In Northside ISD, learning and success go far beyond test scores and accountability ratings. Northside's curriculum is based on six "Pillars of Character," developed by the Josephson Institute. The pillars are: Caring, Citizenship, Fairness, Responsibility, Respect, and Trustworthiness.
Teachers weave lessons about the pillars into classroom activities, and every year, the Northside Education Foundation selects six NISD graduates to represent each Pillar of Character. The six alumni serve as the centerpiece at the Foundation's annual fundraising gala and each must make a commitment to visit schools and speak with students.
A poster of the current year's pillars hangs in all 6,000 classrooms in Northside to remind students that everyone has the potential to be a Pillar of Character.
Pillars can be nominated by anyone in the community by completing the pillars nomination form. All nominees must be a Northside graduate. For more information, call the NISD Partnerships office at (210) 397-8599.
Ameen Al-Bahloly, ‘06, Pillar of Caring
In so many ways, Ameen has dedicated his life to service. Ameen Al-Bahloly earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 2005, and then went on to graduate from Northside’s Business Careers High School. His passion for service did not end there.
Ameen is active in the Knights of Columbus as grand knight and has been recognized as Knight of the Year. The Archdiocese of San Antonio also recognized him as Knight of the Year. He also serves as eucharist minister, lector, and vice president of the Performing Arts and Music Ministry at Saint Brigid Catholic Church.
Ameen endeavors to be a strong advocate and to speak up for those who don’t have a voice. He works extensively with people in the Autism community, as well as with others with disabilities. He has served on the Autism Society of Texas Advocacy Committee and as a moderator for the San Antonio Adults with Autism Support Group.
He has associate degrees in Personal Computer Support and Information Technology Security from Palo Alto College.
Bonnie Hubert, ‘93, Pillar of Trustworthiness
At Marshall High School, Bonnie Hubert set herself apart. She set herself apart on the track, where she ran relays and hurdles. She also excelled on the stage as a member of the All-State Choir, and in the agriculture barn with Future Farmers of America. She has kept her passion for the outdoors through being an avid equestrian.
Dr. Hubert earned a bachelor's in Education, a master's in Educational Leadership and Counseling, and doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Houston.
She has worked in the classroom as a teacher and as an elementary school guidance counselor and crisis intervention specialist.
She is currently the CEO of Dr. Bonnie Hubert Coaching and hosts the High Drive Moms Facebook group, while she continues to volunteer her counseling services for organizations in and around the Houston area. In 2022, Dr. Hubert published her first book, “Every Woman Needs a Maid,” and is highly sought after as a speaker at professional conferences, workshops, and courses.
She has been married to her husband for over 25 years, and has four children.
Gregory Daniel, ‘07, Pillar of Fairness
If you heard the smooth sounds of jazz filling the halls of Holmes High School, Gregory Daniel was sure to be close by. The Holmes Drumline Captain spent four years as a varsity concert band member and reached the top chair for the NISD Jazz Band.
Gregory earned his bachelor’s degree in Music Business and holds a Juris Doctorate from Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Gregory continued his music career as a professional drummer, working as the principal drummer for musician Brian McKnight and recording with artists like Boyz II Men.
When not performing, Gregory works as lead attorney and owner of Lion’s Den Legal Group. Gregory understands that part of what makes him, is his ability to be a chameleon of sorts. He is able to understand and see things from different angles, while being effective in everything that he does.
Gregory also gives back to the music and legal community, working as an associate professor and instructor at Berklee College of Music and the Thurgood Marshall School of Law.
Jacob Cavazos, ‘02, Pillar of Respect
During his time at Taft High School, Jacob Cavazos spent time on the court, with a two-year stint in junior varsity basketball; and on the stage, playing the upright bass and the electric guitar.
Before he graduated, Jacob was awarded the prestigious National Hispanic Merit Scholarship, which he used to help launch his college career at UTSA’s Honors College.
Jacob is the senior vice president and community reinvestment manager at Broadway Bank. He understands the importance of community and supporting important causes.
In 2021, he served as a panelist for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, assisting non-profit fundraisers with how to effectively engage funders during the pandemic. In 2022, he was recognized by the San Antonio Business Journal as a “40 Under 40” honoree.
Jacob has further supported the community as the board president of the UTSA Alumni Association and board secretary of Communities in School San Antonio.
