They came by the hundreds on Friday night — teachers, friends, neighbors, coaches and work colleagues — to offer a community toast to 10 Dobie High School alumni, to two of the school’s most dedicated volunteers and to one former faculty member, all chosen as the inaugural group of inductees for the Longhorns’ new Hall of Honor.
Heralded as a tribute to Dobie Pride, the event featured the unveiling of the school’s Hall of Honor plaque display, and addresses by Superintendent of School Dr. Kirk Lewis and two of the five educators to have served as principal since the school’s opening in 1968 — current Principal Franklin Moses and his predecessor, Steve Jamail.
The next to youngest of the inductees, Ken Howery, delivered an address thanking administrators and teachers for their assistant in helping Dobie students realize their potential and meet their personal goals.
Howery, a member of the Class of 1994, is a co-founder of PayPal and most of the most successful venture capitalists in the country.
The audience included teachers from schools across the South Belt community, many of whom taught those in the group of honorees.
Among the other alumni inducted were Edmund Walker (Class of 1974), an Army brigadier general and chief of NATO’s Combined Joint Force in Afghanistan; Mary Campbell-Fox (Class of 1976), a prominent South Belt physician; Chris
Connealy (Class of 1977), a former City of Houston fire chief who now serves as Texas fire marshal; Dina Jackson-Giesler (Class of 1981), an Atlanta-based dentist and a leading authority on cosmetic dentistry; Mark Chassay (Class of 1984), a long-time sports physician for University of Texas sports programs; Bobby Burton (Class of 1987), a nationally known expert on college football recruiting; and Christa Williams (Class of 1996), who won two Olympic gold medals in softball after helping lead the Lady Longhorns to state titles in 1993 and 1995.
All except Brig. Gen. Walker were on hand for the ceremony.
Two other alumni were honored as “Fallen Heroes” – Walter McRae Jr., an Army sergeant who two years ago succumbed to health problems related to his service in Operation Desert Storm; and Chris Williams, a West Point graduate and Army captain who was killed in a training accident in 1995. McRae graduated from Dobie in 1972 and Williams in 1984.
Also honored were two community volunteers: Gilbert Aguilar and the Rev. Emory Gadd. Aguilar, a retired Coast Guard officer, has provided assistance to struggling Dobie students and to members of the South Belt’s Spanish-speaking community for the past two decades. The Rev. Gadd, associate pastor of Sagemont Church, has been involved in numerous aspects of Dobie campus life since the 1970’s.
The school also paid tribute to former teacher Richard Golenko, a longtime Latin and social sciences teacher who coached Dobie’s Academic Decathlon teams to national champions in 1992 and 1996.
Planning for the Hall of Honor began nearly two years ago while Jamail was still principal. He handed off the project to Moses upon his retirement early last year.
A committee of Dobie teachers and administrators made the induction selections based upon input and recommendations from alumni and community members. The school plans to name additional inductees each year and make the induction ceremony an annual spring event.