The Brian ISD Education Foundation Hall of Fame event hit a high point when it returned to the Miramont Country Club on Saturday night for its 10th event.
The evening included a silent live auction that helped raise over $26,000 and honored eight Bryan School alumni for their contributions at the local, state, national and international levels. The Brian ISD Education Foundation supports Brian’s teachers and students, as well as district initiatives.
The 2020 and 2021 events have been canceled due to COVID-19.
“Our last event was in 2019, so we are very excited,” said Doug Lyles, Chairman of the Education Foundation Board of Directors. “With the crowd we are here with and the support from our sponsors, Brian’s family and families in the community, it all comes together to support Brian’s school. Everyone here supports excellence and achievements. doing.”
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This year’s event added student ambassadors to welcome guests and performances by students from the String Quartet and the Los Vikingos Mariachi Band.
The top item during the live auction was the scholarship naming rights, which allows the winner to create a one-time or recurring scholarship. The bidding war ended with his two winners of $6,600 each. Judge Rick Hill, a member of the College Station ISD Education Foundation, agreed to split items with the Waller family if he could tell an audience about his nieces and nephews who have taught at Bryan for a total of 71 years.
To wrap up the evening, eight Bryan School District alumni were honored and inducted into the Hall of Fame for their contributions. This year’s winner was Ethel Gibbs Batten of the 1965 Kemp High School class. Major General Kenneth D. Jones, Bryan High School class of 1976. Roy E. Lopez, Brian High School class of 1977. Paul Madison Sr., Kemp High School class in 1965. Lewis M. Newman, his 1962 class at Stephen F. Austin High School. Marvin Peters, Stephen F. Austin High School class in 1960. Karen Smith, Stephen F. Austin High School 1965 class. In 1989 he was Dana Wells in the Bryan High School class.
Batten, a recently retired vice president of human resources at Alcatel-Lucent in New Jersey, a civil rights expert and careers expert, said her favorite classes were English and American literature.
Host Mike Wright cued the Four Tops song “I Can’t Help Myself” and said that one of Batten’s favorite memories at Kemp was the memory of fellow award-winner Paul Madison. I highlighted the additional story that I was going to prom with my seniors.
After graduating from Texas A&M, Jones enlisted in the U.S. Army and retired in 2012 to serve as an Army Reserve Officer. According to his biography, he had three of his deployments to Southwest Asia between 2004 and his 2016, the last of which saw him assist more than 10,000 troops and contractors in the restoration of logistics bases. I ordered.
Jones said many teachers influenced his life by challenging him and pushing him to become better.
Lopez is a financial aid and admissions advisor for Texas A&M and founder and CEO of the annual Fiesta Patrias Mexicanas event, which has awarded over $300,000 in scholarships to students over the past 30 years.
He has been nominated for the Jefferson Award and is the second Hispanic student to receive the John J. Kordas Award from Texas A&M University. He also supports Make the Magic Camp Kesem, which helps children during and after their parents’ cancer diagnosis.
Madison played football legend “Mean” Joe Green while at Kemp High School and served on the Bryan City Council from 2001-2006 and 2007-2013, representing single-member District 2. role.
Madison singled out three teachers who stood out to him. A fourth grade teacher who taught him about life and encouraged him to go to college. And his 8th grade teacher encouraged him to keep going to college in a balanced way.
After graduating from Texas A&M University in 1966, Newman enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served two and a half years as a combat officer in Vietnam. He received his two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, a Silver Star, a Distinguished Flying Cross, and over 50 valor awards.
He retired from the Marine Corps as a captain and flew with Marsh Aviation in Houston and Tenneco Oil and Gas before returning to Bryan in 1972. He was part of the committee tasked with helping bring the George HW Bush Presidential Library into Texas A&M.
Newman recently celebrated its 50th anniversary with the Newman Printing Company. He still runs it day-to-day as his CEO.
Peters, for whom Marvin’s Run is named, has served as chairman and president of nearly a dozen regional organizations, including the United Way of the Brazos Valley and the Bryan-College Station Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce named him Citizen of the Year in 1997.
Karen Smith was unable to attend, but is represented by her daughter Heather Barron, president and CEO of Smith Dairy Queens, which employs 700 people.
She and her late husband, Terry, met in a history class at Pop’s Mirror when she accidentally got a copy of a Mark Twain book. After giving each other the books back, they began a 43-year relationship.
In her biography, Smith says she supports local organizations Habitat for Humanity, Health for All, Pink Alliance, Brazos Valley Food Bank, Unlimited Potential, Voice for Children, and Girl Scouts.
“I love this community and am concerned with helping those in need and preparing young lives to grow and succeed in life,” she wrote in her bio.
Wells is CEO and Principal of Dana Wells and Associates in Houston, a recognized business transformation strategist and advisor to energy executives.
She is a 2021 Leadership Council Representative for the former Student Association of Texas A&M and an Aggie Woman Trailblazer in 2030.
One of the most memorable stories of Wells’ time spent at Brian’s school was when he said he wanted to attend a historically black college when deciding where to attend college. One of her favorite teachers, her Imogene Vetters, told her that Texas A&M was the gateway to anything she wanted to do. Wells described it as her conversation that changed her life.
Wells is honored to be recognized for her work.
“What has been poured into me from my community, my parents, my Christian values, my education. This just sows the seeds of the harvest for me. That’s what this is,” she said. “It’s an honor to come back and give back and be recognized. When they talk about what I’ve done, it’s because of the time and education invested in me. This is what I’m going for.”
Imogene Betters, whom Wells called one of her favorite teachers at Bryan High School, said she enjoyed seeing the leadership her former students gained from their time in the district.
“Of course I know they’re working on other things, but just the idea of giving back to the community. Just looking at it makes my heart soar,” she said. I was.
Vetters served on the board of education foundations for three years and taught at Bryan’s schools for 39 years before retiring in 2006. He spent most of his time at Bryan High School.
On the impact of teachers, Harry Francis, executive director of the Bryan ISD Education Foundation, said: And one day they’ll be back here, and you’re part of it, just like Imogene Vetters was with Dr. Wells.
Jones said the values he used throughout his career were taught by teachers, community leaders, and Texas A&M.
“These teachers need to understand that they affect people in ways they may not fully understand,” he said.
Bryan Superintendent Ginger Karavin, who served as the evening’s keynote speaker and updated the audience on events at the district, said the educational foundation is “very important” to the district.
“The best way I can explain it is that we serve our students. We have to serve and support our staff. I will support you,” she said.