By Todd Martin
Special to the Daily Herald
Killeen Independent School District honored some of its high achievers from the past and thanked top donors to its Education Foundation during a reception Thursday.
The Killeen ISD Education Foundation's Alumni Association added six district graduates to its growing list of distinguished alumni in a ceremony at the Harker Heights Activities Center.
The honorees are vascular surgeon Todd Bohannon, district attorney Henry Garza, celebrity stylist Ted Gibson, Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton, college basketball coach Jason Hooten and health care regulatory expert Lisa Buckley Robin.
All six thanked family members and highlighted the influence of their teachers for propelling them on a path of success.
Bohannon, a 1986 Ellison High School graduate is a vascular surgeon at Scott & White Hospital in Temple. He was part of the agriculture and FFA programs in Killeen ISD before going to Texas A&M University and medical school and residency.
Garza is a 1974 Killeen High School graduate. He noted history teacher J.D. Lawler and band director David Pennington among his educational influences. He is serving his third term as Bell County district attorney.
"I'm so grateful for my teachers, leaders who opened pathways of encouragement," Garza said. "They instilled in me a belief and encouragement to do anything and be anything I wanted to be."
Gibson graduated from Ellison High School in 1985. He is a celebrity hair stylist with salons in New York and Florida. He has worked with Anne Hathaway, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Greene and many other celebrities.
Upon accepting the alumni award, he quipped that he was more nervous than when he appeared on Oprah. "I am truly humbled," said Gibson. "I tell people from all over the world I am from Killeen."
Hamilton graduated from Killeen High School in 1977. He played football at Southwest Texas State University and entered law enforcement as a career.
He was elected Travis County sheriff in 2004 and is a national speaker and a trainer for the U.S. Department of Justice.
"Teachers showed me the way," Hamilton said.
Hooten, a 1987 Ellison High School graduate, was a baseball and basketball star in high school and was named head basketball coach at Sam Houston State University in 2010.
He identified himself as an educator, focusing on 13 guys "who think they know everything."
Hooten singled out Annie Roe Buckley, who was in the audience, for teaching him to read when he was a first-grader in Killeen.
Robin, a 1973 Killeen High School graduate, praised her parents Leo and Annie Roe Buckley for teaching her strong values and encouraging her education.
She said she grew up in the Killeen district, suspecting her family members had accumulated century's worth of experience working for the school district in a variety of capacities over the years.
In 1994, she began working for the Federation of State Medical Boards, a national association of state and medical licensing and disciplinary boards. She has testified before Congress and is a consultant and trainer for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.