We have some pretty amazing, accomplished classmates. Most likely we all know about Stephen (known to many of us as just plain Steve) Tobolowsky. But in this feature on the website we hope to highlight more of our classmates' proudest achievements.
If you have something you'd like to share, please send it in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
. You could also email us the name of someone you would like to nominate, and we'll contact them if you send us their email address.
We will be adding to this section, so check back often to see the latest news!
Several classmates have sent us their stories lately so we're posting those now. Thanks to all of you who are sharing so freely!Allyn Writesel
BA - UT Austin Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work
MA - U of KY Medical Anthropology
Career in Public Health:
Peace Corps Niger - health education
Honduras - nutritional anthropology
Democratic Republic of Congo - nutrition and food security
USA - migrant farmworkers, tuberculosis control, victims of domestic violence, prisoners, HIV
Peace Corps Eswatini (Swaziland) - community outreach for HIV/AIDS
In retirement - lobby, march, meet for racial and social justice, study Spanish and Italian, travel, memoir writing
Divorced with 2 children ages 25 (daughter) and 29 (son)Joyce Neel Rudolph
My life isn’t extremely exciting or world changing, but I have had a truly blessed life with some unusual things that have happened. After graduating from Kimball, I started working for FDIC in the copy room. Not really exciting but I gave it my all. Within a few months they transferred me to the typing pool -- typing 8 hours
a day. Within the year I was trained to do proofreading, and other jobs. This was great and everyday was not the same old thing. By the fourth year I was secretary for the assistant regional director. I really enjoyed this.
During this time I met Wayne Rudolph. He was on medical leave from the Army, wounded in Vietnam. It was love at first sight, plus my dad liked him. We dated 1½ years and got married in July 1971 along side my younger sister -- a double wedding. In 1974 I quit my job for FDIC to stay at home with our daughter, Shannon, born in August 1974. In 1977 we added another daughter Cacy, to our
family. Two beautiful girls with total opposite personalities. Life was good. In 1983 we decided to homeschool the girls. This was before homeschooling was popular. It was a challenge with al ot of people thinking we were crazy. We homeschooled until both girls finished high school and got their GED’s. Both girls were so talented. Shannon had a great talent for art and piano and Cacy
played the violin. My husband Wayne, after leaving the army, went to work for the post office as a letter carrier in Arlington, Tx.
During this time we decided we wanted another child. After having surgery and the doctors giving very little hope of having another child, I was pregnant within 3 months. On June 11, 1991, at the age of 40 I gave birth to our son, Caleb. We could not imagine life without him.
In 1997 we purchased acreage in Midlothian and we built a barn garage and all five of us lived in the barn while building our home for almost a year. I can’t say it was perfect but we definitely got closer.
In early 2000 I started working at our church as wedding coordinator and church hostess. I also started substitute teaching at the school our son Caleb attended. The church job lasted 7 years and I substituted for 13 years.
By this time both daughters had married. Cacy and I then started an outside wedding venue at our home and continued this for 5 years. Wayne retired at age 55 from the post office after 34 years, but never stopped working on projects around the house. He is the hardest working person I know and spoils me greatly (everyone tells me so).
Cacy is married and has two beautiful girls, Coryn and Island and lives in Dallas. Shannon is married and has one beautiful little girl, Charley and lives in St. Louis, Mo. Caleb is married (for only 2 years) and lives in Waxahachie, Tx.
Through the years, we would always go to Port Aransas, Tx several times a year. All the kids and grandkids are fishing addicts with Wayne the captain of our boat. We also love cruises (have gone on about 16), taking our travel trailer different places and just enjoying the kids and grandkids.
I really have had a wonderful life, not perfect, but filled with love and a remarkable husband of 48 years and children and grandchildren that continue to amaze me.Jeanne Buchter Murdock
For the past 18 years, I have served as a librarian for the Grand Prairie Public Library System. Throughout my career, I have been a department manager, a programmer, a reference librarian, and a display artist. (Jeanne sent a photo that's included in the video.)
I am very grateful for the opportunities the City of Grand Prairie has given me.Julie Davis Maynard
Fellow Graduates, my life has been happy and blessed, but very ordinary. I think one thing has struck me lately, and that is that we need to live our days full of wonder and happiness, savoring every good moment. It made me think of Emily’s monologue from Our Town
, the play we did our junior year. Read it and think about, “Do any human beings ever realize life while they are living it – every, every minute?” Cheers to the next chapter.