He helped create and launch the UTSA Birds Up Podcast and currently serves as producer and co-host focusing on stories of alumni making a positive impact in the community.
James Roday Rodriguez, ‘94, Pillar of Responsibility
James Rodriguez spent a large part of his years at Taft High School making a difference in the theater department. He appeared in all theater productions and worked side by side with Communications Arts High School Founder James Buchanan. Together, they helped create a legacy of writing, acting, and producing UIL-winning dramatic performances.
He went on to graduate from NYU’s School of Theater and began a successful, award winning Hollywood career. James has over 50 acting, writing, and directing credits. James is perhaps best known for his eight-year run as Shawn Spencer on the USA Network’s hit show “Psych” and his starring role on ABC’s “A Million Little Things.”
James found success in writing pilots for USA, Fox, and the SyFy networks, as well as in directing for shows like “The Resident,” “Battle Creek,” and “Rosewood.”
James seizes opportunities as they come and understands the need to be true to who he is. He has worked hard to amplify the messages of the causes he is passionate about and promotes having conversations about injustice and identity.
Leslie Ortiz, ‘10, Pillar of Learning
During her time at Stevens High School, Leslie Ortiz was one of those kids who loved going to school. She excelled in academics as well as dance, and was even chosen as the dance team captain.
She dedicated herself to learning everything she could while always making time to help her peers so none of them were left behind.
She returned to the school district she loves and now works as a dance teacher for Zachry Middle School, where she brings a passion and love for dance to the classroom every day. Even in the face of challenges, Leslie never gives up on teaching. Leslie was recognized as the 2020 Educator of the Year at Zachry Middle School.
Her interests go beyond dance. Leslie was one of the first teachers to start an e-sports club, and served on the NISD E-Sports Advisory Board. She was also a sponsor for the anime and K-Pop club. Leslie is a graduate of Texas Tech University.
M’Lissa Chumbley, ‘76, Pillar of Citizenship
M’Lissa understands the need to serve and endeavor to be a fundamental part of our communities. She is a graduate of Marshall High School and pursued her love of agriculture at Texas A&M University. From there, she went on to a successful 41-year career with USAA.
Life took a new turn in 1995 when she was elected to the NISD school board. During her 28-years on the Board, she served five terms as board president and also served as vice president, secretary, and parliamentarian.
During her tenure as a Trustee, the District opened 61 campuses and was involved with eight bond campaigns totaling over 5 billion dollars.
M’Lissa is the former president of the Northside Council of PTA’s and has served as the chairwoman for the Los Leones Student Arts Festival.
Her and her husband have four sons who follow in their mother’s footsteps of community service.
In recognition of her years of service to NISD’s youth, the Board recently named NISD’s 83rd elementary campus, set to open in August 2024, in her honor.
|Mario Torres, Ph.D.||Learning||Jay High School||2022|
|Vannessa-Renee Gleye||Trustworthiness||Construction Careers Academy||2022|
|Eduardo Sanchez, D-NP||Respect||Holmes High School||2022|
|Marc Strode||Responsibility||Clark High School||2022|
|Paul “Jeff” Kuwamura||Fairness||Holmes High School||2022|
|Maxine Junek||Caring||Marshall High School||2022|
|Jaclyn Roberson||Citizenship||Taft High School||2022|
|Charbonneau Bailey||Learning||Stevens High School||2021|
|Dr. Ronya Green||Caring||Health Careers High School||2021|
|Mike Hodges||Fairness||O'Connor High School||2021|
|W. Caleb McDaniel||Respect||Clark High School||2021|
|Officer Pete Vega||Citizenship||Jay High School||2021|
|Craig Robinson||Responsibility||Jay High School||2021|
|Dr. Scott Blattman||Trustworthiness||Marshall High School||2021|
|Diana Ely||Learning||Marshall High School||2020|
|Jasmin A. Dean||Trustworthiness||Clark High School||2020|
|Julia Barton Murphy||Citizenship||Clark High School||2020|
|John Picacio||Fairness||Holmes High School||2020|
