WAXAHACHIE — At the heart of every successful school is a three-part recipe that includes a scoop of faculty, a pinch of teachers, and a dash of students - all of which Waxahachie High School excels in making.
Celebrating that unique mixture of classroom heritage, the Ex-Students Association recognized past WHS alumni at this year’s luncheon and awards ceremony on Oct. 14.
“We have 11 people being honored for either category of ’Who’s Who’ or ‘Hall of Fame,’” began Margaret Felty, President of the WHS's Ex-Students Association. “We also have one teacher being honored for the ‘President’s Award,’ and the winners from the ‘Athletic Hall of Fame’ will be introduced, as well as those who have gotten scholarships will be recognized as well.”
In a traditional reunion that stems from 1961, the purpose of the association has stayed steady throughout the years, honoring those of distinguished prominence.
“What we hope to accomplish by doing this is to recognize our ex-students so that the community can know what successful people have graduated from Waxahachie High School,” Felty articulated.
“There’s just a lot of different professions that are very noteworthy, and the ex-students have been very successful in those fields,” she added.
Voted by classmates, faculty, and staff, Felty goes on to explain that the minimum of ten students must agree on a nomination, where it is then presented to the Ex-Students Association Board's review and awards accordingly.
“We do this to celebrate our classmates and to show the community that Waxahachie High School has graduated some fine people with some fine careers,” Felty encouraged. “And we also want to recognize some teachers who have had an outstanding career with the school, and we very much appreciate them.”
According to a previous Daily Light article, past nominations have included All Cowboy Arena Champions Hall of Famer Curtis Lambert, English teacher of 31 years Kathy Ann Estes Pruitt, creator of Hamstein Music Billy Mack Ham, and the list carries on.
“It’s extremely important to remember the past and to remember our friends and to recognize colleagues and classmates, and enjoy visiting with each other,” Felty said. “So this is to promote that and to also enjoy each other’s company.”
Carl Block received the 2017 President’s Outstanding Educators Award. He taught fine arts at Waxahachie High School for 29 years. He is an accomplished southern folk artist including the Webb Gallery in Waxahachie and the Yard Dog in Austin.
JOHN PAUL COLWELL
John Paul Colwell is the president of Colwell Oil Company, which is a provider of wholesale fuels and oils to commercial customers, farmers, government entities, school districts, and retail stores. Colwell served on the Waxahachie ISD School Board for six years and is a member of the Waxahachie Masonic Lodge for 28 years. He is a 2017 hall of fame inductee.
MARGARET ESTHER FELTY
Margaret Esther Felty has extensive civic experience in Waxahachie and Ellis County serving in several different roles. Felty is a member of the Waxahachie Junior Service League where she has served as an officer and director. She was a Cub Scout leader for four years and a Girl Scout leader for three years where she was an officer on the Heart of Texas Girl Scout council. Felty served as an actor and co-director for the Waxahachie Community Theater was the co-founder of Ellis Haven, Inc. She is a member and previous president of the Rotary Club. Felty is currently the president of the WHS Ex-Students Association and chairs the WHS Ex-Students’ Fine Arts Hall of Fame awards and scholarships. She is a 2017 Hall of Fame Inductee.
Clay Jenkins served as the briefing attorney to the late Hon. Oscar Mauzy who was an associate justice on the Texas Supreme Court from 1988 to 1989. Jenkins returned home to work with his father, Warwick Jenkins who founded the law firm, Jenkins and Jenkins. Jenkins remains president and attorney of Jenkins and Jenkins. He is a Who’s Who Inductee for 2017
LAURIE GREEN WESTLAKE
Laurie Westlake was the founder and director of the Women’s Resource Center in Waxahachie. She has had articles published in “Today’s Christian Woman,” “Christian Parenting Today,” “Women of the Harvest,” “Virtue Magazine,” and “Renew.” She was named Texas Hero by Focus on the Family for work in the crisis pregnancy field. Westlake is a Who’s Who Inductee for 2017.
VICKI L. DANIEL MENARD
Vicki Daniel Menard is a managing partner with Flower, Davis, Menard, and Witt, PLLC. She currently serves as a state district judge for McLennan County and was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry in 2005. Menard is a past president of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas and the Waco Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. She is a Who’s Who Inductee for 2017.
TY E. ARMSTRONG
Ty Armstrong attended Temple Junior College earning an associate degree. He later attended McNeese State University earning a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance. While attending McNeese State he was named All-Southland Conference golfer in 1981. He then played in 54 events on the Professional Golf Association tour, culminating play at the U.S. Open in 1996. He is a 2017 Who’s Who inductee.
KERMIT STANTON BRIDGES
Kermit Bridges has served as the president of Southwestern Assemblies of God University for the past 18 years. During his time as president, the university has experienced significant growth in student numbers, expansion of facilities, and degrees conferred. He is a 2017 Who’s Who inductee.
BETTY JEAN SQUARE COLEMAN
Betty Jean Square Coleman founded J Square Professional Services in Waxahachie in 1995, which provides professional services in the areas of social security disability representation and taxes. She has served as the past president of the Ellis County Democratic Women, WISD Partners in Education board member and is currently the president of the Waxahachie Branch of the NAACP. She is a 2017 Who’s Who inductee.
Tommy Griffin served in the U.S. Marine Corps. from 1962-1990 retiring as a regimented sergeant major. Upon his retirement from the military, he worked with the DuPont Pain Company where he was the senior original equipment-manufacturing manager. He is a 2017 Who’s Who inductee.
Terry Connor is a veteran of the U.S. Army and the Vietnam War. His professional career has been in the field of employee benefits working first with Blue Cross and Blue Shield Insurance. He then worked as a regional manager with Provident Life and Accident, and a regional sales manager with Humana Insurance. He formed Connor Benefits in 1995, which is an employee benefit consulting company. Connor is a 2017 Who’s Who inductee.