Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - Sunday, April 20, 2008
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Dunbar Alumni honor successful former students
Polk County Enterprise - April 2008
LIVINGSTON – The Dunbar Alumni Association held it biannual reunion Saturday, April 12. The event took place 40 years after the last class graduated from Dunbar High School and special recognition was given to the class of 1968. The event kicked off with a parade through Livingston, ending at the Dunbar campus. The parade was followed with a day of fun and food, culminating in the scholarship banquet during the evening. Dunbar alumnus, class of 1956, Texas State Representative Dr. Alma A. Allen, was the guest of honor. Along with Dr. Allen, organizers honored local community leaders Elgin Davis, Rev. Curtis Hester, Myra McDuffi e, Sherry Wilson, public servants Frank Henderson, Byron Lyons, Ed Lewis White, and young adult achievers Brad Allison, Derrika Jackson and Ashley McQueen. Allen’s son, Lawrence A. Allen, Jr., a graduate of Jesse H. Jones High School, delivered the inspirational keynote speech. Dr. Allen has the distinction of being the only elected Texas State Representative that was born and raised in Polk County. Prior to being elected to the Texas House of Representatives, Dr. Alma Allen was elected to the State Board of Education in 1992. Allen holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Education from Texas Southern University and a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston. Alma began her career in education in 1961 with the Houston Independent School District, fi rst as a teacher then as an assistant principal and principal at various campuses in the Houston school district. Allen has served as guest lecturer at Texas A&M University, Prairie View A&M University, Texas Southern University and the University of Houston.
Dr. Allen was elected to the Texas Houst of Representatives on Nov. 2, 2004, replacing Ron Wilson in the district 131 seat. Currently, she is a motivational speaker, educational consultant and professor at Prairie View A&M University. Elgin Davis, a 1963 graduate of Dunbar, served as on the LISD Board of Trustees for 24 years, is an active member of the Deep East Texas Council of Governments and a tireless volunteer in numerous community organizations. Davis is a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War with four Purple Hearts, the Silver Star and the Army Commendation Medal to his credit. Rev. Curtis Hester graduated from Dunbar High School in 1962 and served two years in the United States Army before attending the Houston School of Biblical Knowledge. Hester has served as pastor of numerous churches and sits on the board of International Paper, The Corrigan Community Association and Memorial Medical Center- Livingston. Mira McDuffie, a Livingston native and 1963 graduate of Dunbar High School is the co-founder of McDuffie’s Mortuary in Houston and Cleveland. McDuffie is a shrewd business woman and pillar of the community. Sherry Wilson was born and raised in Livingston and attended Dunbar before graduating from Livingston High School. Ms. Wilson has been an educator with Livingston ISD for many years and currently works as the Volunteer and Mentor Coordinator at Pine Ridge Elementary. Wilson also serves as Unit Director for the Boys and Girls Club of Polk County. Frank Henderson, another native of Livingston, attended Dunbar through 1968 before graduating from Livingston High School in 1975.
Henderson has been actively involed with the youth sports programs in Livingston for over 30 years. He serves as Vice President of the LISD Board of Trustees. Chief Deputy Byron Lyons is a 1985 graduate of Livingston High School who went to work as an emergency medical technician. After completing police academy, Lyons spent 12 years as a patrol deputy with Livingston Police Department. Lyons accepted the position as Felony Criminal Investigator with the Polk County District Attorney’s office. Lyons currently serves as Chief Deputy for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Edd White is a 1955 graduate of Dunbar High School where he was an all-state center on the state championship football team. White is a veteran of the United States Army, and a certified teacher with a Master’s Degree in Industrial Education and another in Counseling from Prairie View A&M University. Bradley Allison is a 1988 graduate of Livingston High School who worked with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for 11 years before becoming a conductor with Union Pacific Railroad. In 2006, Allison received his teaching degree from Lamar University. He currently works as a football and track coach at Livingston High School. Derrika Jackson graduated Livingston High School in 1991 and attended the University of South Alabama on a Dunbar Alumni Scholarship.
Following her B.S. in Sociology with a Master’s in Counseling, Jackson is now in her ninth year of employment with LISD as a Special Education Counselor. Jackson is a Licenses Professional Counselor and works part-time as a private practice therapist specializing in child and adolescent treatment. Ashley McQueen is a 1998 graduate of Livingston High School who attended Sam Houston State University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. McQueen is employed by Polk County’s 258th and 411th Judicial Districts Community Supervision and Correction Department where she serves as the Unit Sex-Offender Adult Probation Officer. This year’s Dunbar Alumni Scholarship recipients are Tra’Niagua Dishmon, Shayla Jackson, Andrea Roberts and Knemo Wright.