Dobie alumni chosen this year for induction in the school's Hall of Honor are Dr. Barbara Taylor-Cox, Class of 1977; Cmdr. Jonathan Carter, Class of 1995; Gersson Rosas, Class of 1996; and David Buehrer, Class of 2002.
UPDATING: The time and location of this event has changed. The induction ceremony will be held on Friday, Feb. 24, at 6:15 p.m. in the front foyer of the school. A reception for the inductees and their families will begin at 5 p.m. in the foyer. The following story has been updated to include those changes.
BY REESHA BROWN
Pasadena ISD Communications
Four Dobie High School alumni with four diverse career backgrounds are among five individuals who will make history next month when they are inducted into the Longhorns’ Hall of Honor.
Alumni selected for induction are Dr. Barbara Taylor-Cox, Class of 1977; Cmdr. Jonathan Carter, Class of 1995; Gersson Rosas, Class of 1996; and David Buehrer, Class of 2002.
Rounding out the inductee list is this year’s lone faculty inductee: former tennis coach Bobby Kramer, the architect of the Longhorns’ surge to regional tennis prominence in both boys and girls competition three decades ago.
A ceremony to honor the new inductees is set for tonight (Feb. 24) at 6:15 p.m. in Dobie's front foyer. The event is open to the public.
A reception for the inductees and their families will begin at 5 p.m. in the foyer.
The new group of inductees will bring the total number of alumni, former faculty members and community volunteers who have been selected for the Hall of Honor to 40. The Dobie Hall of Honor program was launched in 2013.
Inductees are selected each fall by a committee of faculty and staff members at the school.
Dr. Taylor-Cox, a longtime Houston pediatrician, is an expert on child-rearing issues. Her affiliations include Texas Children’s Hospital, the Women’s Hospital of Texas, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Memorial Herman in the Medical District and West Houston Medical Center, where she served as chief of pediatrics.
Cmdr. Carter, a 17-year Coast Guard veteran, is currently the skipper of the 270-foot cutter USCGC Legare, based out of Portsmouth, Va. A decade ago, he captained a Coast Cutter during a 14-month deployment in the Persian Gulf. Later, he became the first Coast Guardsman ever named to the President’s Emergency Operation Center in the White House.
As executive vice president of the Houston Rockets, Rosas is the No. 2 person in charge of the team’s personnel matters. He has been a key player in trade acquisition of all-star James Harden and helped recruit NBA standout Dwight Howard. In 2013, he served briefly as general manager of the Dallas Mavericks, becoming the first Latin American GM in NBA history.
Buehrer, a Houston restaurant and coffee shop entrepreneur, has developed a reputation locally as the consummate barista. He is co-owner of Greenway Coffee Company -- and has opened Blacksmith in the Montrose district and Morningstar, in the Heights. Buehrer is the co-founder and vice preside of the OKRA Charity Bar, a downtown establishment from which all profits go to various Houston charities.
An induction ceremony to honor the alumni and former faculty member has been set for Friday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. in the school’s auditorium. A reception will follow. The event is open to the public.
DOBIE'S 2017 HALL OF HONOR INDUCTEES
BARBARA TAYLOR-COX / Class of 1977
If there’s something that Dr. Barbara Taylor-Cox doesn’t know about children’s health or the problems of parents, it can only be because the ailment – or the problem -- hasn’t been discovered yet.
Bullying. How to safely ride a bike. How to raise twins. Which insects kids need to avoid and why. A pediatrician for the past 28 years, Dr. Taylor-Cox is a well-known expert on all aspects of child-raising -- A to Z.
A popular speaker with the Ovation talent group, Dr. Taylor-Cox covers dozens of topics with keen insight and humor. So you want to talk about “Childhood Obesity,” one of her speech topics? The title continues:
“They Aren’t Driving Themselves to the Drive Through.”
Her four years at Dobie were marked by high academic achievement and contributions to her school. She served as head twirler as a senior, was selected as homecoming queen and elected student body president. She was named Outstanding Senior Girl and was chosen a Dobie Trailblazer.
After graduation, she earned her undergraduate degree from Houston Baptist University and then her doctorate from the University of Texas-Houston Medical School. In 1988, Dr. Taylor-Cox completed her residency at both Memorial Hermann and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, where she was named outstanding senior resident. While in training, she served as a Life Flight pediatric physician.
That done, she pursued her first love in the medical field – pediatrics – an opportunity, as she saw it, to maintain an ongoing relationship with children and their parents over two decades or more.
Forty years after graduating from high school, Dr. Taylor-Cox is at the top of her profession. She is the founder and owner of Personal Pediatrics of Houston and maintains affiliations with Texas Children’s Hospital, the Women’s Hospital of Texas, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Memorial Herman in the Medical Center and West Houston Medical Center, where she served as chief of pediatrics.
