More than 320 people attended the 2015 Friend of the Year Gala on December 2 at the Baylor Club at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas. This was the 11th annual gala honoring the Friend of the Year, which was created by FOTPS to honor those rare individuals who clearly see beyond the sensational headlines and often negative politics and who understand that the success of Texas public education is everyone’s business. In recent years FOTPS has also use the gala as an opportunity to honor an Ambassador of the Year from within the school system who has served as a positive ambassador for the public school profession. This year’s Friend of the Year honoree was former Commissioner of Education Dr. Mike Moses, and Dr. James Cain was honored as the Ambassador of the Year. The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Pastor Charles Foster Johnson, Executive Director of Pastors for Children and Founding Co-Pastor of Bread Fellowship of Fort Worth. The evening was made possible with the generous support of Gold Corporate Partners TREA and TASA, as well as Silver and Bronze Corporate Partners and numerous table hosts.
Dr. Cain, who did not know he was being honored until he arrived at the gala, has been in public education for 48 years, most recently as superintendent at Klein ISD. He gave an eloquent and humble speech acknowledging how much he enjoyed his years of service as Superintendent at Klein ISD, and how much he values the people who serve as public educators in his district and in districts all over the state.
Dr. Moses served as Commissioner of Education for the State of Texas from 1995 to 1999, and has served as a Texas educator and leader for more than 30 years. He currently serves as Senior Educational Advisor for Raise Your Hand Texas and the Center for Reform of School Systems, and is the Endowed Chair of Educational Leadership at the University of North Texas in Denton. Dr. Moses acknowledged the many people who have inspired him over the years with their dedication to public education, and about the importance of supporting public education and being a strong ambassador for the profession, both among the public and with our elected officials in the Texas State Legislature.
Our thanks to the following companies and individuals who made the evening possible: Our Gold, Silver, and Bronze partners; the Moses Family; Klein ISD; the staff at Region 12 ESC, particularly Jennifer Marshall-Higgins and Phil Gerik; Maggie Powell and Jessica Rodriguez from Powell & Leon LLP; the outstanding staff at the Baylor Club at McLane Stadium; and the Waco High School Jazz Band.