(softly, more in wonder than in grief)
I can't bear it. They're so young and beautiful. Why did they ever have to get old? Mama, I'm here. I'm grown up. I love you all, everything. - I cant look at everything hard enough. (pause, talking to her mother who does not hear her. She speaks with mounting
urgency) Oh, Mama, just look at me one minute as though you really saw me. Mama, fourteen years have gone by. I'm dead. You're a grandmother, Mama. I married George Gibbs, Mama. Wally's dead, too. Mama, his appendix burst on a camping trip to North Conway. We felt just terrible about it -don't you remember? But, just for a moment now we're all together. Mama, just for a moment we're happy. Let's look at one another. (pause, looking
desperate because she has received no answer. She speaks in a loud voice, forcing herself to not look at her mother) I can't. I can't go on. It goes so fast. We don't have time to look at one another. (she breaks down sobbing, she looks around) I didn't realize. All that was going on in life and we never noticed. Take me back - up the hill - to my grave. But first: Wait! One more look. Good-by, Good-by, world. Good-by, Grover's Corners? Mama and
Papa. Good-bye to clocks ticking? and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new-ironed dresses and hot baths? and sleeping and waking up.
Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you. (she asks abruptly through her tears) Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? - every, every minute? (she sighs) I'm ready to go back. I should have listened to you. That's all human beings are! Just blind people.
Thornton Wilder. Our Town
Harper Publishing, 1957, pp.97-100Claudia Sterley Sims
My life has really been blessed in many ways since I graduated from Kimball. I went to college in Abilene,TX., then to UTA in Arlington, and then graduated from Dallas Baptist Univ. I was married to Ross “Skipper” Taylor then. I went on to become an elementary school teacher in Dallas. We traveled to Scotland and England for 6 weeks before we moved to AZ. where I taught first grade and then later became a mother of two wonderful daughters. We later returned to Dallas where I taught again. Then our family moved to New Mexico and again I taught school for 17 more years. I got divorced. I taught elementary school for 27 years before I retired from teaching. I wanted to start traveling. God answered my prayers and I met and later married Ron Sims. We have been married 5 years. Combined, we now have 6 children and 13 awesome grandkids, and we haven’t stopped traveling! We’ll see you all soon.Cindy Funderburk Price
My adventures started in August of 1970. I married my best friend, and the day after our wedding I left the only home I had ever known. Mark was stationed at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. What an experience to have lived in Dallas my entire life and then live in Southern California! My first job was a Payroll Clerk for Campbell Industries, a ship and tuna boat builder.
I only stayed in San Diego a couple of years. I moved back to Dallas for a year while Mark was in Okinawa, Japan. From there we were back in So Cal, Marine Corps Base, Twentynine Palms. It was there that I started my career with the Federal Government. This proved to be a very wise choice on my part.
After several years in Twentynine Palms, Mark had orders back to Okinawa. This time I joined him! I stayed 10 months and was able to work for the Navy because I was a Federal employee. What a wonderful experience to live in Okinawa! We lived on the economy but worked and shopped on base. I had learned to scuba dive in San Diego, and after becoming island certified, we had the opportunity to dive the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
From Okinawa, we went to Little Creek, Virginia for less than a year, then back to So Cal. This time Mark was stationed at Camp Pendleton where I worked for the Marine Corps and the Navy. After a few years we moved up Interstate 5 to Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. I was Treasurer for the El Toro Chapter of the American Society of Military Comptrollers. I ended up working for the Marines around 10 years at El Toro as their Accounting Supervisor while earning my degree in Accounting at night. During this time, however, Mark went to Desert Storm/Desert Shield. After he returned, he transferred back to Camp Pendleton, while I stayed at El Toro.
Well, the Marines don’t want you to get too comfortable in any one spot, so off to Washington, DC we went. I transferred, again, with the Marines, but ended up working for Coast Guard Headquarters as the Financial Analyst for Aeronautical Engineering. When Mark retired from the Marine Corps, I transferred to Coast Guard District Eight, New Orleans, again, as a Financial Analyst. That was quite the experience to live in New Orleans (pre-Katrina) where we ended up staying only four years. The Coast Guard called me back at Coast Guard Headquarters Engineering to manage their multi-year funds.
I left the Coast Guard in 2008 and accepted a position with the newly formed Domestic Nuclear Detection Office under the Department of Homeland Security as a Senior Budget Analyst where I controlled the operating budget for the entire agency. I retired from the Federal Government in 2011 after 30+ years of federal service.