Dr. Taylor-Cox doubles as a podcast host on Houston-based Radio Brave for a program titled “Healthy Kids / Happy Kids.” Her podcasts are also available on iTunes.
Board certified, she is a fellow with the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is consistently voted one of Houston’s top pediatricians by H (Houston) Magazine.
And, yes, she does have some parental experience on the subject of parenting. Dr. Taylor-Cox and her husband, Ray Cox, a property tax attorney, are the parents of twin boys, Tyler and Colton, both juniors at Rice University.
JONATHAN CARTER / Class of 1995
Chatter isn’t unusual on the baseball field. Unless it’s the umpire who’s doing most of the talking.
Jonathan Carter, then a first baseman for Sam Houston State, thought it strange that much of the diamond dialogue was coming from the man in blue. Between balls and strikes -- or between outs -- the ump had his own pitch to deliver, one that was hard to ignore.
It started one day, in the middle of a game, with a question – “What do you plan to do after graduation?” Carter hadn’t given it a lot of thought, but somewhere in his response he mentioned the Coast Guard.
“Well,” said the ump, “I just happen to be a Coast Guard recruiter. We’re looking for guys like you. You ought to come see me.”
Several games later the ump was still chattering, so Carter went to see him. He applied for Officer Candidate School and was accepted. Nearly two decades later, that college first baseman is Cmdr. Jonathan Carter, captain of one of the Coast Guard’s largest cutters -- and a war veteran with service tours at the Pentagon and the White House.
In 2008, after 13 months in command of a ship in the Iraq War zone, he became the first Coast Guardsman ever appointed to the President’s Emergency Operations Center in the White House. He served there during the final year of the George W. Bush administration and the first 18 months of the Barack Obama administration.
Two years later, he was chosen to attend the Naval War College, where he graduated with a Masters of Arts in National Security and Strategic Policy. Next up were two liaison officer assignments, the second at the Pentagon, where he served in the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Then it was back to the open water.
Last July, Cmdr. Carter took command of the Coast Guard cutter Legare, a 270-foot medium endurance vessel stationed out of Portsmouth, Va., and manned by a crew of 110. Legare’s first patrol included a transit of the Panama Canal and resulted in seizures of cocaine with a wholesale value of nearly $60 million.
On the same patrol, Legare intercepted two unseaworthy vessels in the Florida Straits, saving the lives of 16 Cuban migants.
Cmdr. Carter earned three varsity baseball letters at Dobie and was named All-Greater Houston his senior season after contributing to the Longhorns’ playoff sprint to the regional finals. He also lettered two years as a wide receiver in football, earning all-district honors his senior year as a punter.
Cmdr. Carter’s first ship command was aboard the cutter Aquidneck, which was assigned to protect coalition assets in the Persian Gulf during the Iraq War. After returning home, he took command of the cutter Pea Island.
Carter and his wife, the former Amy Michalczak, make their home in Stafford, Va., along with two daughters, Alison and Katelynn; and a son, Matthew. When not on duty, he helps coach a teenage girls softball team and commands the third-base coaching box -- where he chatters a lot.
GERSSON ROSAS / Class of 1996
Compared with the company he keeps in the National Basketball Association, Gersson Rosas doesn’t sky above the rim all that well. Unless you take into account the career ladder he’s used to soar to the heights of NBA management.
In just 13 seasons with the Houston Rockets, Rosas has gone from intern all the way up to the Rockets’ Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, which makes him the No. 2 person in charge of team player personnel matters – right behind the team’s general manager, Daryl Morey.
Rosas is widely considered one of the brightest young minds in professional basketball. In 2013, at the tender age of 35, Rosas was named general manager of the Dallas Mavericks, the first Latin American GM in the history of the league. The job wasn’t the fit Rosas was looking for. After three months, he resigned and returned to the Rockets, who greeted him with a promotion to his current role.
Although an early bloomer in NBA management circles, Rosas was a late-comer to basketball. He emigrated to the U.S. from Colombia, graduated from Dobie and only then -- with his enrollment at the University of Houston -- did he fall under the spell of big-time hoops. He earned a degree in marketing, graduating cum laude in 2000.
For the next four years, he fattened his resume with a variety of basketball jobs: coordinator for the Venezuelan Basketball Federation, an assistant coach for Westbury Christian High’s 2003 state championship team and as a graduate assistant for the UH basketball squad.
Rosas joined the Rockets as an intern in 2004 and was soon assigned to the team’s scouting department as video coordinator. In 2008, he was named the Rockets’ personnel director and just two years later the vice president of player personnel.
