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COMMUNITY PROFILE: “Helping a Hero” honors John Painter

John Painter

John Painter

HOUSTON, Texas (September 8, 2016) – Helping A Hero presented a collection of honors to express their gratitude to a multitude of volunteers including Roger Clemens, the Honorable David Dewhurst, Deborah Duncan, David Elliott, Kevin Mathews, John Painter, Kelley Paul and the Honorable Bill White. The luncheon was held September 8 at the Hyatt Regency Houston.

“Volunteers and donors are the backbone of Helping A Hero. Without these amazing individuals, the organization would not operate as effectively as it does. Thanks to them and many others, we have been able to improve hundreds of lives through the work HAH has done for our heroes and their families,” said Rex King, Chairman of the Board.

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COMMUNITY PROFILE: Dr. Williams named a finalist for Texas Superintendent of the Year

Dr. Angi Williams, Galena Park ISD Superintendent

Dr. Angi Williams, Galena Park ISD Superintendent

Houston — Dr. Angi Williams, superintendent of Galena Park Independent School District, has been named a finalist for the 2016 Superintendent of the Year sponsored by the Texas Association of School Boards.

The Superintendent of the Year award recognizes exemplary superintendents for their excellence and achievement in educational leadership. Candidates were chosen for their strong leadership skills, dedication to improving educational quality, ability to build effective employee relations, student performances and commitment to public involvement in education.

In June, Dr. Williams was named 2016 Region 4 Superintendent of the Year and qualified for Texas Superintendent of the Year.

Dr. Williams traveled to Austin last month to be interviewed on issues such as advocacy for public education, recruitment and retention of high quality educators, programs and initiatives that positively affect student growth and steps to measure continuous improvement were targeted.

The state selection committee cited Dr. Williams’ emphasis on the importance of teaching from the “crib to college” and her belief that every educator has to be the best every single day to ensure success for all students.

The Superintendent of the Year will be announced on September 23 in Houston at the TASA/TASB Convention.

San Jac plays a role in three generations of Hovsepian family

Nico and Cassandra Hovsepian have made San Jacinto College a part of their family. (Photo credit: Calyn Hoerner)

Nico and Cassandra Hovsepian have made San Jacinto College a part of their family. (Photo credit: Calyn Hoerner)

San Jac Certified: All in the family

PASADENA, Texas – The Hovsepian family can happily say that San Jacinto College has had an impact on three generations of their family. Nico Hovsepian, his mother, his wife, Cassandra, and his daughter, Christian, all attended and were later employed by the College.

When Hovsepian finished his time in the military he was ready to start his career. He enrolled at San Jacinto College and started working toward an associate degree of applied sciences. While earning his degree, Hovsepian worked at University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston for two years. Eventually his mother, a San Jacinto College employee, came to him with a suggestion.

“My mom mentioned that San Jac was hiring and that I should apply,” says Hovsepian. “She told me that she really enjoyed working here and that the people were great. She said it was like family,” He quickly applied for the job in the IT department and focused on finishing his degree.

“You become a part of a community inside of a community when you come to San Jacinto College,” said Hovsepian. During both his time working and studying at the College, he felt that he had become a part of the family. That family grew to include his wife, who holds an associate degree of arts and behavioral sciences from San Jacinto College, when she started working at the College just two weeks after Hovsepian started his own job here.

“When my wife started her job here we were able to make our work a part of our lives,” Hovsepian added. “If you work with your friends and family, you always have each other’s back. You can count on the person next to you.”

When his daughter, Christian, began working at the College, Hovsepian saw yet another one of his family members become a part of the community.

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Dr. Angi Williams named Superintendent of the Year

Dr. Angi Williams, Region 4 Superintendent of the Year.

Dr. Angi Williams, Region 4 Superintendent of the Year.

Dr. Angi Williams, Superintendent of Galena Park Independent School District, has been selected as the 2016 Region 4 Superintendent of the Year.

