Whether they are helping Wounded Warriors cross a triathlon finish line, working to keep our country safe, sharing ideas across continents, helping patients manage their chronic pain, managing multiple legal contracts for one of the largest grocery chains in the country while advocating for public education, or running to a fire instead away from it, the 2018 Northside Education Foundation (NEF) Pillars of Characters live up to this prestigious recognition of Northside ISD graduates.
In the H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center for Performing Arts, the 2018 NEF Pillars were guests of honor for an evening of musical performances and a live auction at the NEF Pillar Recognition and Banquet held Sept. 19. They were joined by almost 700 business partners, community members, and educators.
The gala is NEF’s largest fundraiser of the year and proceeds are used to fund grants to NISD faculty and staff. More than $400,000 was awarded last year in Resource, Innovation, and Team grants.
Each year, Pillars are selected from almost 100,000 Northside ISD alumni who graduated from NISD high schools since 1951. The Pillars represent the six character traits taught to NISD students as part of the Josephson Institute’s Character Counts program. The traits are trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. Nominations for the 2019 class of NEF Pillar of Characters are being accepted now.
The 2018 Pillars of Character are:
Suzanne Schorlemer Bailey
2018 Pillar of Fairness
For Suzanne Schorlemer Bailey, Northside ISD truly is home. She grew up in Northside, attended Northside schools, and returned to live in Northside. Her children even attend the same schools she did.
Northside is where her heart lies. Tradition and family are what she is all about. It’s no wonder she works for H-E-B, a company built on the ideals of family, tradition, and community service.
The daughter of a local OB-GYN (who, she says with affection, helped deliver half of the residents of San Antonio), Bailey started her academic career at the original Locke Hill Elementary School. At Hobby Middle School, she served on the student council and honed her marketing skills selling advertising as a member of the yearbook staff.
At Clark High School, then still a new school, she was a leader on the dance team while excelling academically. She went on to the University of Texas at Austin where she earned her B.B.A. in Marketing. Bailey then returned to San Antonio to pursue a law degree at St. Mary’s University. Early in her career she worked for probate judge Sandee Bryan Marion and then practiced estate planning at Oppenheimer, Blend, Harrison, & Tate in San Antonio.
Today, she is Managing Counsel and Director of Legal Services for H-E-B. She says she loves the fast pace of her chosen career which combines the use of her marketing and law degrees. But she still finds time for the schools she called home. Bailey is a strong advocate for public schools and, following in the footsteps of her mother, serves in the schools that her children, Rob and Ann Marie, attend. She believes it’s important to highlight all the good things happening in public schools.
2018 Pillar of Citizenship
Anthony Beverley doesn’t know why he ran toward a burning RV near a Sam’s Club, he just knew he had to help. He said if he thought about it, he might not have. But Carol and Joel Siskovic will be eternally grateful. With flames shooting out of their RV and smoke and fire swallowing up the interior quickly, they couldn’t get to the side door and escape. Beverley pulled them both out just before the RV became engulfed in flames, in essence saving their lives. It’s an unusual way to start a friendship, but after that fateful day the couple and the Beverley family became close friends. Ironically, Carol taught at Jay High School and Carol and Joel reside in the same neighborhood as Beverley and his family.
Beverley is a true Northside product. He attended Meadow Village Elementary School, Jones Middle School, and is a proud graduate of Jay High School, where he excelled as an athlete. At Southern Methodist University, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology while playing football. He is humble about his time on the field, but at Jay High School he was a star running back and linebacker, and he helped lead the SMU Mustangs to an undefeated season as a defensive outside linebacker. He broke the all-time SMU career sack record and held it for 20 years. He was named All-Southwest Conference linebacker twice and an All-American athlete.
Today, Beverley is Executive Director of Discovering America’s 58, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping underserved youth connect with nature and discover this country’s national parks. When his children were 14, 12, and 10 years of age the family lived in an RV for a year, home schooling the children and visiting all the national parks in the contiguous United States. He believes there is something special about being out in nature sharing the wonder of America’s national parks with kids. He is the proud father of Anthony II, Justice, and Kendall, all graduates of Marshall High School.
Monica C. Mendez, PT, DPT
2018 Pillar of Caring
As a high school student at Marshall High School, Monica C. Mendez, made the fateful choice to merge her two passions of swimming and medicine. With the guidance of the Independent Study Mentorship program she began to shadow a physical therapist who specialized in aquatic therapy. It was this memorable yearlong opportunity that fostered the start of her future. While shadowing, Mendez witnessed an energetic eight-year-old boy walk for the first time. This is when she realized the power of believing and persistence. Someone had to believe in the child for eight years to uncover his true potential. Mendez knew she was meant to become a physical therapist, becoming the support system others needed to become their best self.
