JACKSONVILLE, Texas (KETK) – The Jacksonville Education Foundation announced nine new Influential Indian awards.
The awards were announced during the homecoming game on Oct. 8 and added to the foundation’s distinguished list of those who have made their mark in Jacksonville ISD.
For someone to be designated an Influential Indian, a minimum donation of $1,000 is made to the Education Foundation in their name. An Influential Educator requires a minimum donation of $2,500.
The JHS Class of 1978 designated one of their own, the late Wolf Whitaker, as an Influential Indian. Philip Whitaker, better known as Wolf left his mark in Jacksonville through photos and support.
“He will be forever missed on the Tomato Bowl sidelines taking pictures in his infamous bucket hat,” Jacksonville ISD said in a press release.
Patsy Whitaker the Jacksonville Middle School Principal was named an Influential Indian by the staff if JMS. Patsy was a JHS Class of 1982 graduate. Mrs. Whitaker dedicated many years to the students of Jacksonville ISD in her roles of as teacher, coach, assistant principal and now principal. Jacksonville ISD said she has been influential in countless lives throughout the years with the school district.
Pat and Robin McCown
The McCown family named both Pat and Robin McCown as Influential Indians. Class of 1973 alumni, Pat and Robin have established their own legacy in Jacksonville and have numerous children and grandchildren that show what it takes to be a Jacksonville Fightin’ Indian.
Bill Avera, JISD Police Chief, was named an Influential Indian by his wife, Heather, who was also an Influential Indian and is a JISD teacher. Avera is a JHS alumnus and has served the district as police chief since 2016. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Jacksonville Education Foundation.
Sergio Hernandez was named as an Influential Indian by Julie Duren with State Farm Insurance Office.
“Hernandez, is involved, dedicated, and truly a servant leader in our community. He has been a guiding light for many youth in the area, especially in the soccer world. This honor is a well-deserved award and JEF is proud to add Sergio to the distinguished list of Influential Indians,” JISD said.
Colleagues, former students and friends of the late Stuart Bird donated to the to the JEF to designate the former JISD superintendent as an Influential Educator.
“Mr. Bird left a legacy of excellence, compassion, and unfailing support with all who knew him. During his tenure as JHS principal and then JISD Superintendent, he changed JISD for the better and his impact is felt to this day. This award honoring Stuart Bird is highly deserved,” JISD said
Randy Gorham, the Jacksonville Mayor, was named an Influential Indian by several close friends.
“Randy has for many years been a community leader and has served Jacksonville in many capacities. He is a 1977 graduate of JHS and his support of JISD is never-ending. Jacksonville owes a debt of gratitude to Mr. Gorham for his countless hours of work in our community,” JISD said.
The Bateman family recently honored the late Bobby Bateman as an Influential Indian.
“Bobby was a quiet, dignified, and humble servant leader in Jacksonville. He was known far and wide for his steadfast faith and truly walked the walk as he set an example for all to follow. His legacy lives on in the many lives he impacted, and he will always be remembered as one of the best ever to live in the Jacksonville community,” JISD said.
For more information about the Jacksonville Education Foundation, please visit jisdfoundation.org or call 903-586-6511 x 9434.