Meet our amazing School Board

school board picture

Meet our amazing School Board members…

Laura Seifert – Position 1
Denise Ruiz – Position 2
Rebecca Hillenburg – Position 3, Secretary
Tony Hopkins – Position 4, President
Robert McCabe – Position 5
Ralph Hobratschk – Position 6
David Montz – Position 7, Vice President

Why did you want to serve on the FISD School Board?

Hopkins: I am a product of FISD and believe it is one of the key reasons for my success in college, work and life. I want FISD to be the same springboard for my children as it was for me. I want to help guide the district’s future and ensure that all FISD students had the same opportunities to excel that I did in the area of their passion.

Hobratschk: I have a passion for learning and would love to see that spark in FISD students.

Ruiz: ‘Giving back’ was instilled in me at a young age, I have volunteered for many years in both our Community and our school district. I am familiar with the hard work and dedication it takes from everyone in the district to provide an outstanding education for our kids. Having raised my family here in Friendswood, this district is near and dear to my heart and I am truly honored to serve with the Board on our forward vision for FISD.

Seifert: An excellent education fosters opportunities for students to discover their strengths and passions, resulting in a lifetime of success. To be a part of fostering those opportunities is incredible.

Hillenburg: To serve the students, staff and community of Friendswood while using my experience in education.

Where did you go to school (if you attended school in FISD, which elementary school did you attend?

Hopkins: FHS Class of 1994. Cline Elementary and Westwood.

Hobratschk: 1-12 grades at Littlefield, Texas

Ruiz: I was raised in the Houston area and graduated from Mt. Carmel High School.

Seifert: Denton High School

Hillenburg: Bloomington (Indiana) High School

What is/was (if retired) your job?

Hopkins: President of Four Creeks Investments and VP President of Finance for Modular Plant Solutions.

Hobratschk: Lutheran Pastor

Ruiz: I worked for HL&P (now Reliant Energy) in the Regulatory Dept. for 10 years. After obtaining my RN degree, I also worked as a nurse part-time. Currently, I am the VP for our family business, Ruiz Cash & Carry.

Seifert: Lead Teacher/Visionary for Yes. Ministries

Hillenburg: Educator

What is your favorite thing about FISD?

Hopkins: The commitment to excellence by the students and staff and the community that supports all that is done in the schools.

Hobratschk: The culture.

Ruiz: I love the pride we as a community have in our highly ranked school district.

Seifert: FISD includes everyone; students, parents and community members. We are all Mustangs, and we never settle, we’re always seeking to grow.

Hillenburg: Sense of caring for all. We are a community and family.

Do you have kids/grandkids in FISD? Where did they/do they attend school?

Hopkins: Cooper – 7th grade at FJH and Bailey – 3rd grade at Windsong.

Hobratschk: Two children who graduated from FISD and two grandchildren, one at FJH and one at Westwood

Ruiz: I have three sons who all attended FISD: Lou Ruiz ’07 FHS grad, ’11 A&M grad; Michael Ruiz ’09 FHS grad, ’13 SFA grad; and Matthew Ruiz ’13 FHS grad, ’17 Texas State grad.

Seifert: Ben (12) FJH Beth (10) Bales

Hillenburg: My two grandkids attend Westwood and Bales.

What were you involved in when you were in high school?

Hopkins: Everything. Sports Information, Drama, National Honor Society, Student Council

Hobratschk: FFA, Football, and Band (Drum Major my senior year)

Ruiz: I was a member of our award-winning drill team, Mt. Carmel Cadettes. We performed during football game halftime and Houston downtown parades.

Seifert: Cheerleading and Tennis

Hillenburg: Drama, newspaper, speech and debate

Did you attend college? If yes, where?

Hopkins: Yes. Rice University – Masters of Business Administration with concentrations in Entrepreneurship and Finance and Lamar University – Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance.

Hobratschk: Yes. Concordia College in Austin; Concordia Sr. College in Ft. Wayne, IN; Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO

Ruiz: Yes. I attended San Jacinto College where I obtained my RN degree.

Seifert: Yes; Texas A&M

Hillenburg: Yes. Indiana University (BS and MS). University of Clear Lake Houston (MS) and Baylor University (Ed.D)

What is your favorite hobby?

Hopkins: Reading/golf

Hobratschk: Woodworking and hunting

Ruiz: Spending time with family and friends.

Seifert: Spending time with family and friends around a dinner table.

Hillenburg: Hiking, skiing and crocheting

What is something you wish people in FISD knew about you?

Hobratschk: During my undergraduate studies, I had a powerful tug to go into medicine.

Ruiz: I love music and I LOVE to dance!

Seifert: I’m funnier than my twin sister, Catherine. Most everyone disagrees, but it’s true.

Hillenburg: I have walked rim to rim of the Grand Canyon

Do you have any hidden talents? If yes, what?

Hopkins: No.

Hobratschk: I play the trumpet, French horn, ETC and guitar

Ruiz: Dancing.

Seifert: No hidden talents, not really any visible talents either.

Hillenburg: Hidden, yes. And I’m still looking for them.

What is your favorite book?

Hopkins: Mere Christianity, Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas, Unbroken or Lord of the Rings

Hobratschk: The Lord of the Rings (after Scripture, of course)

Ruiz: ‘Everybody Always’ by Bob Goff and ‘Forgive’ by Laura Seifert

Seifert: Where the Red Fern Grows Through Gates of Splendor

Hillenburg: Jesus Calling

Do you have a favorite sports team? If yes, who?

Hopkins: Friendswood Mustangs, Houston Rockets

Hobratschk: Astros!!

Ruiz: All the Friendswood Mustangs teams as well as the Houston Astros and the Houston Texans.

Seifert: Houston Astros

Hillenburg: Indiana University basketball – must keep the faith!

If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive, fictional or real), who would it be and why?

Hopkins: I would have loved to sit in on the discussions of the Inklings at Oxford (C.S. Lewis, Tolkien and others). Their faith and depth of writing and creativity to create Narnia and Middle Earth would have been fascinating.

Hobratschk: After Jesus, of course, most likely St. Paul.

Ruiz: Princess Diana – she was an iconic figure of the 20th Century who so many identify with. She believed “everyone has the potential to give something back if only they had the chance”.

Seifert: I’d love to have dinner with Jesus this side of heaven, like the disciples. His understanding and compassion would be glorious to see and hear in the physical realm while on earth.

Hillenburg: My dad. I would like to have the opportunity to ask all the questions I didn’t.