A true Northside product, Mendez attended Evers and Leon Valley elementary schools and Pat Neff Middle School where she discovered her love for the sciences. At Marshall High School, she excelled in academics and sports and was also involved in multiple honor societies and community groups. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise and Sport Science from St. Mary’s University and earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of the Incarnate Word.
Her passion has touched thousands of lives through her dedication to a non-profit organization called Los Quijotes Ambassadors of Health of San Antonio. It is an international medical service organization comprised of health professionals and physicians that provide medical treatment to the less fortunate in Oaxaca, Mexico. For the past six years, she has been a vital part of the team by providing treatments in different capacities from a pharmacy assistant, nutritionist, diabetes educator, and ultimately, as a physical therapist. During the week long missions, over 2,500 patients are seen and treated. Mendez hopes to lead by example, inspiring our future generation to become the best representation of themselves to help others.
Cynthia J. Mendoza, Ph.D.
Pillar of Trustworthiness
Every day, Dr. Cynthia Mendoza is grateful to be part of something bigger than herself. She learned the notion of unselfish commitment at the knee of her mother who was a longtime educator and former principal of Carlos Coon Elementary School. Now working in the intelligence community, Mendoza and her colleagues are tasked with keeping our country safe. She believes the foundation for all the skills she needed to be successful came from her time in Northside and from her parents.
Mendoza attended Sunset Hills Elementary School , which is now called Colby Glass Elementary School, Neff Middle School, and Holmes High School. During these years, she learned about perseverance, social skills, leadership, and a sense of community. Along with a rigorous academic course schedule, she was a member of the bowling team, the symphonic band, and was a member of Mu Alpha Theta and Student Council.
One of her fondest memories was a two-year stint as the twirler for the Husky marching band. She said standing on the field, performing, and sharing those moments with her classmates and the community were some of the most special moments of her high school career. The combination of demanding class schedules and extracurricular activities gave her a sense of purpose and confidence she carried with her long after she left Holmes High School.
She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, and a Master’s degree and Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from George Washington University. Today, she is the Director of Architecture & Integration Division, IC, CIO, Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Dr. Mark Moran
Pillar of Responsibility
Mark Moran failed to make his seventh grade basketball team at Hobby Middle School. He will be the first to say this was a blessing in disguise. The valuable lesson he learned was perseverance. After working tirelessly over the next year, he earned his place as a starting basketball player at Hobby Middle School and then Clark High School for the rest of his basketball career. He even became the Clark High School team captain and was selected for All-District and All-City teams. He turned his failure into success and carried this perseverance through college, graduate school, and medical school.
Moran attended Adams Hill Elementary School for three years before moving to Locke Hill Elementary School. He then went to Hobby Middle School and finished his Northside education at Clark High School. In addition to basketball, he was Student Council Vice President, a member of both Mu Alpha Theta and National Honor Society, and was voted Best All-Around Male and Homecoming King by his classmates.
Today, Dr. Moran practices Pain Management and is the acting President of Consultants in Pain Medicine, PA. He received his undergraduate degree from Southwestern University before obtaining his graduate degree in Biochemistry. He attended the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio for his medical degree. He completed his residency in Anesthesiology and then was fellowship trained in Pain Management and Penn State. He believes in a multifactorial approach to treating his patients and encourages all of them to be "active participants, instead of passive recipients" in their health care.
He and his wife Melissa, whom he met in the fourth grade at Locke Hill, are proud parents of two children, Emily and Ethan. Both children attend Northside schools. Dr. Moran sits on the board of directors for Geneus Health and Kalypso Wellness, two national businesses for which he is also a founder. In his spare time, he enjoys basketball, tennis, coaching, and spending time with his children.
Pillar of Respect
As the daughter of a naval officer, Cathryn Walker picked up her life and moved every three years. Like many military children, she never felt she could claim a home base. At age 14, she arrived in San Antonio and at Warren High School found a place to call home.
It all began the moment she first walked the school’s hallways as a nervous new student and a welcoming teacher ensured her that if she ever needed help, to come to her classroom. This act of kindness and reassurance helped Walker embark on a highly successful academic career.
While attending Warren, she held several leadership positions in student organizations, most notably serving as Co-Editor and Chief of the school yearbook. Outside of school, she continued her journalistic endeavors by serving on the San Antonio Express-News Teen Team as a contributing writer. She balanced all of these activities while pursuing a heavy academic load of AP classes.
Walker graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin with a minor in global business. Today, she is a business marketing associate at the leading music streaming app, Spotify, residing in New York City. She develops and executes campaigns for clients across the globe and feels the best part of her job is the opportunity to collaborate with these team members. Her colleagues reside across North America, Asia, Europe, and Latin America each bringing their own unique perspectives to the table to make an impact in the world of advertising.