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Announcing the 2023 Friend of the Year Awards Dinner Honorees

Updated: Sep 21, 2023

Friends of Texas Public Schools is hosting its 19th annual awards dinner on Wednesday, November 8, at the Baylor Club, McLane Stadium in Waco.

Friends of Texas Public Schools is pleased to announce its 2023 Friend of the Year Awards Dinner honorees: Friend of the Year Honoree The Holdsworth Center, Ambassador of the Year Honorees Dr. Bobby Ott, Superintendent, Temple ISD, Dr. Georgeanne Warnock, Superintendent, Terrell ISD, and Mr. Kevin Worthy, Superintendent, Royse City ISD and Founders Distinguished Service Honorees Rep. Abel Herrero (D-Robstown) and Rep. Ernest Bailes (R-Shepherd).


Friends of Texas Public Schools 2023 Texas Public Schools Friend of the Year honoree is The Holdsworth Center and Dr. Lindsay Whorton, president. The Friend of the Year honoree recognizes those who appreciate the value of an excellent public education and demonstrate sustained commitment to the success of Texas public schools.


The Friend of the Year honoree recognizes those who appreciate the value of a great public education and demonstrate a sustained commitment to the success of Texas public schools.


Victoria ISD superintendent and valued Friends Superintendent Advisory Council member Dr. Quintin Shepherd said the Holdsworth Center has become a 'powerful force for positive change' and a 'leading voice in the conversation about public education in Texas.' Texas schools and their students will benefit from the impact of the Center's investment in developing transformative education leaders across the state for decades to come.


"To be called a friend of public schools is a high honor. We at The Holdsworth Center believe in, celebrate, and support the 750,000 faculty, staff, and leaders in Texas public schools working tirelessly to deliver on the promise of a high-quality education for each and every one of Texas' 5.4 million students. Educators deserve to be lifted up by communities, valued for their contributions, and supported to grow," said Holdsworth Center president Dr. Lindsay Whorton.


Friends of Texas Public Schools 2023 Texas Public Schools Ambassador of the Year honorees are Dr. Bobby Ott, Superintendent, Temple ISD, Dr. Georgeanne Warnock, Superintendent, Terrell ISD, and Mr. Kevin Worthy, Superintendent, Royse City ISD. Friends created the Ambassador of the Year award to shine a light on outstanding, inspiring educators who understand how vital it is to organizational success that we improve the public's perceptions of their public schools by telling our stories, celebrating our achievements, lifting the spirits of our fellow educators, and making sure our communities know their children and tax dollars are in good hands.


"I would like to thank the Friends of Texas Public Schools for shining a bright light on public education. For it isn't the policies, politicians, or the megaphones outside the profession that put Texas atop the nation in economy, destination, and growth, but rather the educators in the arena that silently invest in children daily. These are the real MVPs, and I'm grateful to be a small part of them," said Ott.


"As educators, we are called to be a voice for the voiceless, a champion for those in need, and a servant before a leader. I am proud to help shine a light on the great things happening in public education every single day and to boldly stand up for the 5.5 million children in Texas public schools who are counting on all of us to get it right," Warnock said.


"Friends of Texas Public Schools is known for lifting teachers, students, and schools into a well-deserved limelight in Texas. Educators can be humble to a fault. We must brag on the amazing things happening in our schools across Texas. I'm grateful for what FOTPS has done for Texas Public Schools and look forward to the amazing things ahead," said Worthy.


Friends of Texas Public Schools honors Rep. Abel Herrero (D-Robstown) and Rep. Ernest Bailes (R-Shepherd) with its Founders Distinguished Service Award. The award highlights efforts to strengthen the public schools of Texas.


"Educators across the entire state are indebted to the heroic efforts of state representatives Abel Herrero and Ernest Bailes and the majority of the members of the Texas House of Representatives who stood firm against the gaming and politicization of our Texas public schools during the multiple legislative sessions this year," said Scott Milder, founder, Friends of Texas Public Schools. "We are grateful for their rational leadership from both sides of the aisle."


Additional information, bios, and photos from this year's awards gala are available online at www.fotps.org/dinner


headshots of the 2023 Friend of the Year Dinner honorees, Dr. Bobby Ott, Dr. Georgeanne Warnock, Mr. Kevin Worthy, Dr. Lindsay Whorton of the Holdsworth Center, and Reps. Ernest Bailes and Abel Herrero


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