Pasadena ISD honors 2016 Distinguished Citizen, Dr. Iraj Jabbary
Dr. Iraj Jabbary is honored by Pasadena ISD as the 2016 Distinguished Citizen of the Year.
By Reesha Brown
| Dr. Jabbary celebrates the accomplishment with his ABC Dental family.
Nearly 100 family, friends and local officials gathered Tuesday night as the Pasadena ISD Board of Trustees honored ABC Dental owner and humanitarian Dr. Iraj Jabbary as the 2016 Distinguished Citizen.
“I am very proud to have been privileged to give back and I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to make a positive impact in my community and teach my children to continue this philosophy,” Dr. Jabbary said.
Humbled by the recognition, he shared this accomplishment with his staff, many of whom were in attendance cheering him on.
“This award would not have been possible without the inspiration I have received from my ABC Dental family,” Dr. Jabbary said. “Together, we have been able to accomplish more than ever imagined.”
Dr. Jabbary was accompanied by his son, ABC Dental compliance manager A.J. Jabbary and longtime manager Carolina Turrubiates. Also in attendance were previous Distinguished Citizens Hermann Williams, associate pastor Emory Gadd of Sagemont and former superintendent Dr. Kirk Lewis.
Dr. Jabbary’s son fought back tears as his father was honored.
“Secretly this is something I’ve wanted for him for a long time, but we don’t do this for the recognition,” A.J. said. “At the same time, he has been so deserving of this for so long. To see this group of people honor him tonight, knowing who they are and what they do for the community, it’s really overwhelming. I’m truly happy for him.”
In his 20-year career in dentistry with ABC Dental, Dr. Jabbary has served families in Rosenberg, Cleveland, Galena Park, Houston and Pasadena, raising awareness about oral health while providing a cozy atmosphere where children, families and staff can feel comfortable.
In addition to his work with ABC Dental, Dr. Jabbary’s involvement in the school district has helped increase access to dental care among children and provided the resources to help them be healthy and successful in school.
He has worked continuously with PISD’s Special Programs Department to provide complimentary access to dental service, scholarships, school supplies and wellness resources for students in the area. He has also been a Major Sponsor for Pasadena ISD Education Foundation fundraisers, continuously giving at the top level as a Major Sponsor for the McDonald’s Texas Invitational Basketball Tournament and hosting tables for the district’s Shining Stars Gala as a Platinum Sponsor.
Dr. Jabbary’s most notable effort was the Smiles on Wheels initiative, which provided 29,000 bicycles for students in need during the Christmas holidays. He also hosted an annual back-to-school fair. Both of the events were discontinued due to state regulations. These events may have concluded, but he said, “our philosophy did not.”
“Together we were able to purchase, build and donate thousands of bicycles and 33,000 packages of school supplies for five years. Everything happened because we worked together and did this for the right reasons.”
At the close of the program, a bronze commemorative plaque was presented to Dr. Jabbary by Pasadena ISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. DeeAnn Powell and members of the school board.
“Thank you for passing on your gift for giving to our students. We know you have made your family proud,” said Nelda Sullivan, board president.
As an added token of appreciation, Dr. Jabbary also received a gold-painted bike for Smiles on Wheels.
“Even though his family did not have a lot of money, his brother wanted to make Iraj happy by gifting him with his first bicycle,” Sullivan said. “He was so honored to receive the bike that he would sleep next to it and clean it every morning. Dr. Jabbary decided to pass this experience on to students in need so they too could have the same feeling of ownership and knowing there are people who care.”
After a standing ovation from the audience, Dr. Jabbary talked about his experience moving from Iran to the U.S. to seek growth opportunities and make his father proud.
“I have faced many challenges in my life, but with my father’s influence, I was able to serve through the strength that defined who I am today,” Dr. Jabbary said.
Filled with joy from the recognition, Dr. Jabbary said he plans to continue his humanitarian work with Pasadena and its school district.
“I promise I will remain true to my mission of helping and educating others,” Dr. Jabbary said. “From the bottom of my heart, thank you and God bless.”
For the full photo album, please visit the District Facebook Page.
Dr. Jabbary celebrates the occasion with one of his son's A.J.
2007 Distinguished Citizen Herman Williams and the new honoree have a chat at the event.
Joining the festivities is former school superintendent Dr. Kirk Lewis, Dr. Iraj Jabbary and PISD community relations director Cindy Parmer.
Dr. DeeAnn Powell, school superintendent and board president Nelda Sullivan unveil the plaque.
Pictured: Board of Trustees Vickie Morgan, School Superintendent Dr. DeeAnn Powell, Mariselle Quijano, Marshall Kendrick, Dr. Iraj Jabbary, Kenny Fernandez, Nelda Sullivan, Jack Bailey, and Fred Roberts.
ABC Dental staff congratulate him on the accomplishment.
Dr. Jabbary's team celebrates with the honoree.
His team gathers around the bike, given to him on behalf of the district for his bike donations to students.
Dr. Jabbary and Board President Nelda Sullivan