During our time in Northern Virginia, where we lived 13 years, we started riding Harley Davidsons. I learned to ride, and we rode with two riding groups, Fairfax Harley Owners Group (HOG) and Band of Brothers, a Marine Corps Group out of Quantico.
I really wanted to move back to Texas. I finally talked Mark into retiring from his second career, and we bought 20 acres in Montgomery County and moved in 2013. We ride our Harleys a lot more than in Virginia mostly due to the weather and time allowed. We’ve ridden to Sturgis, the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, Key West, Daytona, Rolling Thunder, and the majority of the 48 states. We are active with our Cut N Shoot HOG chapter where I am the Treasurer.Ruben Cantu
Live in Dallas again.Work at BMW of Dallas. Glad to be in touch. A BIG Hi to Jane Arrington!Sherry Whiddon Stilwell
My life is displayed on Facebook, and I enjoy learning about other classmates through FB. Upon graduation from Kimball, I left the Dallas area to attend Oklahoma State University. I married Jerry Stilwell who had already graduated from college in Oklahoma. I went on to receive my BBA and Master's degree from North Texas. Years later, I completed graduate work for my certification as a school counselor. We have two beautiful and successful daughters and one grandchild.
The years have flown!
I retired in 2017. I spent my last four years of work as an Academic Advisor at Tarrant County College. In my 40 years in secondary and post-secondary education, I always signed off with "Always Seek the Best."Francisco (Frank) Menendez
College: University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington Texas
University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida
Medical School: University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas Texas
Residency: University of South Florida, Tampa Florida
Specialty: Diagnostic and interventional Radiologist
Married, wife Tonya, 2 Boys Francisco and Alexander
Reside in Saint Pete Beach, FloridaDick Stevens
Since graduating from KHS, I have lived and worked all but 4 years of my life in the DFW area.
I have been very happily married to Lori Stevens since 1986. Lori was raised in Northern Minnesota on a dairy farm. That said, she has lived in the Dallas area most of her adult years. We have 3 grown children & 4 grandchildren living in the DFW area except for one son who lives in Fredericksburg, TX.
After high school, I attended the UNT where I graduated in 1973 with Honors while also obtaining several honoree business school awards. I majored in Marketing and Accounting. I have also worked on Master Degrees at UNT in Accounting & Real Estate and attended the SMU School of Law.
FYI, Ken Del Regno and I were college dorm roommates as well as Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity brothers at UNT.
I have had an assortment of job careers since graduating from college, including being a wholesale jewelry rep, owning 32 “7-Eleven Convenience Stores” (Indiana & Kentucky), a computer software/equipment rep to the restaurant industry, a North Texas land & shopping center broker, owning body shops (Dallas area) and a National VP of Marketing for a healthcare equipment manufacturer. As you might deduct, I get bored easily.
For the last 20 years, I have been an Edward Jones Financial Advisor in Collin County. My office is in Downtown McKinney, TX.
Lori and I have attended the last two KHS Reunion events. We are looking forward to attending the 50th Reunion event. Thanks to all of you who have worked hard over the years to facilitate these reunion events!Carol A. Flannery
When playing guitar during college in the 70s didn’t lead to a living wage, or global celebrity ;-), becoming a university professor was my second, but best choice. For over forty years I have taught math and statistics in colleges and universities, including producing, directing, and appearing in instructional math and statistics videos. The last 25 years of my career have been at the University of Texas at Dallas, teaching within graduate programs of Supply Chain management and developing statistics online courses for graduate and undergraduate-level courses.
After graduating from Kimball, I completed my bachelor’s degree in math and began working as a geophysics technician for an oil company. In 1976, my interests of wildlife conservation grew stronger which led me to quit my job and head to Africa to help author Joy Adamson (Born Free, et al). Finding myself in Kenya, watching Joy interact with one of her last animal rehabilitation projects involving Penny the leopard, was one of the most thrilling times of my life. Staying at her home Elsamere, on the shores of Lake Naivasha, was truly a dream come true. I would also travel to Tanzania where I celebrated my 25th birthday on the Serengeti plains.
Thanks to Joy, who had become a great friend and mentor, I would return to Kenya with my Mom who also fell in love with the country. Being in Kenya at this time, you might run into Richard Leakey or Jane Goodall in Nairobi on a shopping trip. Joy provided me the opportunity during that time to serve as Texas Director of her worldwide organization, The Elsa Wild Animal Appeal, with the goal of providing educational programs about preservation and conservation in all areas of the world.