|Dr. Alicia Wooten||Respect||Warren High School||2020|
|Dr. Erika Gonzalez||Responsibility||Health Careers High School||2020|
|Lorenzo Gomez, III||Caring||Health Careers High School||2020|
|Judge Rosie Alvarado||Citizenship||Marshall High School||2019|
|Mark Tezel||Trustworthiness||Marshall High School||2019|
|Capt. Jordan Eddington||Respect||Taft High School||2019|
|Daniel Flores||Fairness||Warren High School||2019|
|J.D. Story||Responsibility||Clark High School||2019|
|Imelda Lopez Sanchez||Caring||Holmes High School||2019|
|Cynthia J. Mendoza, Ph.D.||Trustworthiness||Holmes High School||2018|
|Dr. Mark Moran||Responsibility||Clark High School||2018|
|Cathryn Walker||Respect||Warren High School||2018|
|Suzanne Schorlemer Bailey||Fairness||Clark High School||2018|
|Anthony Beverley||Citizenship||Jay High School||2018|
|Monica C. Mendez, PT, DPT||Caring||Marshall High School||2018|
|Michelle Fiedler Mikesh||Responsibility||Taft High School||2017|
|Lt. Col. Colette Topfer||Trustworthiness||Taft High School||2017|
|Kristina Riffle Semukete||Caring||Marshall High School||2017|
|Michael Dominguez||Citizenship||Jay High School||2017|
|Frank Hakspiel||Fairness||Clark High School||2017|
|Mark Langford||Respect||Marshall High School||2017|
|Dr. Todd Gureckis||Fairness||Health Careers High School||2016|
|Kara Wilson||Caring||Marshall High School||2016|
|Dr. Simran Jeet Singh||Respect||O’Connor High School||2016|
|Laura Silva Nieto||Citizenship||Holmes High School||2016|
|James “Drake” McLean||Responsibility||Marshall High School||2016|
|Lori Castro||Trustworthiness||Taft High School||2016|
|SFC Chris Branagan||Fairness||Jay High School||2015|
|Dr. Jorge Alvarez||Trustworthiness||Clark High School||2015|
|Dr. Mandie Alice Tibball Svatek||Respect||Marshall High School||2015|
|Gina Jones||Responsibility||Jay High School||2015|
|J. Patrick Burk||Caring||Clark High School||2015|
|William L. Raba||Citizenship||Marshall High School||2015|
|Dr. Edward Carl Elder||Caring||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||2014|
|Kevin Wolff||Citizenship||Thomas C. Clark High School||2014|
|Dr. Meredith Rockeymoore Brooks||Responsibility||Health Careers High School||2014|
|Aaron Barker||Fairness||John Marshall High School||2014|
|James “Rad” Weaver||Respect||Jay and Clark High Schools||2014|
|Laura Elvia Hernández||Trustworthiness||John Jay High School||2014|
|Trey Martinez Fischer||Citizenship||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||2013|
|Keyhla Calderon||Respect||John Jay High School||2013|
|Dr. Mike Flores||Responsibility||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||2013|
|Coach Danny Padron||Fairness||John Jay High School||2013|
|Dr. Melissa Blough||Trustworthiness||Thomas C. Clark High School||2013|
|Scott Kafora||Caring||Marshall High School||2013|
|Uma Pemmaraju||Responsibility||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||2012|
|Wade Cleary||Trustworthiness||Thomas C. Clark High School||2012|
|Eric G. Burns||Caring||Thomas C. Clark High School||2012|
|Monica Velasquez McIlwain||Respect||Thomas C. Clark High School||2012|
|Giancarlo “John” Ortega||Fairness||William H. Taft High School||2012|
|Dr. Martha Pritchett Mims||Citizenship||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||2012|
|Charles E. Cantu||Responsibility||John Marshall High School||2011|
|William Hurd||Trustworthiness||John Marshall High School||2011|
|Woodrow Halstead III||Caring||John Marshall High School||2011|
|Paul Barton||Citizenship||Health Careers High School||2011|
|David Henderson||Fairness||William H. Taft High School||2011|
|Celina and Marina Suarez||Respect||John Marshall High School||2011|
|Heidi Bush||Respect||Mackey School||2010|
|Linda Goldfarb||Responsibility||John Jay High School||2010|
|Marcedes M. Fuller||Caring||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||2010|
|Darold Williamson||Trustworthiness||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||2010|
|Captain Janae C. Florance||Fairness||John Jay High School||2010|
|Diana Cruz-Zapata||Citizenship||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||2010|
|Dr. Laurie Richardson||Caring||John Marshall High School||2009|
|Lt. Col. Scott Thomas||Citizenship||John Jay High School||2009|
|Crystal Brown-Tatum||Fairness||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||2009|
