Pillars of Character

Pillars of Character

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.

Dr. Scott Blattman, '83, Pillar of Trustworthiness

Dr. Scott Blattman

While working as a technician in his orthopedic surgeon father's practice, Dr. Scott Blattman learned two very important lessons: First, he wanted to be a doctor when he grew up, and second, he did not want to be an orthopedic surgeon. In his third year of medical school, Dr. Blattman was unsure which discipline he wanted to focus on until he completed a rotation with a family medicine physician. That's when he found his career.

He says what he loves about family medicine is the relationships he builds with his patients. He works hard to earn their trust and to protect that trust. As for his academic success, he gives credit to his mother, longtime Northside ISD educator Patricia Blattman, who is also the namesake of Blattman ES. He said she taught him how to problem solve and think through problems. His advice to today's students: "See as much as you can." The multitude of experiences he had, even those not tied to his chosen career, moved him forward and toward his life's work.

Dr. Blattman is a family medicine physician with Ascension Group and shares a practice with his brother. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Texas A&M University. He earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He attended Oak Hills Terrace ES, Neff MS, and Marshall High School. He is married to Janet and the proud father of Brianna, Danielle, and Scott.

Craig Robinson, '77, Pillar of Responsibility

Craig Robinson

Craig Robinson does not take the word responsibility lightly. As a member of the Federal Government’s Senior Executive Services (SES) and the Associate Executive Director of the National Acquisition Center for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Craig is ultimately responsible for acquiring and moving billions of dollars of pharmaceuticals, high tech medical equipment, hearing aids and prosthetic devices across the nation to ensure the health and safe of our nation’s Veterans.

Responsibility, Craig says, is not only about managing duties assigned to you, but also about being someone others can depend on. As a civil servant for 36 years, Craig has ensured the timely arrival of airplane parts to repair fighter jets. He procured special fuels that supported both NASA in carrying out its missions, and supported Department of Defense (DoD) research projects. He also lead the redesign of commercial transportation contracts that provide a model for how DoD moves cargo all over the world.

Craig reminds us that with responsibility also comes the proper management of resources, the most important of which is people. He takes pride in fostering an environment that provides growth and development of team members carrying out these important missions.

Craig is a recipient of the Army Achievement Medal of Civilian Service and the Army Superior Civil Service Award. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Science Degree from Central Michigan University. He attended Meadow Villages ES, Jones MS and Jay HS.

Officer Pete Vega, '96, Pillar of Citizenship

Officer Pete Vega

As a student at John Jay HS, Officer Pete Vega envisioned himself as a police officer or a coach. While becoming a classroom teacher was never at the forefront of his mind, as a student, he found himself drawn to the Career and Technology courses that took a hands-on approach to learning.

Officer Vega began his journey in Northside as an instructional assistant at Holmgreen. He then went on to attend the police academy and became an NISD police officer. During his time as a campus officer at Health Careers High School, he saw the positive impact he could make on students' lives.

His passion for teaching shined through, leading him to obtain his teacher certification.  Officer Vega now teaches the intricacies of law enforcement to NISD students who would like to explore a career in this area of study.

Officer Vega's training as a police officer provided him with the experience to become the Lead Instructor for Stevens HS Law Enforcement class. The program's purpose is to build individual character, develop leadership skills, and grow future-ready members of our community. Aside from instructing students, he volunteers his time training the Stevens' championship-winning Explorer team.

Officer Vega is currently raising funds to build an obstacle course where students will gain more hands-on training that will prepare them for their future roles in the field. He has earned $27,000 in Northside Education Foundation grants and an additional $20,000 from other community organizations. One day, Officer Vega hopes the obstacle course will become a host site for community events and competitions. Officer Vega is married to Janice, an NISD elementary school teacher, and they have four children, all Northside ISD students. Officer Vega attended John Glenn ES, Rayburn MS, and Jay HS.

W. Caleb McDaniel, Ph.D., '97, Pillar of Respect

W. Caleb McDaniel, Ph.D.

Pulitzer Prize winning author Caleb McDaniel, Ph.D. love for history, started with an assignment at Hobby MS about Davy Crocket. The middle school student was tasked with determining if the Texas icon died at the Alamo or shortly after. Through intensive research and sourcing, he had to develop his conclusions and tell a compelling story rooted in historical facts. The project piqued his interest in history, leading him on a path of professional and academic success.

He said his first teacher was his mother, Pam McDaniel, a recently retired Northside ISD teacher. But he credits his speech and debate coaches for teaching him to argue and think critically, which helped him with his career as a historian. He said Northside ISD opened up many opportunities and created a lifelong love of learning that influences him today.

