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Friends of Texas Public Schools is pleased to announce that its 2021 Texas Public Schools Friend of the Year honoree is Chris Wallace,  North Texas Commission.

 

This award was established to honor individuals and organizations who step up as champions for those who learn and work in our Texas public schools or enrich the educational experience in a meaningful way. “The Friend of the Year honoree recognizes those who recognize the value of a great public education and demonstrate sustained commitment to the success of Texas public schools,” said Charlie Davis, Friends Board President and Business Development Manager at Schneider Electric. Chris Wallace is the President and CEO of the North Texas Commission, a public-private partnership that drives the regional advocacy effort of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Wallace joined the NTC in June of 2018 and soon realized that a critical voice was missing in the regional discussions led by the Commission—public schools. Wallace enlisted the help of Dr. Charles Luke and began recruiting influential superintendents in North Texas. These strategic partnerships created with these school districts resulted in the formation of the NTC’s Superintendents Advisory Council in early 2020. Under the direction of SAC Chair Dr. Susan Bohn (Aledo) and Vice-Chair Dr. David Vroonland (Mesquite), the North Texas Commission led its first-ever Public Education advocacy agenda during the 87th Legislative Session.

Friends of Texas Public Schools is equally pleased to announce that its 2021 Texas Public Schools Ambassador of the Year honoree is Reverend John Ogletree, Pastor & Trustee, Cy Fair ISD.

 

This award was established to honor and promote the efforts of an educator we believe serves their students and communities as an ambassador who inspires confidence in their schools and educators. Friends Co-Founder Leslie Milder said, “Reverend Ogletree is a model Ambassador for Texas Public Schools serving both as a Pastor and School Board Trustee, he exhibits the courage, class and conviction in his promotion of the great things happening in his schools and is quick to defend the honor of his colleagues.” 

 

Dr. Ogletree has a strong passion for public schools and knows they shape the lives of children by setting all students up for success. “I believe this can only be accomplished in public education.  Private schools and charter schools are selective in who they educate.  The promise for the majority of children especially black, brown and low socio-economic status is in our public schools” said Dr. Ogletree.

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Friends of Texas Public Schools is honoring 18 members of the Texas Legislature with its Founders Distinguished Service Award.

 

These legislators previously served on local school boards and have a “friendly” rating with Texans for Public Education. “As local trustees, these legislators have a unique and informed perspective on neighborhood schooling that is critical to effective state-level governance of our Texas public schools. Each of these legislators had the courage to step up and into the arena! Their service in the Texas Legislature has led to better legislative outcomes for our neighborhood ISD’s, students, educators, and communities,” said Milder. 

 

The following legislators are being recognized this year: Senator Beverly Powell (Burleson ISD), Representatives Steve Allison (Alamo Heights ISD), Rafael Anchia (Dallas ISD), Trent Ashby (Lufkin ISD), Cecil Bell, Jr. (Magnolia ISD), Keith Bell (Forney ISD), Brad Buckley (Killeen ISD), DeWayne Burns (Cleburne ISD), Gina Hinojosa (Austin ISD), Donna Howard (Eanes ISD), Dan Huberty (Humble ISD), Ken King (Canadian ISD), Stan Lambert (Abilene ISD), Ray Lopez (Northside ISD), Glenn Rogers (Graford ISD), David Spiller (Jacksboro ISD), Lynn Stucky (Sanger ISD), and Ed Thompson (Pearland ISD).