After working for the Appeal, I concentrated on my studies and teaching in college. For someone who never really liked school, I found myself immersed in the academic world and actually enjoying it. Even while continuing to work, I completed my Doctoral degree in less than three years.
To this point, I have had a most rewarding life of interesting people, work and travel. I retired from UT-Dallas in May 2018 and am looking forward to life after retirement!
I will now have more time to focus on my love of photography, woodworking, and continue playing my guitars (I collect and restore vintage electric and acoustic guitars) and have begun playing the drums again. I have a complete set of Roland electronic drums, always set up in my house, which provides a good stress buster.
Looking forward to our 50th reunion and seeing classmates!Mark Dombrowsky
I have been entrepreneurial. As a curious person, I was employed in Oak Cliff and later Denton as a Private Investigator after getting a BBA Business Mgt, from what then was NTSU Denton. After that my love of CARS had me sell new cars in Dallas, and then I opened and ran my own used Classic/Special Interest cars business in Garland for 3 years.
Later I used my engineering, auto and investigative skills to work as a Loss Control Inspector and Investigator and fell in love with the work. I have owned my Loss Control Inspection Corp. since 1988-still working 4 days/week -- asking questions for a living and meeting friendly people that are glad you are doing this job to help them resolve a safety issue on their commercial property. After age 30, I met Julia, my wonderful wife (married late, I know...) We were introduced by a Kimball '69 Alum (Andy Ridenger) on a blind date at Bennigan’s Ft. Worth. God and Andy found me “the one” and we are still together with one grown daughter living in Dallas.
Life has been good for us. We are not wealthy, but are well off, happy, and that is just OK. I presently enjoy a lot of Automtive hobbies, - buy/sell/restore older cars, driving faster NEW cars. I do Yoga and Barbell/weights workout 4 times/ week since I was 30 and try to keep health. Drink a bit too much of the Spirits, but at least I will admit it!! Never became an MD like my Dad, but love medicine and natural healing modalities - my wife is a Doctor of Physical Therapy.Sue Simons Beavers
I am now retired. Was an office manager for over 20 years at Dealers Auto Auction in Grand Prairie. Have lived in Grand Prairie for 46 years. Have 1 child that will be 50 years old this year and one grandchild who will be 23 this year. I have been married to my current husband (Jerry) for 36 years. I like to play games on the computer. We enjoy travel to places that we have not been in the USA. Love going to our land in Nacogdoches, TX riding in our UTV. Enjoy spending time with my girlfriends. We dine every week and go on trips.Jane Torrie
I am a Chiropractor and Wellness coach. I have 2 adult sons. I’ve lived in Denton for over 20 years. Previously, I’ve been in Oregon, California and New Mexico, primarily. I sure look forward to connecting at our 50th.Janice Bates Freiheit
I spent my career in public education teaching Business Ed classes for 23 years. I then got my Masters in Library Science and was the middle school librarian at J.L. Long MS in Dallas for 14 years. Spending time with kiddos was a great career. I was a member of the performing company at Scarbough Faire for 15 years and spent my weekends each Spring singing, acting, and fighting in living chess matches. (So much fun!) I met my husband, Ed, at Scarborough and married at age 39.
The most surprising part of this story is that I had my one and only child, Alex, at age 47, so I have a junior in college! After retiring, I began teaching art classes at local craft shops and have had my work published in crafting magazines/books. This year, Ed and I joined a singing group, Vocal Magic, and Christmas caroled all December long. My men and I are huge Disney World fans and ususally go twice a year for a wonderful week of pampering and fun. I am grateful to have a such fun, happy life.Sarah Jones Nelson
has had a most interesting journey. Here she shares what she has been up to since spring 1969!
My life journey of many twists and turns brings to mind Homer’s Odysseus, disguised on his native shores, home at last from perilous island-hopping at sea. Near Etna, brute cunning saved him from the jaws of the Cyclops. Odysseus drenched him in wine, shoved a stake in his eye, and declared himself Nobody. All shouts for help went unheeded. Nobody’s blinding me!
I like this story because it survived the ravages of the Trojan War in the archaic poetry of free will. I do philosophy at Princeton University, dividing my time in Rome as an adviser to the Vatican. I don’t know why I landed on such auspicious shores, but I do know that we choose our life journeys predestined by nothing monstrous or absolute.
