Center High Hall of Honor 2019 recipients are: Dr. Dan Wilkins ('69), Rhonda Kay Walker ('82), and Dr. Jerry C. Hudson ('59)
On behalf of the Center High School Alumni Association, I am happy to announce the recipients of the 2019 Hall of Honor Award!
This year's recipients are: Dr. Dan Wilkins ('69), Rhonda Kay Walker ('82), and Dr. Jerry C. Hudson ('59).
The recipients will receive the Hall of Honor Award at the Annual Alumni Association Meeting, Saturday October 12. Doors open at 9am, meeting is from 10am-11am.
Rhonda K. Walker Bio
Rhonda Kay Walker is a 1982 graduate of Center High School. She is a Licensed Masters Social Worker and Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor practicing Social Work for the past 32 years.
Rhonda gained her Bachelor's degree of Social Work from Stephen F Austin State University. Walker started her career working as an intern for Congressman Charlie Wilson as the first political intern from S.F.A., procuring this position in his local Lufkin office. Wilson represented Center in the 2nd Congressional District.
He is best known for leading Congress into supporting Operation Cyclone, the largest ever CIA covert operation. A movie was made called Charlie Wilson's War starring Tom Hank and Julia Roberts.
Her first job was at the Lufkin State Hospital at age 20 while she was at S.F.A. She was the Team Leader for 8 severely and profoundly mentally challenged individuals. This job sparked an interest in the ideas of social work seeing the horrors of treatment of people locked away and forgotten.
Walker and her brother Stephen Walker produced a short film, a parody of the cast of people in Charlie's Lufkin office which led Charlie to request a meeting with Rhonda in Washington, D.C. He laughed about it and told Rhonda it was brilliant. This transformed her life in an instant, solidifying her belief that one person, one kind word can change the life of a youth forever.
Walker was the first mentor in the urban runaway homeless shelter, The Sasha Bruce House while working as Special Assistant to Charlie Wilson. She was hired to reach a hard-to-reach runaway teen and was able to help this girl change
Rhonda then moved to Wichita, Kansas and established Miracles,Inc. with co-founder Maryanne Mroczek in 1992. It is a Family Behavioral Health Agency and is a faith based, non profit Agency.
It provides services for low income and uninsured families of Kansas that are in need of behavioral health resources. The primary population include IV drug using pregnant women, IV substance users and women with dependent children.
The Agency is a free standing entity with 5 physical locations. The Corporation is licensed by the Kansas Department of Aging and disability Services.
Through Miracles, Inc. they serve over 450 families in any point in time. During her career she has developed the necessary affiliations, spirit of innovation and the grant writing skills to engage city, county, state and federal officials to support the creation of a 33 bed inpatient treatment center, outpatient treatment facility and managing 54 homes with HUD certificates for the homeless.
Rhonda received a Bachelor's degree in Addiction Counseling from Newman Catholic University and her Master's Degree with Honors with a GPA of 4.0 from Kansas University in Lawrence, Kansas in Clinical Social Work.
Rhonda has led a remarkable life filled with excitement, passion and great grief at times. She experienced her fist health crisis at the age of 14 when she was diagnosed with kidney disease. She lost complete functioning of her kidneys at the age of 28.
While in the hospital, her co-founder Maryann lost her battle with depression and committed suicide. Maryann's fiance', Keith Bomholt then became a founding Board Member. He is a businessman, best friend and has been by Rhonda's side in her battle with kidney failure.
Rhonda has a rap sheet different from her clients which includes 42 surgeries, 5-mini strokes, heart failure, 8 years of dialysis, 2 kidney transplants, Addison's Disease, organ rejection, chemotherapy and zero vestibular system which involves her balance.
Rhonda's sister Amy Walker Hampson donated a kidney but over time her body rejected it. After years of dialysis, her friend Debbie Schussler donated one of her kidneys.
She is battling rejection of this kidney but is upbeat that the chemo and steroids will keep it going. Rhonda believes great things can come from suffering and never giving up. This shows in her career and business of saving lives for over 32 years.
Miracle,Inc. envisions a world that understands the erosion of the family caused by the disease of addiction. Rhonda has faith in the people she treats and does not give up on them like society does.
Rhonda has lived her entire life helping people and saving the lives of women, children and families.Her heart is full of love for people especially older folks She will call a florist in a town and ask the florist to inquire at a local nursing home who gets the least visitors and will order flowers to be sent anonymously to that person.