|Col. Lisa C. Firmin||Respect||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||2009|
|Dr. Kristin Held||Responsibility||John Marshall High School||2009|
|Chuck Cureau||Trustworthiness||John Marshall High School||2009|
|Dr. Fred Bryant||Respect||John Marshall High School||2008|
|Maj. Steven Gventer||Trustworthiness||Thomas C. Clark High School||2008|
|Charles "Chuck" Booker||Caring||John Jay High School||2008|
|Dr. Geoffrey Orsak||Citizenship||Thomas C. Clark High School||2008|
|Donna Eckert-Fields||Fairness||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||2008|
|Tony Pelletier||Responsibility||John Jay High School||2008|
|Dr. Gurpaul Singh||Respect||John Marshall High School||2007|
|John Igo||Fairness||Locke Hill*||2007|
|Andy Ramirez||Caring||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||2007|
|Dr. Douglas Meffert||Responsibility||John Marshall High School||2007|
|Dr. Lisa Meffert||Responsibility||John Marshall High School||2007|
|Brig. Gen. Michael Wilson||Trustworthiness||John Jay High School||2007|
|Greg Meffert||Responsibility||John Marshall High School||2007|
|Katy George||Sandra Day O'Connor High School||2007|
|Sarah Meffert Becher||Responsibility||John Marshall High School||2007|
|Col. (Ret) Jeff Meffert, M.D.||Responsibility||John Marshall High School||2007|
|Patrick Cornelius||Trustworthiness||John Marshall High School||2006|
|Michelle Ybarra||Responsibility||Thomas C. Clark High School||2006|
|Haroon Monis||Citizenship||Thomas C. Clark High School||2006|
|Col. Renita Foster Menyhert||Respect||John Jay High School||2006|
|Karen Grace||Fairness||William H. Taft High School||2006|
|Cliff Dugosh||Caring||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||2006|
|Kathy Bosse Gore||Citizenship||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||2005|
|Will Telford||Trustworthiness||Thomas C. Clark High School||2005|
|Dr. Scott R. Harper||Responsibility||John Marshall High School||2005|
|Dr. Shannon P. Marquez||Caring||John Jay High School||2005|
|Oscar Alvarado||Fairness||Thomas C. Clark High School||2005|
|Rev. Betty Meadows||Respect||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||2005|
|Robert Reyes||Caring||William H. Taft High School||2004|
|Eldridge Burns Jr.||Responsibility||Thomas C. Clark High School||2004|
|Jeffrey Hoberman||Respect||Thomas C. Clark High School||2004|
|Tamry Haby Johnson||Citizenship||John Marshall High School||2004|
|Phillip C. McKee III||Fairness||Health Careers High School||2004|
|John Bordano||Trustworthiness||John Marshall High School||2004|
|Cris Bera||William H. Taft High School||2003|
|Rita Crockett||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||2003|
|David Fisher||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||2003|
|Elaine Mendoza-Gay||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||2003|
|Tyrone Powers||John Jay High School||2003|
|Tamara Serwer||Thomas C. Clark High School||2003|
|Dr. Sara L. Gill||John Jay High School||2002|
|Rodolfo Gonzales||William H. Taft High School||2002|
|Priest Holmes||John Marshall High School||2002|
|Dean H. Krueger||John Marshall High School||2002|
|Mason Reddix||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||2002|
|Dr. Maya Rockeymoore||John Jay High School||2002|
|Susan Evers||John Marshall High School||2001|
|Blake Warren Woolsey||Thomas C. Clark High School||2001|
|Xavier Benavides||William H. Taft High School||2001|
|Jay Fielden||Thomas C. Clark High School||2001|
|Garrett K. Peel||Health Careers High School||2001|
|Michael K. Hatchett||John Jay High School||2001|
|Glenn E. Gill||John Marshall High School||2000|
|Col. Catherine Bacon||John Jay High School||2000|
|Clarissa Davis-Wrightsil||John Jay High School||2000|
|Evan Young||Thomas C. Clark High School||2000|
|Lili Kristan||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||2000|
|Scott Kercheville, MD||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||2000|
|Wallace B. Jefferson||John Jay High School||1999|
|Todd White||John Marshall High School||1999|
|John Cornyn||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||1999|
|Jennifer Guitierrez-Utberg||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||1999|
|Harriet Marmon Helmle||John Marshall High School||1999|
|Tom Yantis||Oliver Wendell Holmes High School||1999|