With another school year winding down, the Killeen Independent School District will once again honor its rich heritage while encouraging a new generation of future leaders.
The district’s Alumni Association, a division of the KISD Education Foundation is recognizing five Distinguished Alumni and awarding scholarships to 49 high-achieving seniors set to graduate in June.
The honored alumni include a varied cast — a writer, a missionary doctor, a former band director, oil company executive and business operator. They all began their education in Killeen ISD and they will all have a chance to address a group of students following in their footsteps.
The KISD Student Scholarship Reception and Distinguished Alumni Awards is Thursday at Central Texas College at the Anderson Campus Center with a reception at 5:15 p.m. and awards ceremony at 6 p.m.
With the addition of new scholarship programs, 49 current KISD seniors will receive $72,380. “This is the most given in a single year in the history of our Foundation,” said Education Foundation Director Joyce Hodson.
In its first year, 2004, the school district’s Education Foundation awarded one student a $250 scholarship. “We increase our giving each year, but we still are not able to keep up with requests,” she pointed out. “There are still unmet needs.”
This year’s honored KISD alumni include Michael Adams, Tom Byrd, Frank Coachman, Monty Davis and Sandra Skinner.
Adams, a 1964 Killeen High School graduate, is associate professor of English and the director of the Dobie Paisano Writer in Residence Program at The University of Texas. He is the author of short stories, essays, novels and a college textbook.
He was born at Fort Hood and attended East Ward and Fowler elementary schools, Rancier Junior High School and KHS. He played baseball, tennis and basketball and was student body president. He was also a fifth-grade crossing guard at Fowler Elementary School.
Byrd, a 1978 Killeen High School graduate, is staff physician for the Shammah Clinic in Gitega Burundi in east Africa.
He graduated with honors from The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and completed his internship and residency at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. Byrd has a masters certificate in global health. He is the director of hospital medicine at Brownwood Regional Medical Center and serves as an assistant professor of medicine at the University of North Texas Health Science Center.
Byrd is clinical consultant and a staff physician for the Cornerstone Clinic, providing medical care to rural inhabitants of the world’s poorest nation.
Coachman, a 1972 Killeen High School graduate, attended Pershing Park and Sugar Loaf elementary schools, Nolan Junior High School and KHS.
He was associate band director at Ellison High School from its opening in 1978 and became director of bands at Ellison in 1981.
Coachman received the UIL Sponsor Excellence Award. He served in multiple Texas Music Educators Association leadership positions, including president in 1997. Since 1999, he has served as TMEA’s first deputy director.
Davis, a 1973 Killeen High School graduate, is chief operating officer for Core Laboratories in the Netherlands, an oilfield service company with operations in 50 countries.
During his tenure as COO, Core Lab revenues have increased four-fold while margins have more than doubled. In that period, Core Lab’s market cap has increased from $440 million to $5.5 billion and Core Lab has outperformed every company in the Oilfield Services Index.
Sandra Vale Skinner
Skinner, a 1975 Killeen High School graduate, operates three furniture stores, leading 75 employees.
She has received multiple awards for the best Ashley Homestore franchise in the country. In 2008, she won the Chairman’s Award, the highest honor in the Ashley Corporation. She created the “Ashley Kids” concept store that has been well received throughout the country.