Recognizing those who have gone before and looking to the future was a theme of the Tyler ISD Foundation's campaign kickoff.
The foundation inducted six people into its Honor Roll, a program launched last year to celebrate donors, community volunteers and TISD employees whose work affects teachers, students and the foundation.
This year's honorees were C.C. Baker, Billy Hall, Bonnie and Tab Beall, Jill Fondren and Kathey Comer.
Baker was John Tyler High School principal and Hall was Robert E. Lee High School principal in 1981 when a fire devastated the John Tyler campus.
John Tyler students attended classes at the Lee campus while their school was renovated.
The leadership and collegial relationship between Baker and Hall helped the community rebuild after the incident, according to a TISD Foundation news release. The rebuilt John Tyler campus was dedicated in 1982.
The Bealls are longtime foundation donors, giving from their personal funds along with the law firm Perdue Brandon Collins Fielder and Mott LLP where Beall is a partner.
In 2011, the Bealls announced a $550,000 donation to create a scholarship endowment and provide $5,000 a year for 10 years to the organization's annual campaign.
Beall has served for many years on the foundation's board, including three years as president.
He led the process of restructuring the board in 2006 in a model that has been duplicated by education foundations nationwide, according to the news release.
“I don't see what I do as anything other than what I should be doing, and I challenge others to do the same,” Mrs. Beall said. “The future is in the schools.”
Ms. Fondren is TISD's payroll coordinator. She volunteered to do the foundation's bookkeeping for nine years and prepared tax forms for the organization.
“I know the foundation works really hard to do a lot for the school district, for the students of TISD …,” Ms. Fondren said. “It's an honor to be associated with that.”
Ms. Comer helped sustain the foundation over the years. Her enthusiasm and guidance helped it become the strong entity it is today, according to the news release.
“Kathey's at her best when she's speaking all the good things of Tyler ISD,” Goddard said. “She gives great advice and serves well.”
Ms. Comer thanked several people, including her parents, for their example of giving as well as Pat Oge and Bob Dobbs who founded the organization.
“It's because of them and their spirit that all of us are here today,” she said.
Terri Smith, mother of two TISD graduates, talked about the way the school district prepared her daughters — who had very different gifts and interests — for success in college and their career.
“Tyler ISD has much to offer students,” she said. “They educate students so well, but you know it's our part as parents (to help them).”
Hubbard Middle School teacher DeAnna Malloy has received multiple grants from the foundation.
Ms. Malloy said the grants enable her students to learn about alternative energy, physics, engineering and more through hands-on learning activities.
“Your help is greatly appreciated, and I thank you for all the help you've done in the past,” she said.
One of her students also spoke about the benefits of the projects.
MaryAnn Girard spoke about her son, Joe Maland, a 2001 Lee honors graduate who died suddenly in 2005. Maland was captain of the Lee swim team.
Through the TISD Foundation, Ms. Girard and Joe's father, David, along with other family members and friends created a scholarship in his memory.
“Because of the TISD Foundation, I am given the opportunity to share memories of Joe,” Ms. Girard said.
Dr. Gary Gross, a foundation board member, said the beauty of the organization is that it seeks to reach all TISD students including those in the academic middle.
“TISD Foundation will not let those kids get lost,” he said.
Goddard said this year's speakers were excellent, telling stories of success in TISD and giving the community great reasons to donate to the foundation.
Goddard said the foundation raised about $50,000 through Thursday's luncheon. This year's campaign goal is $150,000.