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Special Recognition Ceremony for Outstanding Volunteers

Award winners mingling Fort Worth, Texas – A special recognition ceremony was held at the Fort Worth ISD Administration Offices on Wednesday, August 23 to honor remarkable volunteers who earned state-level certificates of recognition.

Superintendent Dr. Kent Scribner announced this year’s prestigious Hero for Children Award recipient as Mary Pencis, a volunteer leader for the Fort Worth Opera and the Red Oak Foundation. She developed a group of opera enthusiasts into volunteers committed to bringing the love of reading and the transformational power of the fine arts into the lives of children in economically challenged schools.

A child wrote: “It was my first opera and I want to see another one!” The State Board of Education grants 15 Hero for Children Awards annually to recognize excellence in advocacy for education, sustained periods of involvement in schools, and significant contributions to public education. 

Rebecca Brumley, who with her husband Jon established the Red Oak Foundation and serves as its executive director, was on hand to honor Ms. Pencis.  Mrs. Brumley paid tribute to the honoree’s hard work and that of more than a half-dozen opera volunteers who were present.

The Red Oak Foundation has provided over 565,000 books to children in our community in the last 26 years. The Fort Worth Opera’s innovative educational programming reaches thousands of children with their portable 45 minutes operas that are fun, engaging, and contribute to state mandated educational requirements. 

Dr. Scribner also gave certificates of appreciation to the nominees of the 2017 Governor’s Volunteer Awards and personally thanked them for their outstanding contributions and leadership. 

These nominees are:

  • Eva Bonilla for the Lone Star Achievement Award
  • Johana Almeda from Eastern Hills High School for the Rising Star Award
  • Fort Worth ISD Council of PTAs for the Partners in Education Award and
  • Junior Achievement of the Chisholm Trail for the Community Leadership Award


In addition, Teresa Bell-Gallaher, was recognized for her dedication and loyalty FWISD Administration and schools for the past two years. No assignment is too big or hard for her, and she does it all gracefully. 


Fort Worth ISD is committed to enhancing family and community engagement and looks for unique ways to recognize their volunteers and partners.



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