The Region 4 Education Service Center serves a seven-county area composed of 50 public school districts and 41 open-enrollment charter schools, representing more than 1.1 million students, 91,000 educators, and 1,500 campuses.

The Regional Superintendent of the Year award is sponsored by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), and honors public school district superintendents. This award program has recognized exemplary superintendents for excellence and achievement in educational leadership since 1984. Candidates are chosen for their strong leadership skills, dedication to improving educational quality, ability to build effective employee relations, student performance, and commitment to public involvement in education.

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Community leader Dickie Woods dies

dickie woodsDickie Woods, born Carl Raymond Woods on April 7, 1940, passed away on April 16, 2016. He grew up in Sweetwater, Texas and was co-captain of the 1957 State Finalist Sweetwater Mustang Football team.

He went on to attend Rice University in Houston, TX on a football scholarship and played in the Sugar Bowl, Orange bowl and the Bluebonnet Bowl. Upon graduation, Dickie joined the Texas Air National Guard after marrying his high school sweetheart. He then moved to the east side of Houston and earned his pilot’s license and started his long entrepreneurial career. He bought his first business in 1966 and continued building and developing businesses in the North Channel Area throughout the 70’s and 80’s.

In 1985 he acquired Banana Bend Beach Park and brought his family to the Highlands area. Dickie began investing in the Highlands community and he joined the Highlands-Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce where he served many years in the board and multiple terms as the Vice President and President. His love for the community and its people translates through the many projects he initiated and supported. He was a long time member of the Northshore and Highlands Rotary Clubs, the Citizens Bond Advisory Committee for GCCISD, and President of the local county water board. He supported the local first responders and law enforcement initiatives and worked with county officials to bring improvements to the community that he loved. Dickie was also a great supporter of local youth programs through sports organizations, boy scouts, partners in education and the Goose Creek Education foundation. In 2006, he was recognized by the community for a lifetime of service and achievements with the Terry Davis Memorial Award.

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COMMUNITY PROFILE: GPISD’s Jonathan Frey earns top awards at TSPRA

Jonathan Frey, Coordinator for Media and Community Relations for Galena park ISD awarded for his work in education communications.

Jonathan Frey, Coordinator for Media and Community Relations for Galena park ISD awarded for his work in education communications.

Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA) members from across the state received honors from the association for their outstanding work in education communications earning Gold Star, Silver Star, Bronze Star and Best of Category awards. The awards were announced at TSPRA’s annual Star Awards Celebration held February 24, 2016 during the Associations’s 54th annual conference.

Each year, TSPRA recognizes communicators in school districts, education foundations, education associations and organizations for their work in print and electronic media categories. There are 44 main categories covering various media such as newsletters, programs, posters, reports, writing, image/identity packages, photography, graphics, video, electronic presentations, mobile apps, campaigns and websites.

This year, 1159 entries were received. The entries are divided into three divisions based on the number of students the district, foundation or organizations serves fewer than 10,000 students; 10,000 to 30,000 students; and over 30,000 students (Galena Park ISD falls into the 10,000 to 30,000 student category). Independent judges not affiliated with TSPRA evaluate and score each entry based on its own merit. Bronze, Silver and Gold Stars are awarded based on set criteria. Finally, the judges review their highest scoring Gold Star winners and select a Best of Category for each division in each of the 44 categories.

Jonathan Frey, Coordinator for Media and Community Relations for Galena park ISD, earned 11 gold medals and 2 silver medals in four categories: Sports Photo; Photo Other Subjects; External Newsletter; and Video Special Interest. Two of the photos that earned gold medals earned Best of Category.

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Rep. Hernandez Honored for her commitment to Veterans

Rep. Hernandez with Texas Veterans Commission Liaison Edith Disler

Rep. Hernandez with Texas Veterans Commission Liaison Edith Disler

HOUSTON, TX — Representative Ana Hernandez was honored with a Legislative Leadership Award by the Texas Veterans Commission during its “Women Veterans Roll Call” event at Space Center Houston from November 19 to the 21st.

