Alumni, Faculty to be inducted at Rayburn Hall of Honor, April 7

Alumni, Faculty to be inducted at Rayburn Hall of Honor, April 7
Posted on 03/27/2018
Alumni, Faculty to be inducted at Rayburn Hall of Honor, April 7

Rayburn Hall of Honor
By Reesha Brown
PISD Communications

Eight graduates and one former faculty member from Sam Rayburn High School will make history as they are inducted into the Texans Hall of Honor on April 7, starting at 5 p.m. The reception will be held at Rayburn, located at 2121 Cherrybrook Lane. The public is invited to attend.

The inductees are: Chris Bezdek, Class of 1998; Arlin Paul Kethley, Class of 1999; Ann McKitrick, Class of 1977; Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, Class of 1972; Jerome Shick, Class of 1992; Dr. Pamela Wells, Class of 1971; Cristina Womack, Class of 2002; Sandra Womack, Class of 1974; and Elaine Sparks, former faculty member, who served from 1976 to 2002.

The annual event celebrates the achievements of Rayburn graduates and faculty members who have made a significant impact in the lives of many. Inductees are nominated by a community member and selected each fall by a committee of faculty and staff members at the school.

Bezdek is a longtime volunteer and supporter of Pasadena ISD and Executive Vice President of CommunityBank of Texas. He has been actively involved in civic and service organizations like the Pasadena Rotary and the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Pasadena ISD Education Foundation. Bezdek previously served two-terms as president and three terms as treasurer for both the Education Foundation and the Steering Committee for the McDonald’s Texas Invitational Basketball Tournament. Bezdek also served on the Pasadena ISD Future Facilities Committee in 2010 and 2017 and was the treasurer for the 2011 Pasadena ISD Bond Political Action Committee.

Kethley attended Pomeroy Elementary and Southmore Intermediate before graduating from Rayburn High. After graduation, Kethley joined forces with his father to help with the family window company in the Washington, D.C. area. After gaining experience through his father, he and his wife Brandy started a window company in 2012, which later became one of the best and biggest in the Houston area. Kethley, who learned at a very early age the value of hard work and giving back, provided Pasadena ISD with a donation the Fine Arts program to help with the purchase of instruments.

McKitrick is an early childhood trainer and consultant who writes online professional development courses for educators who work with young children. She serves on the Executive Board of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children.

Jorge Rodriguez, M.D., and his family left Cuba in 1969 and settled in Pasadena, where he enrolled at Rayburn High School. As a Rayburn student, Rodriguez learned how to speak English through the help of fellow students and faculty members. He graduated in 1972 at the age of 16.  After graduation, Rodriguez earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Texas in Austin in 1976 and completed his General Surgery Residency at Rutgers University in 1987. Dr. Rodriguez put his surgical hands to use in Pasadena when he joined his father Hector Rodriguez, M.D. at the Pasadena Surgical Association. Dr. Rodriguez has served as Chief of Surgery and Chief of Staff at Southmore Hospital, Bayshore Hospital and Patients Medical Center.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and was elected Memorial Hospital Systems Physician of the Year in 1997 for his leadership in developing a trauma care system in the greater Houston area. 

Born in Houston and raised in Pasadena, Shick, Senior Chief Navy SEAL, retired from duty on September 1, 2017 after serving for over 20 years. During his service, Shick completed three six-month deployments to Guam in support of the United States Pacific Command, a unified combatant command responsible for the Indo-Pacific region and 13 combat deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He graduated from Rayburn High when he was 19 years old and joined the U.S. Navy. While serving on active duty, Shick received a bachelor of science in strategic studies and defense analysis from Norwich University, Summa Cum Laude.  He regularly volunteers as a mentor for Gold Star children, which creates awareness of the challenges of the military community.

Inspired by her history teacher (Robert Baker), Dr. Wells decided to pursue a career in education. In 43 years, she has served various positions as a teacher, director of instruction, a secondary social studies curriculum coordinator, assistant to the superintendent, associate superintendent and interim superintendent in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD.  As a social studies coordinator, she was elected president of the Texas Council for Social Studies and was selected as the Texas Social Studies Supervisors Association Supervisor of the Year. She serves as the executive director for Region 4 Education Service Center. She began her career as a teacher in Spring Branch ISD. She assumed the position of adjunct professor at Sam Houston State University (SHSU), where she received her M.Ed. and Ed.D. In 2015, Dr. Wells was honored as the SHSU College of Education Distinguished Administrator.  Dr. Wells’ research has focused on policy and teacher issues related to teacher performance pay and teacher retention. 

Pasadena native, Cristina Womack is a first-generation high school graduate. She graduated from Rayburn in 2002 in the top 10 percent of her class and continued her education at Sam Houston State University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in business administration and double minor in Management and Entrepreneurship in 2006. Her leadership in multiple student organizations including president of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, the Golden Keys Honor Society and University Ambassador, earned her the title of Sam Houston State’s “Outstanding Senior Woman”.  Womack discovered her passion for giving back while serving more than 10 non-profit organizations and chambers of commerce in various capacities over the years. Womack received multiple awards for her chamber commitments across the Houston area. She was honored as Pasadena’s 2011 and 2012 “Volunteer of the Year” before accepting the position of President and CEO for the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce in 2014.

Sandra Womack, home loan consultant in mortgage banking with Legend Lending Corporation, has worked in business ownership since 2001. She earned numerous awards in the mortgage industry, including the nationally recognized President's Club Award for nine years. Her banking success has been spotlighted in the Texas Monthly Magazine® from 2012 to 2017. Womack also serves on the Real Estate Political Affairs Advisory Committee for the Houston Association of Realtors where she has received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

A 43-year veteran in the classroom, Sparks began her career at Comfort High School. She continued to serve students at Killeen High School and started a teaching position at Rayburn in 1976, where she continued to serve for over three decades. Sparks graduated from Texas Christian University with a bachelor of arts in history and English and a teaching certificate.