He has been at the center of several major roster developments over the past decade. In 2013, he played a key behind-the-scenes role in the trade acquisition of all-star James Harden and helped recruit free-agent Dwight Howard, another of the NBA’s top talents. Harden and Howard were instrumental in leading the Rockets to the Western Conference finals in 2015.
Rosas continues to take on assignments related to his player development insights. Formerly the general manager of the Rockets’ NBA Development League affiliate in the Rio Grande Valley – where he built two championship teams -- he now serves as International Player Personnel Scout for USA Basketball’s men’s national team. He remains a participant in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program and currently serves as director of the organization’s Americas Camp program.
He is married to the former Susana Howard, also a 1996 Dobie Graduate. The couple has two children, twins Grayson and Giana.
DAVID BUEHRER / Class of 2002
Somewhere around the time he arrived at Dobie with several hundred other insecure freshmen, David Buehrer realized he had a passion for working. With work, he soon realized, came coffee breaks.
Now Buehrer’s life is one endless coffee break. But don’t assume that to be grounds for inactivity.
Folks who live in and around Midtown know Buehrer as the consummate barista – an expert in coffee beans, blends and all the beverages that derive from them. The derivatives of Buehrer’s obsession with coffee are a part of Houston’s eclectic culture and they continue to multiple.
In 2008, just six years out of high school, Buehrer and a partner opened Greenway Coffee Company and went about introducing artisan coffee (that is, coffee produced as is fine wine: nurtured rather than manufactured) to Houston customers. Five years later, he opened Blacksmith, a coffee and tea shop with breakfast and lunch selections, in the Montrose district.
Career-wise, it seems as if Buehrer has just set down his first cup and barged out the door. Last May, he opened a third coffeehouse, Morningstar, in the Heights. Coffee, of course, is the attraction. So are donuts – made, naturally, with all natural ingredients.
Buehrer also serves as culinary curator for TEDxHouston, which promotes local art and technology events. He’s a project collaborator with the Yuketen shoe and accessories company. And he’s the co-founder and vice president of the OKRA Charity Bar, a downtown establishment from which all profits go to various Houston charities. OKRA donations are already closing in on the $1 million mark.
Buehrer has never known a slow pace. At age 14, he cashed his first paycheck – from his job as a paraoptometric, the youngest in Texas. He worked at a shoe store. He delivered lost bags for Southwest Airlines. Most significantly, at age 16, he went to work at Shakespeare’s Coffee Bar on Sabo Road.
He loved the comradery with customers, loved being a part of the daily routine of the community. He also delighted in the Vietnamese cuisine offered in the South Belt community. His future, he decided, was in gourmet coffee, wholesome food and community involvement.
Buehrer’s mind continues to percolate with new ideas – including a plan to convert part of the 100-year-old Maxwell House plant in the East End into a food court and museum.
“Good to the last drop.”
That time-worn slogan seems to be exactly what Buehrer has in mind as his a career goal.
DOBIE TENNIS COACH / 1977-1995
Always eager to heap generous praise on his players for their hard work – and on their parents for their commitment -- Bobby Kramer produced tennis teams that dominated District 23-5A in the mid-1980s and put Dobie on the state tennis map.
Within a half-dozen years after taking over the tennis program, Kramer began to glean championship players from a community not blessed with country-club talent or any kind of well-developed youth program. At its peak, Kramer’s teams earned Top 10 state rankings with a run of district championships.
Starting in 1983, his girls captured five straight team tennis titles. Starting in 1985, his combined boys and girls team won three straight district titles.
The 1985 and 1987 squads reached the region semifinals. In 1986, the Longhorns reached the region final, falling just one step short of state.
That squad won 59 of 63 matches in district play and swept the district field in head-to-head competition, 7-0.
In the spring of 1986, the Dobie doubles duo of Bobby Burton and Steve Scarbrough qualified for the state tournament. Burton and Scarbrough reached the quarter-finals before bowing to a tandem from Amarillo Tascosa.
The roll of standout players developed by Kramer also includes Jennifer Jordan, who earned the distinction of playing on district championship teams in each of her four years at Dobie.
Burton, now a successful sports recruiting entrepreneur and a 2013 inductee into the Dobie’s Alumni Hall of Honor, recalls the endless hours he and his teammates spent on tennis courts around the South Belt area – and the frequency with which their high school coach showed up to observe.
“Just about every day, we'd see Coach Kramer drive by to check on us,” Burton says. “He'd park and just sit there and watch. Sometimes, he'd throw a can of balls out to us. He knew we'd hit the other ones so much that they didn't have any bounce in them.”
When it came to providing for his players’ needs, Bobby Kramer was generous to a fault.