People from out of state say, “I wasn’t born in Texas but i got here as fast as I could."
Robert McCabe’s phase is slightly different; replacing “Texas” with “Friendswood.” He and his family got here as fast as they could.
After education at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory school (in southwest Houston), the University of Texas and South Texas College of Law, McCabe and his young family lived in Garden Oaks, near The Heights.
“We knew people who lived in Friendswood and were aware of the strong ideals in the community,” McCabe said. He and his wife, Elizabeth did some research and before their oldest son (they have two boys) turned two, they relocated.
Fourteen years later, they know they made the right decision.
“We’ve been very, very happy,” he said, adding that some extended family members have also since moved to Friendswood.
“The values people have are instilled in each generation. That is one of the reasons why it has been such a successful place, as both a community and place for education,” McCabe said.
As he travels outside the local area for work as a civil litigation attorney or on behalf of the School Board, he is often asked about Friendswood. “People hear about it,” McCabe said.
Citing examples as evidence (as you would expect an attorney to do), McCabe mentioned the numerous recent instances of the citizens of Friendswood supporting the community. “When there is an event, the people of Friendswood give their time and their money for things that are important. I don’t think you get that everywhere else,” McCabe said.
He was successful in his first try at elected public office and began serving on the FISD Board in the Fall of 2008. He believes his personal experience mixed with public and private school allows him to have a special perspective in helping make policy for FISD.
“I wanted to have a say-so continuing with the tradition that Friendswood has. I’ve always said, ‘The District was doing fine when I came on the Board.’ My goal was to assist in keeping it moving forward in that direction.”
McCabe’s personal and professional experience fits into the diversity that is a highly visible and valued characteristic of the Board.
“Every Board member brings a unique set of gifts and talents which make tremendous contributions,” said Trish Hanks, FISD Superintendent. “Since Mr. McCabe is a successful attorney, his legal expertise has provided welcomed leadership in various aspects of school business, such as personnel, construction and purchasing issues, to name a few. He is smart and understands his role as a policy maker. With two students currently in the district, he brings a parent voice to the table,” Hanks added.
During his tenure on the Board, the new Junior High School has been completed. Being involved as a Board member in some of the decision-making of that project is an accomplishment he is proud of now and will be for years to come.
McCabe also points to some of the less publicized, yearly events on some of the campuses that allow interaction with the students and teachers as one of the most enjoyable times as a Board member.
“After hearing some of the student’s questions about leadership and serving on the school board, you had to almost do a double take. The fifth graders at Bales are truly ‘smarter than a fifth grader,’” McCabe said with a laugh.
With seriousness, he continued, “We’re having more and more of these kids succeed. These kids are charged up and that’s part of what we do here in Friendswood.”
Which is why people get here “as fast as they can.”