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Press Releases

9th Annual Inspire Awards
Sept. 30, 2019

Media Advisory

9th Annual Inspire Awards

Who: Outstanding SAISD alumni and educators including:
-         Texas Representative Diego Bernal  
-         Nationally-acclaimed marketing leader Bonnie Garcia 
-         CEO and dynamic business professional Paula Gold-Williams 
-         Construction trailblazer Cosmo F. Guido

Oct. 2 (Wednesday), 6 – 9 p.m. 

Witte Museum, Mays Family Center, 3801 Broadway

The District’s past and present shining stars will be honored for making a significant difference in their fields and for their ability to inspire others. Proceeds from the event will go to teacher grants, scholarships and emergency gap funding for post-secondary education and initiatives in SAISD supported by the SAISD Foundation. 

A reception and silent auction will begin at 6 p.m. and the awards presentation will start at 7 p.m.  Student entertainment and featured groups at the reception will include: Bonham Academy ballet folklorico, Burbank High School drumline, Cotton Academy cheer squad, Arnold Elementary Dragon Network News reporters, Fenwick Academy strings, Jefferson High School architecture and Sam Houston High School robotics.

The honorees are:

Diego Bernal (Jefferson HS / Class of 1995). Bernal is a state representative for the Texas House of Representatives. He was elected into office in 2015 and represents District 123, which covers downtown, north central, and parts of the west side of San Antonio. He serves as vice chairman of the House Committee on Public Education. Bernal played a major role in revamping the way the state funds its schools. House Bill 3 introduced $6.5 billion of new money to state schools, raising the base funding per student by 20 percent, delivering pay raises for teachers and funding statewide full-day pre-kindergarten education. He earned his undergraduate degree, master’s degree in social work, and law degree at the University of Michigan. After law school, he returned to San Antonio as a Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) staff attorney, advocating and litigating on behalf of working people, children, and immigrant communities.  

Yvonne “Bonnie” Garcia (Burbank HS / Class of 1975). Garcia is the founder and CEO for MarketVision, a leading multicultural marketing agency in the United States. Her impressive client roster includes: Centers for Disease Control, Mass Mutual, Coca-Cola, Miller Coors, JM Smuckers, ConAgra Foods, Korbel, University Health System, and Go Rio Cruises, among many others. MarketVision, founded in 1998, caters to the rapidly growing Hispanic market. Garcia thrived at Burbank where she earned college scholarships and financial aid to attend the University of Texas at Austin. At UT, Garcia focused her studies on promotions and marketing. After college, Garcia worked in corporate America as a manager of College Marketing and a national director of Hispanic Marketing. She eventually became the director of Hispanic marketing at Coca-Cola North America where she produced television and radio ads, developed all national consumer promotions and signed celebrity talent. Garcia and Coca-Cola are known for offering Selena Quintanilla her first endorsement contract. Garcia, raised on the southside of San Antonio, is considered a giant in national Hispanic marketing.
Paula Gold-Williams (Sam Houston HS / Class of 1980). Gold-Williams is the president and CEO of CPS Energy in San Antonio. With a collective 14-year tenure at CPS Energy, she leads more than 3,000 employees with the vision she coined, “People First.” She worked in various capacities at CPS Energy before being named president and CEO in 2015. Under Gold-Williams watch, she has led the drive to bring CPS Energy into the 21st Century with an emphasis on creating and delivering value to its customers, community and employees. At Sam Houston High School, she participated in numerous organizations, such as student government, and became the class president. She took an accounting course in her senior year and discovered a passion for the field. She went on to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at St. Mary’s University and a master’s degree in Finance and Accounting from Regis University in Denver. She also earned her Certified Public Accounting license. For the past 30 years, Gold-Williams has been an award-winning leader in the San Antonio business community. Before CPS, she worked as the regional controller for Time Warner Cable and the vice president for Luby’s Inc.

Cosmo F. Guido (Jefferson HS / Class of 1940). Guido is chairman emeritus for Guido Construction, an iconic family business and full-service general contractor that has served San Antonio and the state of Texas since 1927.  Guido Construction has played an important role in shaping the city’s landscape. Some of the company’s construction projects have included Hemisfair Park, San Francesco Di Paola Church, the Shops at Rivercenter, museums, businesses, schools and private residences. Guido was a mainstay in the family business and he emphasized quality craftsmanship. At Jefferson High School, Guido took his first drafting class, which helped spark his interest in construction.  A veteran of World War II, he completed his formal education at Texas A&M University. A true local building pioneer, Guido even helped work on San Antonio ISD schools, including Brackenridge, Lanier, Burbank, Sam Houston and Edison high schools and Rogers Middle School.  

Innovation Award
Elementary Strings
 – Six music teachers will be recognized for initiating the Elementary Strings program at 10 SAISD campuses. Besides teaching class-based programs during the school day, the teachers work with students before and after school to strengthen learning. Students have the opportunity to learn violin, viola and cello. Although these elementary music teachers are not strings players, they have dedicated extra trainings and professional development to offer this program at their respective campuses. The honored teacher’s love for music and inspiring students to learn string instruments is contributing to the rise in student participation in Fine Arts programs in SAISD.

About SAISD Foundation
The SAISD Foundation mobilizes the community to invest in teacher and student success and in doing so, has raised funds to support innovation in the classroom awarding more than 1,000 teacher grants benefiting SAISD students. Annually, the SAISD Foundation reinvests $3.5 million in District strategic initiatives to support student success.

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