kind and generous heart and strength of character," shared Coach Monica Davis. Coach Monica Natera Davis is a member of the Bishop Gorman class of 2000 and graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler. As a student-athlete she was a member of the first Bishop Gorman state track & field championship team in 1999 and followed up with another state championship in 2000. She qualified in the 4x200 and 4x400 relay team in 1999, winning gold in both. In 2000, she qualified for state in the 4x100, 4x200, and 4x400 relay teams, winning silver in the 4x200 and gold in the 4x400. Coach Davis was also a member of the varsity cross country team and ran in the state meet all four years.
She returned to Bishop Gorman in 2011 to begin her coaching career. She has won 22 junior high district championships and 19 high school district championships. Her women's track & field teams have been represented at the state meet every year and placed in the top 10 four out of six years with multiple athletes qualifying for state every year. Her women's cross country teams have finished in the top six every year, 2018 and 2019 were a top 4 placement, and won the state title in 2020. Her men's cross country teams have finished in the top 10 five out of six years, with a second overall team finish in 2017. In addition to coaching, Coach Davis is also the Assistant Athletic Director and teaches photography.
Bishop Gorman Athletic Director Mike Lee said of Coach Davis, "I couldn’t be happier for Coach Davis for being named TAPPS 4A Female Coach of the Year. Her state championship in Cross Country and district championship in Track attest to that. But it’s what she does beyond coaching that makes her special. She brings Christ into every practice. They work hard together and pray together every day. Coach Davis is a role model for all of our students."