In Tokyo I once gave a lecture on free will. Not everyone agrees it exists. Chance is dicey. If you ignore action at a distance, you can easily infer that free will’s an illusion and that fixed laws of nature predict everything from the start.
Some years ago I directed a faculty seminar across the core disciplines. Discussion was hardly predictable. Colleagues John Conway and Simon Kochen published their famous free will theorem for the first time on my website: proof by mathematical logic of the existence of free action, more precisely. A coup! I heard later that my website critique of anti-Semitism had catalyzed a papal apology to the Jewish people.
At Princeton I convened a task force to develop my work in Austin writing law against sexual assault. Here the University took action long before #MeToo to protect students confronting violence, harassment, and discrimination. A victory.
At Oxford in the rare book room of Magdalen College, I chanced upon a Newton manuscript that brought to light his collaboration with John Locke on the Rights of Man. Together they inspired Thomas Jefferson’s manly concept of a Bill of Rights.
I enjoyed the fabulous pleasure of researching my find in Oxford at Christ Church as an honorary member. Trinity College, Cambridge, Isaac Newton’s alma mater, then offered to host my research in the Wren Library — progress — thanks to Virginia Woolf’s classic critique of gender exclusion from privileges at the Wren.
My husband Edward Nelson, a world-changing mathematician, passed away unexpectedly in 2014. We celebrated twenty-five years of marriage beyond my wildest dreams. Now I’m back to light-blinding questions of how anything in the universe exists at all.
At present I’m publishing a cosmology paper given recently at the Vatican for a conference on the origins and evolution of spacetime, if indeed it exists. Maybe it’s all a cunning disguise or illusion of our 3D island home. Let’s decide when we reunite.
Sarah Jones NelsonDan Surber
shares his career with the Air Force and beyond.
Right after we graduated I enlisted in the USAF Reserve in a program to try to get a second shot at an appointment to the Air Force Academy. It entailed going through boot camp at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, and then attending two semesters at the USAF Preparatory School, which operates on the AFA reservation, but under regular active duty personnel. We did college math in two semesters: Algebra, Geometry, Trig, and Calculus; and, college English: writing, speaking, rhetoric, logic, and grammar. We took the SATs 5 times, and sure enough they managed to raise my aggregate score by 500 points and I got my appointment, after going through Hell Week. I got a 3 week leave before reporting for Basic Cadet Training (just like 'regular basic"), only I caught the mumps and had to be quarantined at Tripler Army Hospital on Oahu, HI for a week.
Ok, fast forward to BCT and it turns out my first attempt to notify the Dallas Draft Board that I was "taken" had failed, got my first draft notice at Lackland, so I get a second notice at the Academy. We try again and that one finally "takes." I go through Hell Week, again, survival school, and fly gliders, then do Survival Escape Resistance Evasion (SERE) training in my sophomore summer and learn to jump out of airplanes. My major was supposed to be Mechanical Engineering, but it became pretty clear I was not going to keep up with their pace, so I switched to History, learned to navigate and fly, and graduated with 196 semester hours and a B.S. in History, with a minor in General Engineering and in German.
Pilot Training was completed in Selma, AL at Craig AFB but it took me a little over 18 months to complete it due to recurring knee issues. They asked me to volunteer to be a Flight Instructor in T-37s, which are the basic jet trainer all new pilots learn to fly before flying the much faster T-38.
I ended up in Kokomo, IN at Grissom AFB in a 3-man detachment teaching KC-135 co-pilots to fly the Tweet to build up their time and experience. This led to my being made one of the youngest Flight Examiners in Air Training Command, and the unit Spin Pilot. I met by wife (40 years), Sara, there and we were sent to RAF Lackenheath AFB, United Kingdom when I was assigned to be an F-111F Aircraft Commander. We were in England from 1979-83, had two children (David and Kate, both married now), and I completed Air Command and Staff College, and an MS in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Our next assignment was back to Clovis, NM and the F-111D at Cannon AFB, NM where I initially learned to fly the F-111. I became a Wing Safety Officer and F-111D Aircraft Commander, got promoted to Major, and was given another overseas assignment to the DMZ in S. Korea. Sara said she was not going, so I opted to leave active duty with a Reserve Commission, and pursued a career change as an Advanced Technology Human Factors Engineer with General Dynamics in Ft. Worth in 1986. We had twins in Ft. Worth (Anne and Amy). I was promoted again to Major in the USAFR but never got orders to a unit so they discharged me, but I had a contract with the Texas Army National Guard and was a Sgt in an Intelligence job in the 2nd Brigade, 49th Armored Division. I helped design an number of interesting technology insertions for the F-16, F-111, and the YF-22A fighters. Flew all of their simulators, and also helped design the cockpit for the NASA X-30 National Aerospace Plane which required me to wear a space suit and pressurize it twice a week for 90 minute flights to simulate takeoff, climb, and orbital entry around earth, and then deorbit and "glide" at Mach 25 back down to land at Edwards AFB.
