Class Notes – Spring 2012

Jul 20, 2012 by

Dave Ward, longtime Houston ABC news anchor, was honored in November at the Lone Star Emmy Awards for a lifetime of achievement in broadcast journalism. Dave was inducted into the Lone Star Emmy Chapter’s Silver Circle, which recognizes people with more than 25 year of experience in television. Dave has been a member of the KTRK news team for 45 years and has spent 43 of those years as the main anchor on Eyewitness News. Over those years he has covered everything from presidents to the final shuttle launch. While attending TJC, Dave was a member of “Pinkie” Fowler’s Apache Band and got his first broadcasting job at Tyler radio station KGKB. In 2007, the TJC Alumni Association presented him their highest honor, the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Judy Turman writes that she and husband JWill now have five beautiful grandchildren, ranging in age from 8 months to 10 years, and they all belong to daughter JJennifer and son-in-law Kyle. Son JJed has moved back to Tyler and is working as a landman. He is also owner and head of Geodek, a computer-based mapping and title research company he started last year. Judy adds, “Kyle and Jenn live here, too–he’s a cardiologist and she’s a full-time mom.” As a student at TJC, Judy was a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the Apache Belles. She is a retired TJC English professor.

Joe Garner writes in regards to the TJC Sports Circle of Honor, “Greetings everyone! Sure wish I could be there to enjoy the festivities, to see the good old TJC campus and renew old friendships. I can just hear all the war stories that are going to be swapped – some of them may actually be true. I can’t think of a finer group of guys to be tossed into the ‘Big Spring Military Base’ jail with! I was just thankful Coach Wag and Coach Richardson decided to get us out in time for the game! I really do treasure my two years at Tyler Junior College. Who could ever forget Frank Martin, Pinkie, Birdsong, or Bubba – or that tiny old barn we called Gentry Gymnasium? We all got a pretty good start in our lives and careers thanks to TJC and some outstanding faculty members. I’m sending along a snapshot of my family (son and daughter, spouses and 5 grandchildren). Anna and I celebrated our 50th this summer—I’m finally getting her ‘trained’ if you know what I mean!” Joe currently lives in Waukesha, Wis. While attending TJC, he was a member of the Apache basketball team.

Vern Lewis owner of ISLA clothing store on South Padre Island, also stays busy running his concrete staining business. He is president of the South Padre Island Hoops Committee and tournament director of the island’s Sweet 16 High School Invitational. In his spare time—he loves to go fishing!  He and wife Dainty have been married for 36 years and have two daughters. Vern, a member of the TJC “Ironman 8” Apache basketball team, was inducted into our 2012 Sports Circle of Honor luncheon in March. Pictured with Vern at the luncheon are teammates Jack Sweeny, (Vern), Harry Bostic and Terry Stillabower.
JMarion “Mutt” and JNancy Pugh have been best friends since TJC and finally married in July 2009 in Grand Saline. They are enjoy going to football games, fishing and just being together.

Carol Sewell announced the release of her latest book last year, “We the People: Know the Past, Understand the Present, Secure the Future.” Carol says she wrote the book to equip Christians with the information they need to teach their children and grandchildren about the biblical worldview, America’s true history and our system of government. While attending TJC, Carol was a member of the Apache Belles.

Juanita Taylor, after the death of her husband, she enrolled in a master’s program in pastoral counseling and is currently working on a degree.

Dr. Cheryl Whisenant Rogers recently received the 2012 Arts in Education Award for her lifelong dedication to promoting the arts in East Texas. Cheryl, a former Apache Belle, former director of TJC’s Harmony & Understanding and former division director of our Fine and Performing Arts department, is currently the executive director of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning and Research for TJC. She and her husband, Michael, have two children and two grandchildren.

Aaron Bonds is retiring after 27 years as an educator and coach. A native of Alice and former all-state linebacker at his high school, he became a member of the Apache football team in 1968. After TJC, he received a scholarship to play at North Texas State University. Following a 13-year career working for the federal government, Bonds went back to his love of football and became a coach. He says his retirement plans include spending more time with his family, especially his 11-year-old grandson. In 2001, the TJC Alumni Association presented him with the Special Recognition Award for his work with youth in after-school programs and sports.

