A+ Benefit Dinner Unites Attendees Around Improving Public Education

October 12, 2009

Generous Houstonians made the first-ever “Power of the Network” dinner, benefiting Houston A+ Challenge, a sold-out event on October 13, 2009, at River Oaks Country Club.

Kudos went to Chairs Lesha and Tom Elsenbrook and Nancy and Bryan Ruez for leading the event, which honored the achievements of two women who were instrumental in starting Houston A+ Challenge: Andrea White and Maconda B. O’Connor.

Introduced by fellow founding A+ Board Member Harry Reasoner, White accepted the first A+ Awards for Excellence in Public Education on behalf of herself and O’Connor, saying: “There were so many people who helped us start this important organization, which has changed the way our educators teach, and the way students learn. We recognize the need to continue collaborating to make our public schools and teachers more effective.”

In future years, Houston A+ Challenge will give awards in honor of these women: the Maconda Brown O’Connor Award for Leadership in Public Education will be awarded to outstanding public school teachers, principals and district leaders, and the Andrea White Award for Service to Public Education will be awarded to individual community members, corporation and foundations who go above and beyond to support the Houston region’s public schools.

The room was spotted in red – A+’s signature color – and guests were visited by Executive Director Scott Van Beck, who discussed the programs. H-E-B was recognized as the presenting sponsor and represented by Scott McClleland, President of H-E-B Houston.

Also seen in the crowd: Board President Ann Friedman and husband J. Kent Friedman, Soraya McClelland, Harriet and Joe Foster, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, new Houston ISD Superintendent Terry Grier and wife Nancy, Franci Crane, Mayor Bill White, Yava and Milton Scott, Susan Bishoff, Regina Rogers, Houston Community College Chancellor Dr. Mary Spangler, Catherine Clark Mosbacher, Beckie and Gasper Mir, and Vic Samuels.

Photos by Kim Coffman

About Houston A+ Challenge
Houston A+ Challenge is an independent nonprofit that has supported public school improvement and education leadership development in the Houston area since 1997. Houston A+ partners with local school districts to build professional networks and school leaders who create lasting improvements in classroom instruction and student achievement. More is online at: www.houstonaplus.org.