I left GD in 1991 for Boeing in Philadelphia, PA. This was as a Systems Engineer working on the RAH-66 Comanche helicopter program. We eventually built two prototypes and flight tested them, but could not overcome the technology challenges to get into production. I moved from the Manager of Missions and Flight Control Avionics to a systems engineering job on the MV/CV-22 Osprey program as it was transitioning from Demonstration/Validation into the pre-production Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase. I led an integrated product team of 60 people doing the avionics integration and testing for the mission avionics systems and software, including running the integration lab, and the Avionics Software Integration Test Team (which still exists today in the full rate production program over 20 years after we founded it.)
We moved to Chicago in 1997 so I could take a job and the Manager of Systems Engineering and Integration for the J. I. Case Corp. in Burr Ridge, IL. Loved living in Naperville, missed flying simulators and designing aviation systems, but got to learn a whole lot about construction systems and farming systems, including getting operate almost every piece of equipment that CASE made. We left there in 2000, I completed my PhD. in Engineering: Management, and was designated one of the first 50 Certified Systems Engineering Professionals by the INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL ON SYSTEMS ENGINEERING (INCOSE) after I joined the Raytheon Corp. at their facility in Indianapolis, IN. We have been here ever since then, although I have done a bit of traveling for Raytheon during my 14 years with them. I retired in 2015, but soon became a part-time systems engineer helping companies like GENERAC, ALION, and the Pacific Architects and Engineers (PAE) pursue business opportunities and create system solution. I have been doing a lot of work on Defense Threat Reduction Agency contracts for the last 10 years to solve issues with Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation Prevention (WMDPP) in former Soviet Union "republics" like Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia. It looks like I'll continue to support PAE for the next couple of years so we can pay off our house and finish some renovations on Sara's "to do list." Then I can finally get back to "full retirement": babysitting our two grand children (Anne's), a new grandson coming in June (Kate), and playing golf. We (Sara and I) like to travel to the UK so we have plans in the works for Ireland, Scotland, the southern part of England, Wales, and the Lake District.
I guess I should mention that I also coached Anne and Amy through their high school lacrosse careers, where Anne was the goalie and they won the schools first state championship. I continue training goalies through their second championship 5 years later and by then there were enough former players coming back that I could "retire". During that same time I also taught two systems engineering graduate courses for Purdue and Johns-Hopkins universities as my "after work hobby".
Ours has been an eventful life and we are blessed with good health, lots of kids and grand kids, and good friends. Randy Trawnik and I have stayed in touch all this time and it will be great fun to attend the reunion with him.
Enjoy your "warmer" weather down there and have a splendid new year. See you, I hope, in April.Dan "Doc" Surber
Post Script: I forgot to note that INCOSE made me one of their first 20 Expert Systems Engineering Professionals in 2010, and Raytheon made me an Engineering Fellow about the same time. I was one of the first three Fellows designated by our sector of Raytheon. My retirement enabled me to retain my ESEP certification with INCOSE because I am a senior member of the society, and a local chapter member. I served on their Member Board and was a 5-year member and then chair of the Certification Advisory Group. Regarding my military and flying career, I have a total of 5,000 hrs flying actual aircraft and simulators, over 17 different aircraft types, including gliders, props, jets, and rockets. My cockpit design work flies in the F-16, F-22, F-35, and MV/CV-22 aircraft. The border surveillance and security systems I helped design operate in 5 different countries along nearly 2,000 miles of border. I've been very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to help design, develop, integrate, and test some very advanced technologies and systems.
We're happy to share the important work Pat Huff
is doing in the area of education.
The journey that I have been on, to change the public’s thinking about school accountability, did not begin until I retired from public education in 2007. It was only then, when I was away from the rat race of being a high school principal, that I was able to look back and begin to connect some dots.