One more thing that affected Rhonda's life were the words of her father while they were enjoying a meal later in life. Because showing of affection by her father growing up was sparse or non existent, this sentence meant the world to Rhonda. He said, "You know, me and your mother discussed it and we believe you are the best of her and the best of me".
She is intent on advocating for social justice, mercy and love,knowing only one thing beats a good sense of humor and holding a baby and that is knowing with every fiber of her being.. God is Everything.
Dr. Dan Wilkins Bio
Dr. Dan Wilkins, Ph.D, has his doctorial degree in psychology and his masters degree in counseling from Stephen F. Austin State University.
He is licensed by the Texas Department of Health as a Licenses Professional Counselor and a Marriage and Family Therapist.
He was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to serve on the Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors from 2001 until 2009.
Dr. Wilkins has worked in the mental health field for 45 years, primarily in private practice. He has also worked in Human Resource Management, taught at Panola College and on the counseling staff of Hyde Park Baptist Church in Austin. He is currently Chief Behavior Health Officer for HOPE Community Medicine.
He was instrumental in the formation of Shelby College Center and the Shelby County Children's Advocacy Center. He also founded Grace Manor Adoption and Foster Care agency and served as executive director until October 2018.
Dr. Wilkins is a active member of the Center Noon Lions Club and First Baptist Church. He was a member of the Center ISD Board of Trustees for nine years.
He is the proud parent of four children and five grandchildren.
Dr. Jerry C. Hudson Bio
Dr. Jerry C. Hudson is the retired founding dean emeritus of the College of Media and Communication at Texas Tech University. He holds a bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from West Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas. He is the author or co-author of 50 papers, five book chapters and more than 25 publications and proceedings. His research concentration is in dissemination of health care information, and Hispanic media use and consumerism.
Hudson’s professional career in commercial broadcasting includes radio and television sales, radio personality, television sports personality and weather person. His first radio experience was calling play-by-play high school athletic games on KDET AM with his mentor, the late Jack Bell of Center.
He has served as a research consultant on more than one hundred marketing/advertising projects including research and marketing plans for banks, hospitals, media companies, political candidates, shopping malls and retail stores. Hudson also served as the Media Director for the U.S. Department of Labor, JECOR/VOTRAKON Project for 13 months in 1984-85, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Prior to joining Texas Tech University in 1978, Hudson was director of mass communications at Lamar University. During his career at Texas Tech, he served as director of the School of Mass Communications; coordinator of graduate studies and director of the Institute of Communication Research; and then founding dean of the College of Mass Communications. Hudson has served as president of the Texas Association of Broadcast Educators and the Southwest Council of Journalism and Mass Communications
He has been recognized by three different university committees for teaching excellence, once at Lamar University and two at Texas Tech University. He was recognized in 2012 by the Texas Tech Alumni Association with the University Service Award.
In 1995, he was awarded the Texas Tech University President’s Academic Achievement award. The American Advertising Federation’s 10th District honored Hudson in 1996 as the Outstanding Advertising Educator. The 10th District includes academic media programs in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and northern Louisiana. In 1997, he was recognized as a member of the Texas Tech University Teaching Academy. In 1998, the Texas Tech Dads and Moms Association awarded Hudson the Distinguished Faculty Leadership Award.
Hudson has also been honored by The Lubbock Advertising Federation, which awarded him the Silver Medal Award in 2002. He was inducted into the West Texas A&M Mass Communications Hall of Fame in 2016 and the College of Media and Communication Hall of Fame at Texas Tech University in 2018.d
One of Hudson’s major administrative accomplishments concluded a 35 year effort by faculty and alumni to elevate the Department and School of Mass Communications to a College of Mass Communications.
He authored the application and justifications to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for moving the School of Mass Communications from the College of Arts and Sciences to a stand-alone college in 2004, and co-authored the application and justifications to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in 2005 to establish a doctoral degree in Mass Communications at Texas Tech.
Hudson recently celebrated 51 years of marriage to Sue Fowler Hudson. He has one daughter, Aleshia Hudson Fife of Gaithersburg, Maryland– who was the 1978 valedictorian of Center High School, and a son, Dr. Jay Hudson, DDS, of Devine, Texas. He is blessed with six grandchildren.