District to honor 25th Distinguished Alumni class
Longview ISD on May 8 will honor three former students during the annual Distinguished Alumni ceremony and luncheon.
This is the 25th class of honorees since the annual program began in 1990.
Events are set to begin at 9:30 a.m. with the Longview ISD Foundation commemorative brick presentation at the Lobo Foundation Plaza (near the home entrance to Lobo Stadium). This event is free and open to the public.
An 11:15 a.m. reception at Pinecrest Country Club will be followed by lunch at 11:45. Tickets for the luncheon can be purchased from Debbie Leith at the Education Support Center, 1301 E. Young St., by May 4 for $15.
Honorees are nominated at-large and chosen by a committee of previous honorees, volunteer Distinguished Alumni Committee members and the district’s Community Relations office. Distinguished alumni typically have excelled professionally, in addition to serving the communities in which they live. Following are brief biographies of this year’s honorees:
Linda Berney Buie
Linda Berney Buie, throughout her life, has worked toward improving the lives of whomever she touches – whether at the school district where she’s worked, or as part of the many community organizations with which she has volunteered.
Buie graduated from Longview High School in 1967 and began her career in education here four years later, after graduating from the University of Arkansas. Since her start as a classroom teacher at Foster Junior High in 1971 to her current role of Longview High School Dean of Instruction and Head of School for the renowned International Baccalaureate Programme, Buie has touched thousands upon thousands of young lives. And she practices what she preaches, having also earned her master’s degree from the University of Texas-Tyler, along with various high-level educational certifications accomplished through countless training hours.
Though she is humble in her service, Buie has been recognized numerous times through the years, most recently as a Star Over Longview in 2013. She has also been honored with the Dr. Edmund J. Farrell Distinguished Lifetime Service Award from the Texas Council of Teachers of English.
Buie’s passion to serve people has extended to numerous outreach organizations including service on the boards of the American Heart Association, Junior League of Longview, Longview Museum of Fine Arts and the Greater Longview Organization of Business and Education. She has also served on multiple area and statewide education boards and committees.
David Wallace Hornbeck
Not only has David Wallace Hornbeck been a leader and pioneer in the education field, he has shared is knowledge by the publishing, authoring and participating in at least eight books and journals in the field of education.
Hornbeck graduated in the top five percent of his class at Longview High School in 1959 before earning degrees from Austin College, Oxford University, Union Theology Seminary and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Austin College in 1977 bestowed him with an honorary doctorate. His legacy though has been built upon what he has done for others.
During a career of more than 45 years as an educator, Hornbeck worked with local, state and national efforts to improve the quality of education for all children – particularly those who are economically disadvantaged or have disabilities. He has served as Pennsylvania’s Executive Deputy Secretary of Education, the State Superintendent of Maryland and Philadelphia’s Superintendent of Schools.
Always the child advocate, Hornbeck as also served as president of the International Youth Foundation; was the founder of Good Schools Pennsylvania, an advocacy movement; and currently chairs Baltimore’s YouthBuild board, which aims to build a new school in the city to “recover” at least 50 young people who have dropped out of high school and are in foster care.
Jerry Wayne Watson
Longview was going somewhere when Jerry Wayne Watson moved here as a boy, and so was he. But no one – not even Jerry himself – knew where. After graduating from Longview High School in 1955, Watson’s ability to funnel his youthful rebelliousness into throwing a knuckleball helped open a lifetime of doors. But Watson gives the credit to his high school coach and a local sportswriter.
Having been the first in his family with a high school diploma, with much help from Coach Bobby Collier, Watson spent the early part of his adult life setting poles for a local electricity company. Thanks to a baseball tryout with Baylor University, arranged by Buster Hale, Watson was well on his way.
Watson earned his bachelor’s degree from Baylor in 1962 and then attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. In his words, Watson said it didn’t take him long to realize that he needed a career change, so he went back to Baylor in 1966 and earned his law degree. He was a practicing attorney for more than 45 years, having recently retired.
His career involved various aspects of the law, but Watson is most widely known for being the chief legal officer of AIA Holdings, the nation’s largest bail surety administrator. As an attorney, Watson made more than 225 legislative committee testimonies and countless court appearances, published more than 150 articles and accumulated more than 3.5 million frequent flyer miles to help ensure that defendants were afforded their Eighth Amendment rights.
For all of his success, Jerry is perpetual in his humility, often telling people “I got mercy, instead of justice.”