Carleta Cates with members of the first Harmony & Understanding performance group practicing a special song they performed at their reunion in November. Pictured above HJames Beard, Danny Burgess, JBobbye Rucker, JCarleta, Carl Adams and JEsther Broughton-Milton.
Jack Chelf, Jr. has been the pastor of First Baptist Church of Rockdale since 2002. His son, Gregory, is a freshman at Mary Hardin-Baylor and plays on their football team.

Mary L. Davis moved back to the Tyler area and lives at Oakbrook Healthcare Center in Whitehouse. She writes that she is glad to be back and near her family.

Theresa Smith Browne, who serves on the Brothers and Sisters Reunion Committee, took a trip to Washington, DC, in August for the ribbon-cutting celebration honoring the unveiling of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. She writes that she arrived on the first of the four-day celebration and hit the ground running! “I attended the ribbon-cutting and many of the other events. The monument was open every day/night until 9 p.m., so I went back several times to see it.” And adds, “I saw and was photographed with many celebrities, did the White House/Capitol tours and went to more than enough of the events to say, Yes, the dedication happened. The celebrations went on around the clock, despite the fact that the official dedication was postponed until October due to Hurricane Irene but the weather in D.C. turned out to be fine.” The 30-foot memorial granite statue of Dr. King officially opened to the public on Aug. 22 and conveys three themes that were central throughout his life – democracy, justice and hope.
JNicholas Hope Wilkinson, shares his good news—“We have dedicated our most recently published comedy, Dashing Through the Snow, to TJC Theatre Professor Jacque Shackelford. It is our 8th play to be published by Dramatists Play Service NYC and we were thrilled to include Jacque in the dedication. Her name will forever appear in the published version of the play in hopes that she might get some well-deserved ink. She is adored and appreciated by thousands!”

Donna Bullock and husband Howard Sherman recently flew to Buenos Aires, Argentina to do a commercial for MasterCard. The spot shows how MasterCard’s worldwide acceptance enables travelers to follow their passions, including shopping, dining and the Tango! In November, she flew in from New York City to surprise her favorite teacher, J.W. Johnson (pictured above), at a reunion for former Harmony & Understanding students. At the reunion, she serenaded Johnson with “It Had to Be You,” then later attended the Pops Concert together.

Linda J. Price has retired from First Baptist Church in downtown Tyler, where she worked for 17 years. She writes that she also worked at Medical Center Hospital and at Trane – and adds that she loves Tyler!

Holly Ford, tennis coach for Spring Hill ISD, was named the 2010 Sectional Coach of the Year for girls’ tennis by the National Federation of State High School Associations. Holly has produced 45 individual district championships, 30 district runner-ups, and 11 regional champions in her 28-year career. A graduate of Gladewater High School, after TJC, she attended Baylor University and began her coaching career at Cypress-Fairbanks. She has also served as the Class 3A Regional Team Tennis Tournament director since 1997 and was named TTCA Class 3A Coach of the Year in 2008.

Dee Eden Schueler, former Apache Belle, had always wanted to be a nurse and her husband JMark (’80) encouraged her to go back to school and start the LVN program located at Eastfield College. There she earned both a vocational nursing certificate and associate’s degree in nursing, then received a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from UT Tyler. Dee currently works for a specialty pharmacy in the home care division, providing support for physicians. Feeling strongly that it’s never too late to learn, Dee earned specialization credentials in infusion therapy (CRNI), a second-degree black belt in tae kwon do and advanced scuba diving and rescue certification through Eastfield. Dee’s son Derek (’05) also attended TJC and was a Belle Guard. Dee and Mark live in the Mesquite area.

