Three Friendswood High School graduates and one honorary alumnus were honored at the 2015 FHS Distinguished Alumni Banquet on Thursday, October 22, following the annual homecoming parade. The honorees also were recognized on the field at the Friday night varsity football game.
More than 160 people attended the event – held at the Green Event Center in Friendswood – including current and former FHS teachers and coaches, past Distinguished Alumni, and graduates from as far back as the 1940s. Following a welcome from 1963 alumna Judy Ballard Connors, Rev. Glenda McDonald – a 2010 Distinguished Alumna – provided the invocation. Mark Griffon, FHS Principal and 2010 Distinguished Alumnus, served as the banquet’s master of ceremonies.
Robert Andrews, from the class of 1975, was named a Distinguished Alumnus for his unparalleled work with youth, collegiate and professional athletes as a sports performance consultant and founder of the Institute of Sports Performance®. He is currently working with numerous athletes in various events preparing them for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio. “It has been incredible to see so many familiar faces from my time at FHS,” Andrews said. Several players and coaches from the 1973 state football championship team – on which Andrews played – were in attendance. Andrews received a special introduction from his former FHS football coach, Don Hamilton.
Scott Bockart, a 1984 graduate, was honored for his more than 25 years of dedication to education and the students of Texas. He has held numerous teaching and coaching positions throughout the state, and is currently Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education for Clear Creek Independent School District, where he serves the educational growth of more than 41,000 students in Galveston and Harris counties. “So many teachers, coaches and administrators at Friendswood played an important role in my professional journey,” Bockart remarked. Mary Rinehart, one of Bockart’s former teachers who is still on staff at FHS, gave a special introduction.
Elizabeth McKee Gore, who graduated in 1995, was recognized for both her professional achievements as well as her countless humanitarian efforts across the globe. A former U. S. Peace Corps volunteers, she holds a top position with the United Nations Foundation and Dell Inc. She’s also created several nonprofit grassroots initiatives that have raised millions of dollars and saved countless lives. Four of Gore’s high school classmates were on hand to provide a special introduction. “Friendswood provided an incredible education for me that served as the foundation for my future,” Gore remarked.
Kenton Harris, longtime football coach at FHS from 1971 to 1996, was named the 2015 Honorary Alumnus. Harris was a teacher and on the coaching staff of the 1973 state champion football team, and was a beloved man on the field, in the classroom, and in the Friendswood community. Many over the years have called him their mentor. Harris drew laughs, tears and a standing ovation from guests as he shared stories from his 25 years at FHS. Many former players attended the event to honor “Coach” Harris; Steve Van Meter, former FHS head coach and athletic director, gave a special introduction.
Honorees were presented with unique crystal awards etched with a mustang, as well as gift baskets with mustang gear.
The banquet was generously underwritten in part by Janet & Kent Ballard, Clear Creek ISD, Craig M. Brown InsuranceAllstate, Friendswood High School, Friendswood ISD, Dr. S.F. Hartley, Hill Sand—Hill Waste—Dixie Farm Road Landfill, HomeTown Bank of Friendswood, Mr. Tony Hopkins, Lansdowne-Moody and the Harris Family, Mayor Pro Tem—Jim Hill, Moody National Bank, Raymond James—Sally Harris Branson & Harris B. Hanson, Ms. Mary Rinehart, Ms. Pepper Smith, and Victory Insurance—Roger Montemayor.
The Friendswood High School Alumni Association is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to build and cultivate a community of alumni that will benefit, support and promote the students, faculty and graduates of Friendswood High School. The Association also aims to foster a spirit of loyalty and commitment among alumni. Proceeds from the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Banquet will be used to provide scholarships to two FHS graduating seniors in June 2016.