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Friends of Texas Public Schools Announces 2022 Award Honorees

Updated: Nov 28, 2022

Friends of Texas Public Schools, a nonprofit, grassroots organization shining a light on all that is right with Texas public schools, is hosting its 18th annual awards dinner on Wednesday, November 9, at the Baylor Club, McLane Stadium in Waco.

Friends of Texas Public Schools is pleased to announce its 2022 Texas Public Schools honorees: Friend of the Year Honoree Laura Subrin Yeager, Texas Educators Vote; Ambassador of the Year Honoree Dr. Shannon Allen, Superintendent, Beaumont ISD; and Founders Distinguished Service Honoree Dr. Bob Thompson, Founder of The Thompson Institute.

Friends of Texas Public Schools 2022 Texas Public Schools Friend of the Year honoree is Laura Subrin Yeager, Texas Educators Vote. 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 appreciate the value of a great public education and demonstrate sustained commitment to the success of Texas public schools, and Laura Yeager does just that,” said Shelby McIntosh, Friends Board President and Managing Partner at Education Elements.

“I am extremely honored to have been selected by Friends of Texas Public Schools to receive their Friend of the Year award. The work I do to encourage civic engagement and advocate for Texas public schools pales next to the work Texas educators and students do every single day in our public schools. It is my great pleasure to support them however I possibly can,” said Yeager.

Friends of Texas Public Schools 2022 Texas Public Schools Ambassador of the Year honoree is Dr. Shannon Allen, Superintendent, Beaumont ISD. This award was established to recognize a Texan from within the public school system who stands out as a champion for their students and colleagues.

Friends Co-Founder Leslie Milder said, “Dr. Allen has demonstrated a deep and genuine commitment toward strengthening the public's trust and confidence in her local public schools, which is our statewide mission at Friends of Texas Public Schools. In spite of the negative energy consuming the public debate about public schools, our Texas public schools have never been more successful than they are right now. Great things are happening in Beaumont ISD and across the state! Yet, our incredibly honorable, mission-driven professional educators rarely get credit for their good and often heroic work,” Milder said.

Friends created the Ambassador of the Year award to shine a light on one of these amazing, 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. “Dr. Allen has made all of this a strategic priority for Beaumont ISD, which is why we've chosen to honor her as our 2022 Texas Public Schools Ambassador of the Year,” said Milder.

“I firmly believe that when the public school system succeeds, the entire community grows and thrives. This is why I always encourage our community to hold us accountable for fulfilling our responsibility as a district to educate our children, but to please do it in a way that continues to drive us forward in a positive direction, not tear us down with negativity,” said Dr. Allen.

Friends of Texas Public Schools is honoring Dr. Bob Thompson with its Founders Distinguished Service Award. The award was created to highlight efforts to strengthen the public schools of Texas.

“Dr. Thompson created the Thompson Executive Leadership Institute, a nationally recognized training designed to advance leadership training for both superintendents and principals," said Scott Milder, Co-Founder of Friends of Texas Public Schools. "Based on his vision, Thompson has positively affected school leadership in Texas for generations to come. Numerous superintendents have attended his training over the last 30 years, creating a vast alumnae network. Each academy brings school leaders together to test ideas, discover new concepts and information, build networks, and engage in face-to-face interactions with session leaders and each other.”

“I am grateful for this recognition. It has been my privilege for over 30 years to serve and prepare many superintendents and principals to achieve higher levels of discipline and growth while developing a vision for the future of their schools,“ said Dr. Thompson.

Tickets for the Friend of the Year Dinner can be purchased at

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