Pat and JKay Snow traveled to Texas last May to attend oldest son Logan’s graduation from Baylor University. During their trip they decided to take the long way and go through Tyler so they could visit with their “second parents”, Emma Lou (’46) and JKenneth Prater (’70). They write, “The Praters were essential to our college days. We talked a lot about who we cheered with and if we knew where anyone was, had a great lunch and good fellowship! We could not decide how long it had been since our last trip to Tyler. It had been awhile.” Last July, they moved from Alexandria, Va., where he was with the Defense Media Activity to Fort Meade, Md. Pat entered the U.S. Air Force in August 1983 and plans to retire in September 2013. He and Kay have two sons, Logan Tyler (23) and Christian Ducey (19). While attending TJC, Pat was a mascot, cheerleader, vice president of TJC Student Senate and a member of Pi Kappa Alpha.

Terry Gipson, a Tyler native, is running for the New York State Senate. Terry attended TJC from 1981-83, first as a land survey major and then switching to theater. He transferred to Texas Tech University and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in scenic and lighting design. He went on to receive a Master of Fine Arts in Theater from Penn State University in 1991. Terry spent many years in New York City working in the entertainment design industry and worked as a staff set designer at MTV Networks for 8 1/2 years. Five years ago, Terry and his wife Michelle relocated to Rhinebeck, N.Y., where they own and operate Gipson Design Group Inc. — Terry’s company is in its seventh year and specializes in custom scenic design for live shows, events, and exhibits. Terry is also an elected official on the Rhinebeck Village Board and launched his campaign for State Senate last spring. For more information on Terry’s campaign please visit

Suzanne Baldon is a forensic science instructor at the McLennan Community College Emergency Services Education Center in Waco. After graduating from TJC with an Associate of Arts degree, she earned her bachelor’s at UT Tyler and her master’s in anthropology from UT Arlington. Suzanne, who works with clay in reconstructing crime victims’ faces for police departments, said, “My job is the last resort. When all other efforts at identification fail, this is what we try. It’s just a blessing to be able to provide closure to families and to help with law enforcement investigations.” Over the years, she has reconstructed more than half a dozen faces and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in transformative studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies.

SPO Reginald D. Broughton, a graduate of Whitehouse High School, TJC, the University of Houston and the Houston Police Academy, celebrated 21 years of service in February with the Houston Police Department. He is the brother of Esther Broughton-Milton (’71) and the son of Lilie T. Broughton and the late Ester B. Broughton of Whitehouse.

HTed Dauphin moved to New York in August 2010 for a new job. In September of that year, Ted and wife Linda were married in Bogota, Colombia, where Linda’s family lives. He continues to volunteer for overseas mission activities.

Jon Jacobs and wife Paulia decided to do something a little different for Christmas 2011—Disney World! Jon’s twin boys, age 11 ½, had never been and he said the boys carefully planned their route of attractions to see on a Disney map of each of the four parks, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. They arrived in Orlando on Christmas Day, experienced all the parks and spent New Year’s Eve at Magic Kingdom watching the fireworks over Cinderella’s castle. Jon writes that they thoroughly experienced Disney and made lifelong memories. He adds, “I find myself thinking about my TJC years—the many experiences and my lifelong memories of TJC. Those experiences and memories continue today as I have enjoyed serving on the TJC Alumni Board and having the opportunity to serve as the Alumni Board President during our 85th anniversary.”

Dr. J. Blair Blackburn and wife JMichelle (’90) celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary last August. Blair,
executive vice president of Dallas Baptist University and Michelle, a real estate agent, live in the Dallas area. While attending TJC, Blair was an Apache cheerleader. In 1999 the TJC Alumni Association presented him with the Valuable Young Alumnus Award.

Damon Carney, an actor with credits in television, film, commercials and theater, recently landed a part in the new Johnny Depp movie, “The Lone Ranger.” When not pursuing his acting career, Damon can be found at his Arlington restaurant,
The Tin Cup.

Dr. Trampas Bass, associate principal of Clear Lake High School for the past 14 years, was selected last summer to represent the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP) as their Texas Outstanding Assistant Principal of the Year. He was presented with an award and recognized in a commemorative booklet entitled “Texas Principals, Texas Heroes.” After earning an Associate of Arts in Teacher Education at TJC, he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Stephen F. Austin State University and his Doctor of Education in educational leadership degree from Sam Houston State University. Bass feels blessed to work with a great staff and mentors such as Dr. Chris Moran, Clear Lake High School principal, and Stan Tupman, Hudson Middle School principal. Other achievements include: the Sam Houston State University Jack Staggs Dissertation Award, the Hudson ISD Dare to Soar Award and the Hudson ISD Crystal Iceberg Award (2002).

