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Five TISD alumni honored at Distinguished Alumni event

by Andrew Bell | October 18, 2022 at 2:53 p.m.
Pictured, from left, at the Texarkana ISD Distinguished Alumni event on Friday, Oct. 14, 2022: Dr. Matt Young MD, Scott Rozzell, June Williams-Davis, Chief Justice Josh R. Morriss III and Curtis D. Ferguson. (Submitted photo)

TEXARKANA, Texas -- The Texarkana Independent School District Board of Trustees and administration honored five Texas High School graduates at its Distinguished Alumni event last week.

The celebrated alumni included June Williams-Davis (1969), Curtis D. Ferguson (1983), Chief Justice Josh R. Morriss III (1968), Scott Rozzell (1967) and Dr. Matt Young MD (1986). The event started with a welcome breakfast held at Texas High School and hosted by THS Student Council members. After breakfast, the honorees and THS students conducted a student-facilitated question-and-answer session.

The distinguished guests spoke about their years as students in TISD and the district's impact on their successes. Students then took the alumni on a tour of Texas High School. The event continued with a luncheon at the Texarkana Convention Center, where the awardees were recognized for their education, law and medicine accomplishments. Recognition culminated at the Texas High football game, where the alumni served as honorary team captains and participated in the coin toss.

June Williams-Davis is a 1969 graduate of Texas High School. After graduating from THS, she attended East Texas State University. Williams-Davis also earned her masters in education from Texas A&M University.

Williams-Davis taught at both Pleasant Grove and Texarkana ISD. When she retired, she was the Fort Worth, Texas, ISD director of special programs.

In 2003, Williams-Davis ran for school board in Crowley, Texas, ISD, and she was the first African American elected to serve on the board. The school board named its newest elementary school in her honor in 2019.

Curtis D. Ferguson is a 1983 THS graduate. He went on to obtain his degree in art and graphic design from Henderson State University and masters in educational leadership from Grand Canyon University. Ferguson has been a teacher since 1990. He taught in Texarkana at Pine Street Middle School. While at Pine Street, Ferguson won four Teacher of the Year awards.

He was recognized as Teacher of the Year in Dallas, Texas, ISD for several years, as Bell Ringer of the Year in Allen, Texas, ISD, as well as a Hometown Hero for Fox 4 News. He is the current Teacher of the Year in Duncanville ISD.

Ferguson has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and CBS This Morning with Bryant Gumbel, as well as in numerous other local, regional and national media outlets, to share how his artistic abilities and knowledge have helped improve the lives of his students.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Gov. Greg Abbott and former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush have recognized Ferguson for his volunteerism and his dedication to his craft and to his students. Former President Bush also commissioned Ferguson to create Bush's portrait in 2015.

Chief Justice Josh Morriss is a 1968 graduate of Texas High School. He earned his MBA degree from Southern Methodist University in 1972. Morriss graduated from the University of Texas at Austin Law School in 1975.

Upon graduation from law school, Morriss returned to Texarkana, where he practiced law from 1976 to 2002 at several law firms. Since 2002, he has served as Chief Justice of Sixth District Court of Appeals.

In 2007, Morriss started the task of rebuilding four downtown Texarkana buildings and turning them into The Silvermoon on Broad. Since its completion in 2011, Morriss and his wife, Diana, have operated Silvermoon as a nonprofit facility as part of Texarkana's downtown renaissance.

Morriss is also active in Fellowship Bible Church, which he helped found in 1983. He is active in the Wilbur Smith Rotary Club, Hospice of Texarkana, the Texarkana USA Sesquicentennial Committee and with the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council Program Advisory Committee. He was also a founding member of Texarkana Repertory Co.

Scott Rozzell was born and raised in Wake Village and is a 1967 graduate of Texas High School. He received his undergraduate degree from Southern Methodist University and his law degree from the University of Texas. Rozzell retired as executive vice president and general counsel of CenterPoint Energy Inc. Before joining CenterPoint in 2001, he was a senior partner at Baker Botts LLP in Houston.

Rozzell is a former president of the Houston Bar Association, past director of the State Bar of Texas and past chair of the Texas Commission for Lawyer Discipline. He has received numerous accolades for his accomplishments from the Houston Business Journal, Texas Monthly, American Lawyer and World's Leading Lawyer. Rozzell is an avid pilot, and he currently serves as chair of the board of directors of the Lone Star Flight Museum.

Dr. Matt Young is a 1986 graduate of THS. He attended Texarkana College after graduating high school and earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Young graduated from medical school at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock.

Young started his career as an emergency department physician in Searcy, Arkansas, and worked in several other Arkansas medical centers until he moved back to Texarkana in 2000. Since returning to Texarkana, Young has served as medical director for the Red River Army Depot Fire and EMS Departments and medical director of emergency services at CHRISTUS St. Michael and Wadley Regional Medical Center. He also worked in emergency medicine at other regional and national locations.

Young is the medical director for LifeNet Inc., the First Responder Organization of Texarkana, and the Texarkana police and fire departments. He oversees the Texarkana College EMT Program, and he is the chief medical officer and owner of Texarkana Emergency Center.

Young serves on numerous emergency medicine committees throughout Northeast Texas and Southwest Arkansas.

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