Five Alumni, Two Acclaimed Teachers Set for Sam Rayburn Induction on Saturday

Five Alumni, Two Acclaimed Teachers Set for Sam Rayburn Induction on Saturday
Posted on 02/25/2015
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new oneTwo current members of the Pasadena ISD Board of Trustees, two beloved former teachers and a fallen Pasadena police officer are among seven individuals set for induction in the Sam Rayburn High Hall of Honor on Saturday.

The two Pasadena board members -- Jack Bailey, who graduated from Sam Rayburn in 1967, and Mariselle Lerma-Quijano, a 1990 Sam Rayburn grad -- are two of five Sam Rayburn alumni who will be added to the Hall of Honor as part of the school's second annual induction ceremony.

The three additional alumni to be inducted are: the late Ronald Sollock, Class of 1966, who career as a military physician included a medical oversight role at Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba; Randall Fluke, Class of 1977, a judge for both the federal and military court systems; and the late Jeffrey Ginn, Class of 1980, an officer with the Pasadena Police Department who was shot to death while on duty in 1991.

Former faculty members to be inducted are Robert Baker, a popular history teacher and artist who taught at Sam Rayburn for 27 years; and Ray Witt, who produced award-winning choirs and dozens of state-acclaimed singers in his eight years as chorale director.

A ceremony to honor the seven new inductees will take place on Saturday beginning at 5 p.m. in the Sam Rayburn High auditorium. A reception will follow in the cafeteria.

Sam Rayburn alumni and all members of the public are invited to attend.

The Hall of Honor was launched in 2014 -- the school's 50th anniversary year -- with the induction of six alumni and two faculty members.

Class of 1966

The news, in the fall of 1968, that he would be warming the bench as a Rice football player came as a shock to Ronnie Sollock. It may have been the ultimate blessing in disguise.

Determined to find an interest outside of football, Sollock threw himself into the academic side of college life – specifically, into biochemistry. Eventually, he would become a doctor, a Navy captain and the man responsible for the well-being of everyone serving – and detained – at Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba.

Sollock played on Sam Rayburn’s first football team in 1964 and scored the Texans’ first touchdown in their debut game, a victory over Spring Woods. As a senior, he earned all-district honors and was voted Mr. Sam Rayburn by his classmates. He earned a football scholarship to Rice and, as a sophomore in 1967, started every game at cornerback.

As a junior, his playing time dwindled – and Sollock charted a new course. Eventually, he earned his Ph.D from Rice and his medical degree from the Baylor College of Medicine. Following his internship in 1979, he was commissioned as a Navy officer and did residency work at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland.

Over the next 20 years, Sollock excelled as both a military and private sector physician. He spent a year as head of the NASA Headquarters Clinic in Washington.  He served as a senior flight surgeon for HMX1, the Marine Presidential Helicopter Squadron responsible for the transporting the president and other high government officials.

He also served as head of the Department of Internal Medicine at Quantico Medical Clinic in Virginia, in the Office of the Navy Inspector General, as an assistant professor of medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, as head of Manpower Policy and Planning for the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery and as executive office at the Naval Hospital in Beaufort, S.C. Additionally, he served as the accompanying physician for several congressional delegations as they traveled throughout the world.   

In 2006, having attained the rank of Navy captain, Sollock began an 18-month tour of duty as head of the Naval Hospital at Guantanamo.  There, he was responsible for the care of over 10,000 service personnel. He also served as chief surgeon of Joint Task Force Guantanamo, a position in which he led the medical team responsible for the medical care of foreign combat detainees at the base.

Capt. Sollock died on May 27, 2009. At the time of his death, he was heavily involved with Navy organizations working on base closures and military consolidation plans. 

He was a fellow of the American College of Endocrinology and a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.  He was a recipient of multiple Legion of Merit awards, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal and numerous other decorations.  

Class of 1967

Jack Bailey’s contributions to the Pasadena community reached a pinnacle in 2010 when he was elected to serve on the Pasadena ISD Board of Trustees. Since then, Bailey has served a pair of one-year terms as board president while becoming one of the most active members of the Pasadena ISD Education Foundation other school district-related groups.

Most notably, Bailey has played the lead role in organizing the annual Education Foundation Golf Tournament, now one of the foundation’s top revenue sources. He also serves on the organizing committees for the McDonald’s Texas Invitational Basketball Tournament and the Pasadena ISD Athletics Hall of Fame.

Pasadena, however, isn’t the only community on Bailey’s public-service plate. He currently serves on the board of directors of Operación San Andrés (OSA), an organization committed to relieving poverty in Collique, a shantytown on the outskirts of Lima, Peru.  Bailey travels to Lima twice a year to help provide medical services and assist in home construction. Last fall Bailey helped to break ground on a church building in Collique. 

Bailey can truly be called a blue-blooded Sam Rayburn Texan. Born in Alabama, he spent his schools days in the Pasadena ISD, arriving at Sam Rayburn as sophomore when the school opened in 1964. After graduating from the University of Houston, he married Kathy Corder, his high school sweetheart and a 1968 Sam Rayburn graduate. 