Jason Adams became Huntington Independent School District high school principal last year. Before joining Huntington ISD, he was a teacher, coach and assistant principal in Madisonville. After TJC, Jason earned his bachelor’s at Sam Houston State and his masters’ from the University of Arizona. Proud parents JSandy (’74) and Rick Adams also live in Lufkin. Sandy, a coach and teacher, now works for son Jason! JEmma Lou (’46) and JKenneth Prater are the proud grandparents. Jason and wife Crystal have one son, Kolby.
Rebecca Alejandro married Joe Alejandro in 1999 and works as an operating room nurse. They have 2 children, Trey and Bianca. A former Apache Belle (92-94) and member of Phi Theta Kappa, after graduating from TJC, she attend UT Tyler and earned her degree in 1996.

Carmin Marie Biggs, a New York City TV news director, recently received her second Emmy for her work on WABC-TV Morning Newscast. After graduating from TJC and NYU, she moved back to Tyler to work as a morning news producer at KLTV. Next she moved to Houston where she worked with news anchor JDave Ward. In 2009, Carmin was awarded the Valuable Young Alumnae Award.

Brittany Batson, a Tyler native who now lives in Los Angeles, released her first Christian album last spring, “One Way.” Brittany grew up singing in her church and has sung backup vocals for artists including Faith Hill, Jennifer Hudson and Aretha Franklin, and performed lead vocals with a band at the University of North Texas while she was studying public relations. She pursued a modeling and makeup artistry career that took her to New York and eventually to Los Angeles. When both fell through, she began working as a personal assistant and served as a worship leader at her church when a friend encouraged her to begin working on an album. Brittany is pictured with TJC Theatre Professor Jacque Shackelford at a past TJC Los Angeles Area Chapter Reception.

Jennifer Michelle Taylor and Drew Calhoun Hutson, both of Tyler, were married July 30, 2011, at Green Acres Baptist Church. After TJC, the former Apache Belle head dance captain graduated from UT Tyler with her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. Jennifer, a teacher at Owens Elementary School, is an active member of Apache Belle Gold Board serving as Belle Babes chair.

Chris Brown was promoted from probationary firefighter to firefighter first class last May for the Marshall Fire Department. A native of Shreveport, La., he resides in Tyler. Chris and wife Ashton, a graduate student at Texas A&M Commerce, will celebrate their second wedding anniversary this year. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Brown, also of Tyler. A graduate of Kilgore College Fire Academy, he completed his EMT-Paramedic training at Tyler Junior College and began employment with the Marshall Fire Department in May 2010.

Ashton Smith married Chris Brown (’07) in September 2010. Ashton is a Tyler Junior College admissions counselor and is working on her master’s degree at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Jimmy Butler, a former member of the Apache basketball team, was drafted last summer by the Chicago Bulls as the final pick in the first round, 30th overall. He is only the second player from TJC to be drafted into the NBA. Jimmy, who came to TJC as an academic qualifier, signed with Marquette after his freshman season and played three years for the Golden Eagles. After his college career, Butler began trying out for NBA teams. He participated in the NBA Draft Combine and was named the MVP of the 59th annual Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.

Dorell Anthony says he is living his dream—living in New York City and pursuing an acting career and writing the sequel to his first play. A graduate of Oakwood High School, after graduating from TJC, he earned his bachelor’s in acting in 2010 from Texas State University in San Marcos. While attending TSU, his horror play, “Homecoming,” made its debut at the school’s theater.

Joanna M. Haddad is working on completion of her core classes to transfer to the University of Texas at Arlington. She writes that she is still single and loves it here at TJC. Pictured above is Joanna on a recent trip she made with her family to Chicago.

Alex D. Arrick transferred to the University of North Texas and is living in the Dallas area.

Alice M. Dunn has moved to Stillwater, Okla., where she is finishing her bachelor’s degree at Oklahoma State University. In her spare time, she coaches her son’s baseball team.