As the author of House Bill 867, Hernandez established the Texas Women Veterans Program during the 84th Legislative Session, a permanent agency tasked with assisting Texas servicewomen as they transition to the civilian workforce.

“Our servicemen and women have sacrificed greatly in defense of our nation,” Hernandez said. “Whether supporting their families as they serve overseas or providing for our veterans as they return home, we have a duty to stand by the brave men and women who have selflessly served in our armed forces.”

COMMUNITY PROFILE: Suellen Denton, new Jacinto City librarian

SUELLEN DENTON, Librarian

SUELLEN DENTON, Librarian

Suellen Denton is originally from Ruston, Louisiana, but she moved to Houston in 1997, graduating from Northbrook Senior High School in the Spring Branch area in 1998. In 1999, she went back to Ruston and graduated from Louisiana Tech University in 2003, with a Bachelor of Arts in History and French.

During her college years, she worked part time as a Library Page for the Lincoln Parish Library from 2000 to 2002. After graduation, she went to Officer Candidate School, Navy in Pensacola, FL where she was commissioned an Ensign. Denton left active duty and went into the Navy Reserves in 2005, and moved back to Houston where she went to work full time at Fondren Library as a Circulation Assistant at Rice University.

Denton began to realize how much she enjoyed libraries and decided that she wanted to become a librarian so she enrolled in the University of North Texas online program.

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COMMUNITY PROFILE: 60 Years Rotary perfect attendance, Dr. Lambert honored

05 lambert 60 yrs

DR. ALAN LAMBERT, M.D. receives a perfect attendance pin from Rotary Club president Maria Rodriguez, for his 60 years of faithful perfect attendance with the club.

GALENA PARK – The Galena Park/Jacinto City Rotary Club held their annual Officers and Board installation ceremonies last Wednesday, July 15th.

One of the important awards was given to club member Dr. Alan Lambert, retired medical doctor, and a Paul Harris Fellow with Rotary.

Attendance is an important part of Rotary membership, but not many achieve the record that Dr. Lambert has.

Dr. Lambert is now 89 years old, and was a family doctor since 1953, practicing in Jacinto City until his retirement in 2014.

He also was affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine, on the faculty and practiced family medicine there since 1976.

GP/JC Rotary was pleased to honor Dr. Lambert at their annual awards ceremony.

COMMUNITY PROFILE: Joe Stephens, former basketball star now aspiring to JP seat

JOE STEPHENS AT HIGHLANDS ROTARY

JOE STEPHENS AT HIGHLANDS ROTARY

HIGHLANDS – He’s tall, has a big grin, and makes you feel comfortable right away.
Joe Stephens has a history that includes being a basketball star at North Shore high school, and on the Houston Rockets and other pro teams for a total of 10 years in the NBA. He played with super stars such as Hakeem Olajuwon, Mario Elie and Clyde Drexler, and at a recent fund raiser for his political career, they were there as hosts.

Stephens is now a successful insurance agent in North Shore, but he plans to run for the office of Justice of the Peace, Pct. 3 Position 1 when Judge Mike Parrott retires next year. In fact, Parrott has publicly endorsed him for the position.

The Highlands Rotary club had Stephens as a guest at a recent luncheon, and he spoke about his career, his work with youth, and his aspirations to help his life-long community as a Justice of the Peace. Stephens told an entertaining story of how he got into pro basketball. In 1996 he and a few friends heard that there was an open tryout that the Houston Rockets were conducting in Sugar Land, so they went. After playing there for a while, he caught the eye of coach Rudy Tomjonovich, who came over to him, and offered him a position on the team.

He would play for the Rockets for 2 years, and a total of 10 years in the NBA for other teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers.

He emphasized his commitment to the North Shore neighborhood, having grown up there and in the Crosby area. His family was originally from Pine Trails, in East Texas, and Mont Belvieu where his father worked for Gulf Oil.

In 2009 he became a member of the Galena Park Rotary, and was elected to the Galena Park school board, where he was recently made president.

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