In honor of our Second Baptist School teachers, the annual Distinguished Speaker Luncheon occurred Wednesday, November 7 with former First Lady Laura Bush. The program began with a special choral arrangement from the Upper School’s Revelation Singers. Dr. Williams then recognized Lucy and Skip McBride, the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Parents. Mr. and Mrs. McBride had two children attend Second Baptist and actively participated in many SBS activities. They recognized all the SBS moms who volunteer so much time and energy to the programs at school as well as the teachers. Comparing teachers to Navy Seals Mr. McBride commented how both have selfless, sacrificial and admirable character traits.
The recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Alumni from the class of 1989 was Mr. Trey Beck. Mr. Beck works at an investment firm, helps poverty challenged public schools through Turnaround for Children, co-produced four films, and is a minority owner of the Houston Astros. He spoke about how grateful he was for his parents and the wonderful teachers at SBS and how they impacted his life.
As Mr. Beck left the stage, a special video was presented featuring SBS students who were asked questions like “Give three words to describe your teachers” or “Why are SBS teachers different?” Students from each school level responded with personal testimonies of loving, funny and tremendously caring teachers who want to help their students grow and understand. Students shared that they could talk to their SBS teachers about anything.
Dr. Williams then introduced the keynote speaker of the afternoon, former First Lady Laura Bush. She started her speech by praising Second Baptist teachers who are dedicated to making lifelong learners and servants. A schoolteacher herself, Mrs. Bush talked about her love for learning. She even mentioned her passion for brand new school supplies. After graduating from SMU, Mrs. Bush went to work with an underprivileged school in Houston. Her experiences at the school have continued to influence her life. She then went on to reflect about President Bush and her time in the White House as first lady. She strongly believes that every child in America should learn to read, as reading is essential for democracy and books have the power to shape our country.
She also discussed her experience on 9/11. After that event, she moved away from using her platform to advocate for literacy in order to spend time encouraging soldiers and families who had lost loved ones. Mrs. Bush also spoke about the criticism she and her husband received and simply said, “I know who I am and I know who George is.”
She concluded by challenging the Second Baptist School family never to forget how one reading lesson or one smile can make a profound difference in someone’s life. She reminded the community how immensely blessed SBS is because of its dedicated, loving teachers.
George and Laura Bush are now back in the state of Texas, which Mrs. Bush calls “the Promised Land.” They spend their time in Dallas building the Bush Center at SMU and visiting with family.
Article Submission by Colette Cope '13