Whitney G. Rockwell is pursuing a degree in nutrition at Stephen F. Austin State University and still has two more years to go. She writes that she is also considering returning to TJC and applying to the nursing program.

Stacy A. Sanchez says that since graduating, her photography business has grown and she invites everyone to visit her website,

Randy Marshall is finishing his associate’s degree at TJC to be a licensed paramedic and has finished the EMS instructor course and state exam for certification.

Ryan P. Miller was hired at ETMC as a full-time neurology nurse on the ICU Unit in February 2011.

Leslie A. Oates has a 1-year-old daughter named Ryiot Khloe Oates. She was born on Dec. 30, 2010.

Megan B. Gilbert is continuing her education at the University of Texas at Tyler, where she is working on her bachelor’s degree.

Edward L. Caldwell is continuing his studies at the University of Texas at Tyler.

S. Katherine Brown is working on her bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Texas at Tyler.

Emily A. Smith has transferred to the University of Texas at Tyler and is a double major in history and English.

Crystal R. Dunning has worked with children and families for about three years. She enjoys everything about it and her job as a caregiver. About a year ago, she began working with special needs adults and her goal is to ultimately open her own childcare center and clothing line.

Kelly N. Alvarado graduated from the TJC LVN program in 2010 and went right to work!

Christina Walker writes “It has been two years since I graduated and continued my education at the University of North Texas. This school has been a handful. From the outrageous tuition and fees to the challenging academics; it has been a crazy journey.” This summer she is marrying her high school sweetheart and moving to Oklahoma City where he is stationed at Tinker Air Force Base. She adds, “There is so much I miss about TJC and my life in Tyler. I am no longer there, but I still am proud of my Apache roots. TJC equipped me with the correct tools to succeed in this four-year university. When I get a ‘real’ job, I will become a paying alumni because I think it is important to support TJC. It has made such an impact on my life. I may become a UNT alumni but TJC will always be home for me. GO APACHES!!!”

Christopher Chalce is now the owner of the new Complete Music franchise in Tyler.

Larry Nethery is currently attending TJC and working toward his second degree, an Associate of Applied Science.

Ebony S. Evans is now attending UT Tyler pursuing her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology. Her goal is to eventually open a marriage and family counseling practice. She adds that she and husband Vonior (pictured above) are also planning to start a family.

Kim A. Schumaker was accepted into the TJC Medical Laboratory Technology Program and has moved to Tyler from Canton.

Michael McAuliffe was recently hired as a correctional officer at TDCJ.

Kenneth A. Stanley just started a new career as a petroleum landman.

Janet L. Adams got her dream job as a psychiatric nurse in Rusk, after completion of the TJC associate degree nursing program.

Stacy L. Warren is currently looking for a job where she can put her degree to use.

Aimee N. Allen transferred to the University of Texas at Tyler to obtain a bachelor’s and master’s in psychology.

Terry C. Sims is continuing his education at University of Texas at Tyler, where he is working toward a bachelor’s degree in history.

Roldan Mejia is working on his system administration degree.

Preston L. Rasberry worked as an intern at Heartland Security Insurance Group and was hired full time after graduation.
Heather L. Laverty is working as a temporary dental hygienist until she finds a new job as a full-time hygienist.

Anita K. Hall is continuing her education at TJC and is currently working on her associate’s degree in childhood education.

Kami M. Fountain is continuing her education at University of Texas at Tyler where she is embarking on a new major, vocal music education.

Laura S. Garcia married Jorge Suarez last June and they had their first child in January. Laura is planning to continue her education at University of Texas at Tyler.

Ashley B. Gentry is a pharmacist tech in training at CVS Pharmacy.

James J. Counts writes that he has joined the United States Air Force to do his part for his country.

Emily M. Warlick transferred to Baylor University where she is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in child and family studies.

Holly L. Williams moved to Hawaii last year to pursue a dental hygiene position in Oahu.