Dr. McDaniel is a historian of slavery, abolitionism, and the United States. He is the Mary Gibbs Jones Professor of Humanities and current Chair of the History Department at Rice University. In 2020, he won the Pulitzer Prize in History for his book Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Texas A&M University and earned his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. He attended Locke Hill ES, Hobby MS, and Clark HS. He is married to Brandy and is the proud father of Ellery and Carter.

Mike Hodges, '05, Pillar of Fairness

Mike Hodges

There is no doubt that New Orleans Saints Linebacker Coach Mike Hodges has had many memorable moments on the playing field as a high school and college athlete. But looking back on his days at Northside ISD, it's the relationships he built on and off the field that are most treasured.

Even today, as a coach in the NFL, Mike doesn't focus solely on a player's athleticism. He works to build connections with them. He feels that by doing so, they can work together toward common goals. Caring for the athlete as a person first and as a player second are lessons he learned while playing various sports for O'Connor HS.

He learned a long time ago that fairness is not about equality but about approaching relationships with an honest and unbiased mindset.

Mike earned a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management and a Master's in Marketing from Texas A&M University. He attended Helotes ES, Stinson MS, and O'Connor HS. He is married to Ashley and is the proud father of Sawyer and Lincoln.

Dr. Ronya Green, '99, Pillar of Caring

Dr. Ronya Green

Destiny may have played a small part in bringing Dr. Ronya Green to the University of Texas Health Science Center for her medical school studies. She was, after all, born in the hospital across the street. But the hard work and determination that got her through medical school began with an elementary school "Someday Book." In the book, 9-year-old Ronya wrote that her goal was to be a doctor. She accomplished her goal, and she is paying it forward by training the next generation of family doctors.

The Health Careers HS graduate credits her years at the magnet school and the program's clinical experiences in preparing her for her post-graduate success. She says the best part of being a family medicine physician is to go through life's journey with her patients. She values the trust they place in her. What is her message to young girls especially, those of color? "You can do it. You can do the dream you have in your heart."

Dr. Green is the founding program director of TriStar Southern Hills Family Medicine Residency Program in Nashville, TN. She practices and provides clinical supervision of family practice residents. She is also a practicing family medicine doctor.

She holds a Bachelor of Science from Dillard University, a Master of Public Health degree from UT Southwestern Medical Center, and earned her MD from the UT Health Science Center. She attended Knowlton ES, Zachry MS, and Health Careers HS. She is married to Jesse and the proud mother of Grayson and Grace.

Charbonneau Bailey, '09, Pillar of Learning

Charbonneau Bailey

The first thing you'll notice about Charbonneau Bailey is her innate joyfulness. While sifting through childhood photos, her smile is radiant. She says she has always been happy.

The second thing you'll notice is her passion for helping others. It is no wonder the Stevens HS and Reddix Center graduates' chosen career is to teach special needs students how to be more independent.

As a special needs student herself, Charbonneau volunteered at the Stevens HS special education department while attending the school. After graduation, she was invited to enter the Reddix Center's program designed for special needs young adults ages 18 to 22.

Through the three-phased program, young adults are taught the life skills necessary to build a more self-sufficient lifestyle. They start with the basics of handling money, paying bills, and financial planning. Then move on to navigating public transit or other modes of transportation like Uber. Some, like Charbonneau, even earn their driver's license. And, finally, they are offered meaningful volunteer and work opportunities in the community to increase their chances of gainful employment.

Today, Charbonneau is an instructional assistant and job coach at the Reddix Center, helping young adults reach their full potential and independence before graduation. She works with young adults in the program's final phase, where she is out in the community side-by-side at their worksites until it's determined that her presence is no longer required. She also role plays to teach life skills they will need daily--the same skills she learned. She said the best part about her career is watching the young adults' internal and external growth. Charbonneau said she wants the world to know the Reddix Center is where young adults can set and achieve their goals.

Charbonneau is the youngest child of Robert and Lena Bailey, and her siblings include Nakisha, Charles, Robert, and sister-in-law Monica. She also has three nieces, one nephew, and one nephew on the way. Charbonneau is engaged to Mark Guevara. She attended Adam Hills and Ed Cody elementary schools, Pease MS, and graduated from Stevens HS and the Reddix Center.


Past Pillars

Title Pillar of... School Year
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 F. 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
Cafeteria Menus
Calendars
Registration
Health & Vaccination Forms
Buses & Boundaries
District Programs
Safeline
Graduation