January FISD School Board Recognition Month

For release: January 2016
Dayna Owen
Director of Communications
Friendswood ISD
[email protected]

Say thanks to our school board members!

Friendswood – January 2016 is School Board Recognition Month, and
Friendswood ISD joins other districts across the state as they honor the countless contributions of these locally elected advocates for public education.

“School board members serve countless hours working to make public education the best it can be for every child,” said FISD Superintendent Trish Hanks. “In a climate of change and challenge, they develop policies and make tough decisions on complex educational and social issues that affect the entire community and the lives of individual students. Overall, they represent you and take their leadership roles seriously by attending lengthy meetings; broadening their knowledge at conferences and seminars; and talking about the schools with business leaders, parents, and neighbors. The staff and students of our district applaud our board members for their vision and voice to help shape a better tomorrow.”

The men and women serving Friendswood ISD are Rebecca Hillenburg, Tony Hopkins, Robert McCabe, Matt Robinson, Ralph Hobratschk, David Montz and Mike Shaw.

Rebecca Hillenburg, Ed.D. brings educational experience to the board having served as both a teacher and principal in Friendswood ISD. She is currently the Board President and is in her second term on the board. Currently a retired educator, she worked in education for 25 years. She is a resident of Friendswood, and, during that time, taught at Westwood Elementary and served as principal of Friendswood Junior High School. “My primary goal is to provide the opportunity for each student to reach his/her fullest potential. It is my responsibility to provide programs, funding and staff to accomplish this,” Hillenburg said.

Vice President, Dr. Matt Robinson joined the FISD School Board in 2008 and sits in Position 2. Robinson, an urologist, has served on the Facility Advisory Committee and the 2007 FISD Bond Committee. Robinson hopes to give back to his community and “focus on the C students, help them become A/B students and encourage all students to go into science related fields.”

Dr. David Montz joined the board in November 2010 and is serving in Position 7 of the Board of Trustees. Montz is a general and cosmetic dentist in private practice for over 15 years. Montz is an honors graduate of Friendswood High School (class of 1987).
“I offer to bring good quality reasoning and practical resolve in facing the many challenges in leading FISD into the future and make certain that the quality experience and opprtunity continues for all students,”Montz said. He currently serves as the Secretary.

Tony Hopkins is serving in Position 4 of the Board of Trustees and

currently serves as the Board’s Vice President. Hopkins is known for being the Voice of the Mustangs for Varsity Mustang football and an alumnus (Class of 1994). Hopkins is a partner with Arroyo Energy Investment Partners. Arroyo Energy is a private equity fund that was formed in 2015 and invests in power and midstream assets in North and South America. Hopkins said he “wants FISD to be the best public school district in Texas and for the students of the district to be constantly challenged to achieve their maximum potential.”

Robert C. McCabe is a board member in Position 5 and was re-elected to his third term in November 2015. McCabe has been practicing law for 20 years and is a partner with Oldenettel and McCabe in Houston. The firm concentrates primarily in defending companies and individuals in civil litigation. “While FISD is already an example for other school districts in the state, I would like to see us continue our success and keep looking for better ways to prepare our children for college and the business world, “ said McCabe.

Mike Shaw joined the group 1998 and has served consecutively to the current period. Shaw is currently retired from GeoControl Systems as a Payload Integration Specialist. He is a graduate of Friendswood High School. Elected for his first term in 1998, Shaw has continued to serve for 12 years in Position 1 and has held a variety of offices. “I hope to continue the traditional level of excellence that our community has come to expect and to continue to push for the highest academic results,”Shaw said.

Pastor Ralph Hobratschk was elected in 1989 and has served for over 20 years. He is the senior pastor of Hope Lutheran Church. Hobratschk recently returned to the board in November 2010. He serves in Position 6. He has served in a variety of offices on the board including President.
To highlight the celebration, the seven trustees will be “adopted” by a campus in the district, the Special Education Department and the Technology Department. Each year the location rotates for each member.

“Our children benefit every day from the hard work and long hours

contributed by our trustees. Serving as a crucial link between the community and classroom, this board is responsible for an annual budget of $ 56 million, 6200 students, over 700 employees, and six campuses. Please take a moment and tell school board members ‘thanks for caring about our children and giving so much to our community.’ Please join us as we applaud these local leaders for truly caring about our kids,” Hanks said.