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UT Tyler Magazine - class notes

UT Tyler Magazine - Fall 2012

Class Notes

Betty McDonald-Mitchell (B.A. 1978, M.A. 1983) was honored during this year's annual Women in Tyler Day for her service to the elderly over the past three decades as a professional with the state of Texas, a business owner and a member of many local and national organizations. She began working for the Texas Department of Human Services in 1978, serving in a community care program for the aged and disabled.

She eventually was promoted to TDHS deputy commissioner for long-term care, which included overseeing investigations of abuse and neglect and the regulation and licensing of nursing facilities. After retiring from the state in 2007, she started Life Span Care Consulting Group, which provides training in leadership development, strategic planning, protective services, multiculturalism and development of aging programs.

Beverly Womack (M.S. 1978) recently celebrated her 25th anniversary of opening her private practice in therapy and counseling in Jacksonville. She added a Tyler office about 10 years ago. Womack was a juvenile parole officer for the Texas Youth Commission, working in the Tyler District for 14 years. After receiving her master's degree, she became licensed as a clinical social worker and went into private practice in 1987.

In 2005, Gov. Rick Perry appointed her to serve as a member of the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists. She was reappointed in 2009. Womack has been married for 38 years to Dewayne, a retired Jacksonville school teacher. They have two children and four grandchildren.

Rick Campbell (B.B.A. 1982) was elected chairman of Shelby Savings Bank. He serves as Shelby County judge and is active in many community and conservation organizations including Ducks Unlimited and Bone Hill Foundation. Campbell is a past member of the Center Independent School District board of trustees and former co-owner of Center Livestock Co. and Port-A-Cool. He and his wife, Rachel, reside in Center. They have five children.

Nancy Church (B.S.Ed. 1982, M.Ed. 1988) won the Big Sandy mayoral race by a landslide this year. A resident of the community for more than 45 years, she also was recently elected secretary of Big Sandy Chamber of Commerce.

Church is retired after 36 years as an educator. She taught in Big Sandy and Gilmer independent school districts and was a certified educational diagnostician for Upshur County Special Education Coop and Gilmer and Longview ISDs. The mother of four served as a school administrator for 15 years.

Charles T. Dickson Jr. (B.S. 1982) has been practicing medicine in Tyler since 1994. He did his residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Marylyn Wright (B.F.A. 1982) retired in May after 21 years as an instructor and music department coordinator at Trinity Valley Community College. After graduating from UT Tyler, she earned a master's degree from East Texas State University and taught a few years for Mabank Independent School District before her employment with TVCC. Wright has served in various professional organizations, including director of two-year schools for the Texas Association of Music Schools.

Rosemary Sage Jones (B.S.Ed. 1983, M.Ed. 1985) is a team chair for this year's membership drive for the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce. She also serves TACC as chairman of business development, the Education and Human Resource Committee and the Business Workshop. The chamber has recognized her twice as Volunteer of the Quarter.

Beverly Nuckols (B.S. 1986),a board-certified family physician in private practice, was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Texas Institute of Health Care Quality and Efficiency board of directors. The institute works to improve health care quality, accountability, education and cost to the state.

Nuckols is a member of the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women and Texas Association Against Sexual Assault. She formerly served as New Braunfels Hospice medical director/board member and Comal County Women's Shelter vice chair/board member.

Larry R. Smith (B.S. 1986) was recentlyelected sheriff of Smith County. His employment history includes serving as criminal investigator with the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and a special agent with the U.S. Department of Treasury. Smith and his wife, Leslie, have a daughter and son.

Terry Hawkins (B.B.A. 1987) has been a firefighter with the city of Tyler since 1993 and served as a pilot and disaster preparedness officer in the U.S. Air Force. He competes in the Firefighter Combat Challenge, an obstacle course that simulates fire-ground tasks. He and his wife, Diane Dickerson Hawkins, have been married since 1988.

Ron Reese (B.S. 1988) received the Distinguished Teaching Award at Victoria College for his passionate dedication to chemistry education. Reese teaches organic, general, analytical and instrumental chemistry at the college, where he has worked since 2008. He previously taught at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and holds a doctorate in chemistry from Texas A&M University.

Carolyn Todd (M.Ed. 1988) retired as assistant superintendent of Lindale Independent School District, after serving the district for 33 years in various capacities. The Lindale High School graduate taught elementary school in Oregon for several years before returning to Lindale.

She taught fourth and fifth grade at Lindale Primary School for 10 years and served as principal for 11 years. Todd also was director of curriculum and coordinator of federal programs during her time with the district.

Kim Stradley (B.B.A. 1992) joined Big Sandy Independent School District as high school principal this year, after serving four years as K-12 math facilitator with Tyler Independent School District. Stradley has worked in education since 1998, teaching math at Winona and Hawkins high schools and serving as assistant principal at Hawkins High School and TISD's Boulter Middle School.

In 2004, she was voted Hawkins High School Teacher of the Year and honored by Hawkins Chamber of Commerce as Educator of the Year.

Yvette Brunette (B.S. 1993) is an agent with State Farm. She resides in Tyler with her husband, Hardy, and their daughter, Sydney.