The first thing I did after retirement was to start a personal training business. I wanted to do something completely different. Personal training gave me the opportunity to get away and re-group from education, but it did not truly satisfy and fulfill me as far as a pathway for the future. It was then that I set my goals in a new direction.
I felt like I had a lot to give back in terms of educating future school administrators, but in order to do this I would need to go back to school and get my doctorate in educational leadership. Prairie View A&M University is very close to where I live in Tomball (northwest of Houston), and it was either go there or be forced to drive some distance to work on my doctoral program. Luckily, I was accepted at PVAMU and the quest began in 2010. It proved to be a great experience for me.
Fast forward to my dissertation. By this time, I had decided on my topic, which was studying what the Texas Education Agency calls school failure
. These were schools that had failed to reach pre-set levels of performance with their students on the state standardized test. Doing the research on the schools and the people who lived through the phenomenon of school failure, led me to believe without a shadow of a doubt that school failure was a manufactured crisis of manipulation, fraud, discrimination, and profit making by those companies that sought to take advantage of schools located in neighborhoods of extreme poverty. Believing it and proving it, were two different things, so I set out to interview those who had agreed to share in my experience. My research proved (as much as you can prove a hypothesis) that there was truly an agenda behind school failure, and I was able to complete my research program. I discovered along the way there was also a more nefarious reason for putting in place this system of control. Through linking school success or failure, to the outcomes of their students on the test, it forced teachers to teach to the test. This, of course, limits the knowledge and information the student might have received from a gifted and knowledgeable professional educator not limited to teaching to the test, but rather teaching from their vast experience.
After the dissertation came my book and then many speaking engagements, including giving public testimony in front of the Texas House and Senate Education Committee’s and in front of the Texas Education Agency. My book,The Takeover of Public Schools in America: The Agenda to Control Information and Knowledge Through the Accountability System
, was mainly taken from my dissertation, except put in a readable format. The sharing of my research has been a rewarding, but very frustrating experience. I realized early on that the powers who created the accountability system aren’t budging and don’t intend to change their agenda. No matter how many groups protest or credible people voice their opinions in formal settings, they are not deviating from their agenda.
What I get the most satisfaction from now is seeing the light bulb turn on in people’s heads as they finally get it. I call this their red pill moment, and once they see it, there is no turning back. I am hoping for a tipping point at some time in the future when we will be able to turn the education system back a notch, get rid of the standardized test, and remove the Accountability System as the measure of a school’s worth. Only then can we return the teacher to their rightful spot as the purveyor of knowledge and information in the classroom.
I have been very fortunate and blessed, to have the support of my incredible wife, Connie, in this endeavor. Without her patience and encouragement, this could not have all happened. We have been married for almost 37 years now and have resided in Tomball for most of that time. Our family is growing with grandchildren who enrich our lives in so many ways.
Thank you for inviting me to share this time in my life with my fellow Knights. We all share something in common; we were all blessed to have gone through our public-school years without having to endure the trauma of the Accountability System. We went to a great school with awesome teachers, and were given the freedom to choose our own path in life. I am very grateful for that experience.
We are pleased to bring you a personal update from Stephen Tobolowsky
After graduating from Kimball, Stephen got his BFA at SMU. He then went to the University of Illinois and began working on his MFA. After a year he escaped and went to Los Angeles. He has since become a successful actor performing on Broadway and on hundreds of television shows and movies. The most noteworthy are Groundhog Day, Mississippi Burning, Memento, Single White Female, Californication, Glee, Silicon Valley, The Goldbergs
, and is currently on Netflix’s One Day at a Time
He has been married to actress/director, Ann Hearn, for thirty years. They have two children - Robert, who is a professor in organic chemistry at UCLA, and William who is in medical school at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.
In 2008, Stephen broke his neck riding a horse on the side of an active volcano in Iceland and suffered what his doctor called a “fatal injury.” It wasn’t. It turned out to be a blessing. He began wondering what stories from his life he never told his boys. During his recovery he began writing these down. They became the basis of his podcast The Tobolowsky Files,
radio shows on NPR and PRI, and two books published by Simon and Schuster: The Dangerous Animal Club
and My Adventures with God.
As is typical with children – his boys never read the books.
One of our classmates, Cyndy Biggs Teas
, along with her husband, Paul, founded Camp Barnabas in Missouri. Camp Barnabas is a Christian summer camp for special needs people.
