By Mary Alys Cherry
EXCITEMENT filled theair when the Clear Creek Education Foundation hosted its always popular gala at South Shore Harbour Resort Nov. 2, honoring some of the area’s outstanding folks, while raising $85,000 for innovative educational programs – a new record for this event.
“Once again our community generously showed their support of our mission to provide innovative learning materials to our students,” CCEF Chairman Jonathan Cottrell said. “It was heartwarming to see our community come together to recognize these outstanding individuals and support education in CCISD.”
Each year CCEF honors an outstanding citizen with the Citizen of the Year Award. This year the award went to the late Chris Reed, a Clear Creek ISD trustee and Kemah police chief who was killed in a boating accident back in June, after spending much of his life helping improve the quality of life for children. His wife, Jana, accepted the award on his behalf.
Another former CCISD trustee honored was Ann Hammond, who was presented the George B. Carlisle Distinguished Service Award for her consistent demonstration of commitment to CCISD over time.
Other honorees at the 19th annual gala were:
- Distinguished Alumni Award winners were CCISD alumni and are now accomplished professionals who support their community: Jacqueline Mitchell (Clear Creek High, 1983), Dr. Daniel Okorodudu (Clear Creek, 2000), Dr. Dale Okorodudu (Clear Creek, 2002), and Melissa Wiginton (Clear Lake, 1976)
- Valor Award in honor of a public servant (military, police, fire, etc.) who has gone above and beyond the call of duty: Darren Ellisor, (Clear Lake, 1992)
- CCISD Superstar Award bestowed on a select group of individuals who support and enhance CCISD whether CCISD alumni or not: Ron Masters; Alaina Garza, CCISD Secondary Teacher of the Year; and Lyzette Ruiz, CCISD Elementary Teacher of the Year
- Dennis Johnson Memorial Small Business Award is presented to a small business owner within CCISD who demonstrates an unwavering commitment to the district through active participation in multiple activities: Tim and Debbie Kropp – MRI Technologies
Gala Co-Chairmen Joyce Abbey and Suzanne Fair joined CCEF Executive Director Deborah Laine and her husband, David, and Matt and Kelsey McNeil in welcoming the arriving crowd, including Greg and Pam Ploss, Richard and Traci Dvorak, Rebecca Lilly, Lisa Holbrook, Laura and Jamieson Mackey, Carrie and Jay Cunningham, Carl and Colene Joiner, Beth and T.J. Aulds, Nina and Chris Premont, Mike Pierce, Sarah and Dr. Glenn Freedman, Amy and Brent Cockerham and Tim and Debbie Kropp.
Dan and Jill Reason were also in the crowd of nearly 350, as were CCISD Superintendent Dr. Greg Smith and his wife Kathy, Pat and Wendell Wilson, Katy and Bill Bastedo, Mike and Karen Engle, Scott Rainey and Martha Bowles, Ed and Elaina Polsen, Kippy Caraway, Mary Ann Shallberg, Dee Scott, Chris and Dr. Laura DuPont, Roy Green, Daniel and Win Weber, Jason Alcorn and Wendy Shaw, Joe and Kellie Byrd and Jennifer and Dr. Steven Ebell.
Elected officials you might have passed included Mayors Pat Hallisey of League City, Julie Masters of Dickinson, Mark Denman of Nassau Bay and Thom Kolupski of Seabrook and State Rep. Dr. Greg Bonnen. Others you might have spotted as CCEF Chairman Jonathan Cottrell welcomed the black-tie crowd were Gary and Sandy Mossman, Joan McKinney Mitchell, Jeanette and Joe Barlow, Elaine and Gary Renola, Ann and Jim O’Malley, Jayme and Arturo Sanchez, Janet and Randy Brown, Donna and Roy Montalbano, Gene Hollier and Emmeline Dodd, Bob and Macy Osoria, Stacy and Michael Houston, Scottie and Ron McLeod, Christie and Jason Reynolds and Carol and Jim Saxe.