Nathan "Andy'' Lynn (M.B.A. 1993) is a senior group insurance underwriter with MetLife in Kansas City, Mo. He also serves as bi-vocational pastor at Longview Baptist Church in Lee's Summit, Mo. Lynn and his wife, Laurie, have two daughters, Corie and Zoe.

Tim Tadlock (M.Ed. 1994) was appointed head baseball coach at Texas Tech University after serving as interim head coach. He joined the program as associate head coach in fall 2011.

Tadlock was an assistant coach at the University of Oklahoma for five years, helping the Sooners to five NCAA tournament trips and a College World Series appearance in 2010. He spent nine seasons as head coach at Grayson Country Junior College, guiding the school to NCJAA World Series titles in 1999 and 2000.

Jerry Thomas (B.S.N. 1994) is administrative director of perioperative services for Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas. He is pursuing a master of business administration degree from Texas Tech University.

Greg Bower (B.S. 1995, M.A. 2003) was hired as principal of New Crosby High School. He previously served as principal of Corsicana High School, after teaching English and history for several years. He has earned numerous teaching awards and recognitions, including Newcomer of the Year and Teacher of the Year at Sam Houston Middle School in Garland and Newcomer of the Year at South Garland High School.

Jennifer Dollins (B.S.I.S. 1998) returned this year to Hawkins Independent School District to become elementary school principal, after working as intermediate school assistant principal in Kilgore for four years. She served Hawkins ISD as a third- and fourth-grade teacher and reading coach from 1999 to 2008, before joining Kilgore ISD.

The Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association honored Dollins as the 2012 Region VII Assistant Principal of the Year. She was Hawkins Elementary School Teacher of the Year in 2008.

Sarah Hoitsma (B.F.A. 1999) was hired to work in development for the Agri-Business Expo Center project in St. Joseph, Mo. Hoitsma is developing donor communications for the planned multipurpose center, which will serve as an epicenter for agriculture education, research and development. Hoitsma also is an adjunct professor of art at Missouri Western State University and holds a master's degree from Alfred University.

Christi Ann Roney (B.B.A. 1999) is a development officer with Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity in Edmond, Okla. Her responsibilities include expanding the donor base, refining the membership program and enhancing local corporate involvement.

Jodie Albritton (B.S.I.S. 2000, M.Ed. 2007) was named principal of College Street Elementary School in Lindale Independent School District, after serving as assistant principal. Joining Lindale ISD 11 years ago, her previous positions include Velma Penny Elementary School assistant principal and Lindale Junior High School teacher/assistant principal.

John Douglas Beck (B.B.A. 2007) joined the New York office of Haynes and Boone LLP. He is an associate in the firm's bankruptcy and business restructuring practice. Beck earned a juris doctorate from Texas Tech University School of Law and completed a judicial clerkship with Justice Phil Johnson of the Supreme Court of Texas.

His may honors and awards include: American College of Bankruptcy Distinguished Law Student from the Fifth Circuit, National Order of the Barristers, American College of Trial Lawyers Medal for Excellence in Advocacy and Don M. Hunt Outstanding Barrister Award.

Amanda Holloway Thornton (M.A. 2007) was honored as Outstanding Community Woman for 2012 by the President's Commission on the Status of Women, an advocacy organization at Mississippi State University. Thornton was recognized for her efforts to diminish poverty and unemployment in the Northeast Mississippi area.

She is director of Christian Women's Job Corps, a mission outreach program to which she has contributed more than 1,000 hours in volunteer service. An adjunct lecturer in the MSU psychology department, Thornton also was recognized by the Rotary Club for her community service.

Suzie Carmack (M.Ed. 2009) is co-creator of Centeredbeing, a wellness education company that brings a Pilates- and Yoga-inspired health approach to modern living. Recently featured in a Washington Post article, the Fairfax, Va., resident is working toward a doctorate in health communication at George Mason University.

Jack Adams (B.A. 2010) is attending law school at Michigan State University.

Nicodemus Christopher (M.S. 2010) was hired as a strength coach for the men's basketball program at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Christopher oversees all strength and conditioning efforts related to the program. In his previous position as sports performance coach at Purdue University, he was responsible for softball and track and field, and assisted with men's basketball as a speed and conditioning coordinator.

Christopher was a volunteer assistant strength and conditioning coach at Stanford University in fall 2010. He is a USA weightlifting-certified sports performance coach.

Jared Hood (B.S. 2010) joined the baseball coaching staff at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall. The former UT Tyler baseball standout returns to his hometown of Marshall after serving two seasons as assistant coach at Hill College in Hillsboro.

Kelsey Ainsworth (B.S.I.S. 2011) is the new volleyball coach at Mineola High School, after serving as assistant coach in volleyball and softball last year. Ainsworth is a former UT Tyler softball player.

John-Paul "Dash'' Connell (M.S. 2011) wasnamed head tennis coach for Tyler Junior College. He served as interim head coach during the 2011-12 season, guiding the women's team to a national championship and the men's team to a national runner-up finish.

Matt Schimpf (B.S. 2011) is a pitcher for the London Rippers, based in Ontario, Canada. He is a former UT Tyler baseball player.

Mary Bishop (B.B.A. 2012) established a business as a jeweler making gemstone necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings and has found a loyal customer base through both exhibit booths and the Internet. Featured in a recent issue of IN Magazine, Bishop aspires to have her own line of jewelry.

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