Class Notes

Bess W. Murray ’41 turned 100 years old in Jan. 2020. She enjoyed a 46 year career as a teacher. Six of those years were spent teaching in the Texas Penal System after retirement from Huntsville Independent School District.

Martha (Green Whatley) Knies ’61, ’64 was honored with a public park named after her in Wimberley, Texas, after decades of service to the city and the community. As one of city’s first council members, she was instrumental in securing park land. As the founder of Keep Wimberley Beautiful, she has dedicated many years to helping maintain and care for area parks.

Steve Cherry ’71 has been named “2020 Professional of the Year,” representing Education in Criminal Justice, by Strothmore’s Who’s Who Worldwide. He is a criminal justice instructor at Denison High School, and has been a licensed Texas peace officer since 1972. He currently serves as a reserve officer with the Pottsboro Police Department.

Rose Avalos ’72, ’76 was honored by the Aldine community with the naming of the district’s newest high school - the Rose M. Avalos Pathways In Technology Early College High School. Avalos dedicated 50 years to the Aldine community as an educator and school board trustee. She served as the principal for 11 years at MacArthur High School.

Andy Allen ’85 is president and co-owner of United Protective Services, a contract security and patrol services firm with more than 1,200 employees and eight offices throughout Texas and Oklahoma. His company was recently recognized as the nation’s top 25 leading security companies in annual gross billings.

Traci Wagner ’89, ’00 was named vice president for family outreach at Methodist Children’s Home. Headquartered in Waco, the organization serves more than 6,000 children, youth and families annually across Texas and New Mexico.

David Brady ’88 was selected by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo as part of their executive leadership. In his new role as chief entertainment and customer experience officer, Brady is responsible for managing all aspects of customer experience, including rodeo competitions and concerts, grounds and stadium presentations, and marketing and public relations. Additionally, he will oversee retail functions, including ticketing, merchandise and the Rodeo Uncorked! Wine Show events.

Pete Bell ’92 received one of Sigma Chi’s highest honors. He was named a 2020 Significant Sig by the international council. The award recognizes alumni whose achievements in their fields have brought honor and prestige to Sigma Chi. Bell is the 15th Bearkat to receive the distinguished title.

Vanessa Hicks-Callaway ’94 of Victoria, was appointed by Governor Abbott to the Texas Medical Board. She most recently served as a field representative for a member of congress. Prior to that, she retired as a lieutenant colonel from the United States Army after providing 26 years of honorable service as a supply sergeant, reserve military police officer, and military intelligence officer, with two combat tours in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.

Mona Salinas ’97 has been appointed principal of Cinco Ranch Junior High where she previously served as assistant principal. She has 20 years of experience in public education, including classroom teacher, instructional coordinator, assistant principal and principal.

Gene Moore ’00 a Houston-based gospel artist, celebrated his first Grammy nomination. His album “Tunnel Vision” was on the 2020 ballot for Best Gospel Album. He can be heard on KTSU’s radio show ‘Revive’ every Sunday from 4-6 p.m.

Keisha Kirkwood ’09 was recognized for her commitment to teaching and creative approach to science when she was named “High School Science Teacher of the Year” by the Science Teachers Association of Texas. The Beaumont ISD biology teacher is also the recipient of the 2019 Wayne A. Reaud Excellence in Education Award.

Sarah Faulkner ’11 has been appointed by the City of Huntsville, Texas as the new cultural services coordinator of the Wynne Home Arts and Visitor Center.

Gregory W. Clark Jr. ’12, ’14 is a licensed home inspector with Legendary Inspection Group. He also serves as an adjunct professor teaching Court Systems & Practices at Lamar State College Port Arthur. Clark was selected as a 40 UNDER 40 recipient—an award given to professionals under the age of forty in Southeast Texas.

Tiffany Simon, ’14 (PhD) is the recipient of the 2019 Texas Counseling Association Professional Writing Award. She was recognized and presented with her award during the annual TCA conference in Fort Worth.

Whitney (Wylie) Hendley ’15 married Kyle Hendley ’15. Whitney is a development specialist for the Driscoll Children’s Hospital Development Foundation. Kyle serves as a Texas state game warden. They reside in Corpus Christi.

Salli Clavelle ’15, ’16 is the NFL’s first, and only female full-time Pro Scout for the San Francisco 49ers. In her position, she evaluates players from six teams and can typically be found watching film, writing reports, updating injuries, tagging free agents and alerting trades.

Daylene Collette ’15 recently decided to bring her law practice to her hometown. The attorney opened an office in Palestine, Texas.

Barbi Stimac ’15 returned from serving as a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Peace Corps volunteer in Bitola, North Macedonia. During her two years there, she worked to implement changes to make the learning experience more engaging for students.

Jorge Gonzalez ’16 joined the Peace Corps as an agriculture volunteer in Paraguay. He serves as a high school instructor teaching students skills needed to work on their family’s farm. He also works with a local veterinarian on improving cattle genetics through artificial insemination and teaches a weekly English class for students in the community.

Tyler Dunman ’18 (MS) recently joined the Human Trafficking Institute as the special counsel in Uganda. In this role, he will work in Uganda’s Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions providing expertise and supporting prosecutors who are working on trafficking cases.

Back to Top

Back to Previous Section                                                 Go to the Next Section