Charles E. Watkins moved to Nacogdoches and is attending Stephen F. Austin University. He is majoring in biology with a minor in military science. In his spare time, he is an avid geocacher with his children and also has a soft spot for his small collection of exotic snakes that he breeds.

Ashley L. Hayes graduated May 13, 2011 and got a job May 29, 2011.

Chloe M. Casse writes that she got her one-year OPT working visa and is looking forward to a job. Last we heard, she was working as an intern at Greg Abbot Lawyer’s office in downtown Tyler.

David S. Haley was married in 2010 and he and wife Elizabeth just bought their first house. He writes that he is seeking ministry opportunities for substance abuse, homelessness and re-integration from prison. He has been volunteering at Bradshaw State Jail as substance abuse specialist, and Elizabeth is a beautician.

Brenda Mendoza passed the nursing boards in September and started her new job in October. Her next goal is to return to school to finish prerequisites so she can be accepted into the LVN-to-ADN transition program and become a registered nurse.

Traci L. Willingham recently took a position at Glenwood Church of Christ in Tyler. She is attending the University of Texas at Tyler and is a member of their psychology club. Traci and her husband are also remodeling their house and they enjoy bow hunting.

Jennifer N. Reed is currently working toward her paramedic degree. She has two kids, ages three and four. Her goal is to continue her education and earn her ADN degree.

Kurt D. Weiss writes that immediately after graduating, he got a job at Rusk State Hospital and is enjoying his new career.

Gloria D. McNatt is a nurse at ETMC Jacksonville.

Kristin L. Adams is an LVN at the Timberwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Armistia G. Sanders is working at Rusk State Hospital as a graduate vocational nurse.

Richard E. Oliver is beginning graduate school at UT Tyler and will be working on a master’s in psychology with a neuropsychology specialization.

David Rodrigues is attending UT Tyler.

Monica L. Mayfield is currently attending Stephen F. Austin State University, to further her education and receive her bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

Sade S. Watson now has a job as an LVN at Exceptional Homecare.

Ashley C. Evans recently earned her Emergency Medical Services Professions basic certification. She is continuing to pursue an EMSP associate’s degree and become a licensed paramedic.

Jonathan R. Voyles is excited to announce that he has a new job at ETMC Tyler.

Amber N. Mangum says she will be signing on with Champion EMS as an EMT Basic while continuing working toward a paramedic associate’s degree. She plans to continue working for Champion as a licensed paramedic.

Charlie’Anna L. Rucker writes that she is planning to open a childcare center in Lindale and will call it the Backyard Play Place.

Shajuna L. Johnson writes that she is waiting on a job in her field of study and adds that she is planning to go back to school to earn her bachelor’s.

Patricia A. Clary transferred to Texas A&M University-Commerce, where she is working on her bachelor’s degree in wildlife management with a minor in environmental science.

Breezye M. Huddleston wrote that she was expecting a baby in March.

Spencer S. Lewis wrote that he was applying for a College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI) Scholarship from the United States Coast Guard.

Alisha R. West and husband Michael’s first child was born on Jan. 10, 2012. They named their new son Micheal West Jr.

Brandon C. Ingram writes that he is working in the oil business.

Theavus D. Brooks is now working at StoneBridge Heating & Air Conditioning Mechanical Contractor AC Repair in Tyler.

Julie A. Foster has a daughter who just turned 10 years old. Julie and her husband are expecting their first son, William.

Regan A. Hawkins just received a promotion at work. She is pre-approved to buy a house and is hoping to be in her new home very soon.

Jason D. Carter is the assistant director of nursing at Lindale Healthcare. He was recently accepted to the University of Texas at Tyler where he plans to earn his master’s degree in nursing.

Tara Broussard, a former Apache Belle, plans to continue her dancing career with FC Dallas Dancers or Frisco Stars.

Kelcee Guyton really enjoyed her time as an Apache Belle and adds that the group made her a better person, period! She states that aside from Belles, TJC was also a great experience for her first two years of college. Her next goal is to become a dental hygienist and she intends to “make it all the way there.”



Class Notes, Spring 2012

About the author

Allen Arrick is Tyler Junior College's Online Multimedia Content Producer. He can be reached at 903-510-2526 or at