Society / The Seen

Teacher Dinner Raises a Whopping $1.3 Million

Who Says Education is Never Supported?

BY // 04.04.18
photography Dave Rossman

What: Teach for America annual dinner

Where: The Royal Sonesta Hotel

PC Moment: The evening enjoyed so many high points, the 400 guests might have departed feeling they had just completed a crash course in the value of Teach for America. What could compete with the Alumni Diaries segment in which former corps members Marcus Ceniceros, Trisha Cornwell and Lyric Flood offered moving insights garnered during their time in the classroom and then contributing to their professional success? Perhaps it was the heartfelt testimonial from Teach for America CEO and Houstonian Elisa Villaneuva Beard, who talked about leaving the Rio Grande Valley to attend college in Indiana and the work towards educational equity that Teach For America has led for more than 25 years.

Add the recognition of honorees Anne and Dr. John Mendelsohn, longtime TFA supporters, by Phoebe Tudor and TFA alumnus Adeeb Barqawi, founder and CEO of ProUnitas. Plus TFA board chair Ann Kennedy‘s tribute to longtime board member Paul Chapman, who passed away last year. Before the seated dinner, guests were invited to join a panel discussion moderated by TFA alumnus and Klein ISD superintendent Bret Champion. Panelists included former TFA corps members Barqawi,  U.S. Court of Appeals Circuit Judge Greg Costa, Jasmine Jenkins, executive director of Houstonians for Great Public Schools; and Colleen Dippel, founder and executive director of Families Empowered. The programming closed with remarks from TFA-Houston executive director Tiffany Cuellar Needham.

The evening raised $1.3 million for Teach for America programs. Today, the educational network numbers 1,700 leaders in Houston alone.

Who: Ann and Karl Stern, Kathy and Marty Goossen, Soraya and Scott McClelland, Jeff Mendelsohn, Y. Ping Sun and David Leebron, Jill Jewitt, Cyvia Wolf, Paul Needham, Susan Dunwoody, Ellen Simmons, Winell and Doug Herron, Linda Anderson, Peggy Barnett, Ronald Jackson,  Cathy Chapman and Dillon Chapman.

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