On Sept. 21, Valero Energy Corporation was transformed into Emerald City for the Northside Education Foundation (NEF) Pillar Recognition and Banquet, presented by Raba Kistner, Inc. More than 500 NISD supporters enjoyed auctions and dinner, as well as theatrical performances featuring beloved Wizard of Oz movie characters and music. The Foundation’s theme this year is “There’s No Place Like NEF”.
Pictured are (from l-r) Pillar of Responsibility Michelle Fiedler Mikesh, Pillar of Respect Mark Langford, Pillar of Fairness Frank Hakspiel, Pillar of Caring Kristina Riffle Semukete, and Pillar of Trustworthiness Lt. Col. Colette Topfer. (Not pictured is Pillar of Citizenship Michael Dominguez.)
Almost 100 culinary and theater arts students participated by serving hors d'oeuvres, designing and setting up stages and theatrical lighting, and delivering whimsical singing and dancing performances featuring Dorothy, her friends, and even a few flying monkeys. Guests witnessed firsthand just some of the many choices NISD offers students and the amazing talent Northside produces, including the newest class of NISD Pillars of Character (pictured above).
The highlight of the night was meeting the six Pillars and learning how they have been successful in life using their courage, brains and hearts.
Each year, Pillars are selected from thousands of NISD alumni who have graduated from Northside high schools since 1951. The Pillars represent the six character traits taught to NISD students that are part of the Josephson Institute’s Character Counts program. The Pillars of Character are: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship.
Another highlight of the evening was raising almost $200,000 to award grants to Northside staff! When teachers win grants, it includes a surprise visit from the NEF Prize Patrol. The Foundation recently visited 31 campuses to present NEF New Teacher Grants.
Be sure to like and follow NEF on Facebook for Prize Patrol photos throughout the year, as well as NEF event photos. Click here for gala photos.
Also, be sure to visit www.nisd.net/pillars to learn more about the 2017 Pillars of Character or to nominate 2018 NISD Pillars of Character. Nominees must be Northside graduates. The nomination deadline is May 1 ,2018.