In 1991 the Teas set out on an adventure in camping leaving Texas to work for Kanakuk Kamps in Missouri. In 1994 they operated a pilot project week of camp for children with cancer. Then, in 1996, founders Paul and Cyndy Teas purchased Soaring Hawk Camp (Purdy, Missouri) and reopened the property as Camp Barnabas at Teas Trail. In 2014, Camp Barnabas added a second location in Shell Knob, MO, known as Barnabas on the Lake. Both locations now serve approximately 1,800 campers and 2,400 volunteers each summer. The organization has grown, but the goal remains the same — provide life changing experiences to people with special needs in a Christian camp setting.
Over the past 24 years, Camp Barnabas has welcomed more than 75,000 campers and volunteers to camp.
Barnabas exists to offer life-changing opportunities to all individuals, regardless of their disability or diagnosis, and to the people that serve them. Most all people that experience Camp Barnabas leave forever changed.
Cyndy and her husband have returned to Texas to retire in the Hill Country and and enjoy their 3 grand children (soon to be 5).
Cyndy will be at the 50th reunion. Seek her out and say Hello!Randy Trawnik
came to the ocularist profession when he lost an eye himself in a shooting accident at age 17. His career path changed at that point when he chose to become a “Wounded Healer,” providing care for people just like himself. Over the last 40+ years he has helped thousands of patients, and trained others in how to construct prosthetic eyes.
After graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington, he trained with noted pioneer ocularist John H. O’Donnell. He completed his U. S. Government sponsored training program in 1975 and received his Master of Ophthalmic Prosthetics from the American Society of Ocularists (ASO) in 1978 and Fellowship in 1984.
But as a July 2017 WFAA news story points out, Randy is about so much more than providing his patients with a prosthetic eye. You can read the article yourself at https://www.wfaa.com/article/life/an-eye-for-an-eye-how-a-dallas-family-heals-spirits-rebuilds-souls/287-460539577
Both Randy and his son, John, (who received training from his dad) make a difference in the lives of the families they see in their Dallas practice. From the Dallas Eye Prosthetics website:
“Whether your eye loss was organic or traumatic, we understand that for you, it is an emotional and physical event. Our goal is to create for you a new eye that is an exact match in every detail. We like to think of it as camouflage so beautifully done that no one will know we were there. We also provide encouragement from our staff and the other patients you will meet while here.
What makes our day is to see our patient’s face light up when they see that the person in the mirror is the person they know! We try to complete the work in a day because we know you have a busy life.”
This is one of a number of patient testimonials found on their site:
“Your offer to assist one of our students in obtaining a new prosthetic eye has become a reality. The young man is back in school with a beautifully fitted eye and an immediate increase in his self esteem. He no longer hides his face from others. His smile comes easily, with his happy expression open for all to see. He and his family were so touched with this most unexpected and unusual act of kindness.
“There is too much focus on what is wrong with our health care system and how they are failing to serve our communities. There is a perceived idea that physicians have chosen their profession for financial gain. Thank you for setting the example that proves those notions inaccurate. This gift was given from the heart, with no strings attached, and though you did it with no thought of recognition. This one act will have a ripple effect and will spread much farther than you can imagine. You have gained the respect and admiration of the students and staff of the Garland ISD.”
Randy Trawnik has earned the respect and admiration of so many, including his Kimball classmates. Look for Randy at the 50th reunion and pat him on the back. He has earned it!
An author among us, Bob Davis
shared his story about how he came to be a published writer.
I've always had a love of writing, but never thought about "publishing" until 2003. I'd had my consulting business for four years at that time, and several of my clients had encouraged me to put in book form what I was sharing with them about advancement. From that came "Making That Successful Career Move; A Practical Guide to Advancing Your Career."
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The exposure in print, radio and TV took my business to new levels! I was also interested in deepening my faith and turned to writing a daily devotional for self-education purposes. Again, encouraged, mostly by family, I co-authored: "Ever Forward with Jesus; A Daily Walk with Christ
." It was an amazing experience, but I assumed my publishing days were over...then came 2015, a move to San Diego and an urge to create a second daily devotional. This one took three years; started in San Diego, added to in Portland and finally finished upon returning home to Texas. My third book, "Ever Forward with Jesus II: A Continued Walk with Christ" was published in May of 2018. Am I done writing books? I would have told you"yes" twice before, but you see how that worked out! For now an occasional poem or scattered musings over some topic for my own enjoyment will keep me satisfied. To all who have read, or will read one of my books, thanks for letting me occupy some of your time and mind space!