Kathy Bailey went on to teach 26 year in the Pasadena ISD. She and Jack raised two sons, John and Stephen, both Sam Rayburn graduates. Both boys married Pasadena ISD graduates who took up education careers within the district. 

During his boys’ youth sports days, Bailey coached and served on the boards of three Pasadena baseball organizations. He worked with the American Legion baseball program and assisted in coaching the team that represented Sam Rayburn High, including several squads that advanced to the American Legion Baseball state finals. 

Most of Bailey’s working career was spent in the greater Houston area in association with the local J. I. Case heavy construction equipment dealership.  He entered the dealership as a sales representative, served as sales manager and then finished as vice president and general manager.  

Jack and Kathy Bailey are now retired. They remain active members of South Main Baptist Church in Pasadena, where Jack teaches an adult Sunday School class and serves with the deacon body.

Class of 1977 

June Clark, an English teacher at Sam Rayburn years ago, measured up the talents of young Randy Fluke one day and announced a verdict. “I see you becoming a fine jurist one day,” she said. 

History has sustained her prediction. Over a 30-year legal career that began in a small Panhandle town and today supports the highest principles of military law, Col. Fluke has become “a fine jurist,” indeed. 

A former prosecutor, Col. Fluke now serves as a military judge assigned to the Army’s 150th Legal Operational Detachment. As such, he presides over general and special courts-martial cases. Col. Fluke branched out from the civilian ranks in 1988 when he was commissioned as a first lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the Army Reserve.  

After graduating from Sam Rayburn, Fluke earned an associate’s degree from San Jacinto College and then a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas. He entered the Texas Tech School of Law and received his law degree in 1984. He immediately began his legal career with a law firm in Tahoka, Texas. He soon moved on to prosecution work with district attorney’s offices in Lubbock and then Midland counties. 

After receiving his Army commission, Fluke began service in the federal courts as an assistant attorney for the Eastern District of Texas. In early 2003, Fluke was mobilized in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as an assistant command judge advocate and trial counsel for the 807th medical command.  

He is the recipient of numerous military awards and citations, among them the Meritorious Service Award, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. In 2002, then-Major Fluke received the Col. Ted E. Bailey Award by the State Bar of Texas for outstanding service by a military lawyer in Texas. 

In 1995, while living in North Texas, he was elected to the Sherman school board. He remained a board member for nine years, serving twice as president. After moving to Southeast Texas, he was appointed to the Beaumont ISD citizens’ advisory bond committee. 

Two year ago, he earned a master’s degree in strategic studies from the Army War College in Carlisle, Penn. 

Class of 1980

A favorite with his teachers and schoolmates, Jeff Ginn had his sights set on a police career at a young age. He joined the Pasadena Police Department in April of 1983, and during his eight years of service earned numerous commendations for brave and selfless acts. 

He earned the nickname “Office Grin” from his colleagues on the force for his engaging, ever-present smile. 

Off-duty, Ginn committed time to one of his great passions – rodeo. He served on several committees of the Pasadena Livestock Show and Rodeo and was one of the founding members of the Pasadena Police Rodeo Association.  

He also competed in multiple events, such as wild horse racing and roping events. Ginn was an active member of First Baptist Church Pasadena. He was active also in the Pasadena Police Officers Association, Texas Motorcycle Police Officers Association and the Texas Municipal Police Association. 

Tragically, Ginn’s “end of watch” came all too soon.  

Only July 10, 1991, while investigating the report of a fire at a Pasadena residence, Ginn, just 29, was ambushed and shot to death by a mentally disturbed man. More than 2,000 people attended his funeral at First Baptist Church.  

Ginn left behind a wife, Ginny, and two young daughters.

Class of 1990

In more ways than one, Mariselle Quijano-Lerma’s life has been about golden arches. 

Her parents, Dominic and Nelly Quijano, arrived with the wave of immigrants from Cuba in 1961. Eleven years later, their second child, Mariselle, was both in New York City. But the family’s path to prosperity did not end there. 

When Mariselle was 12, her family moved to the booming state of Texas and settled in Houston, where Dominic and Nelly opened the first of their McDonald’s franchise. Three decades later, the family business includes 27 McDonald’s restaurants in Houston, Pasadena, La Porte, Galena Park, Pearland, Friendswood, Webster and League City – and provides more than 1,400 jobs. 

Twenty-five years after her graduation from Sam Rayburn, Mariselle is a full partner in the family’s McDonald’s operations -- and, of course, she’s “lovin’ it.” 

One passion, of course, had led to another. Six years ago, Quijano-Lerma was elected to the Pasadena ISD Board of Trustees. In that role, her service to the community continues at full speed, as a builder of golden arches for local school kids. 

After her graduation from Sam Rayburn, Quijano-Lerma earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Houston in 1995. At the same time, she was beginning her “graduate work” in helping manage the world’s most famous hamburger company. After receiving her UH degree, she was accepted as a teacher for McDonald’s management training classes. At that time, she was only bilingual instructor on the McDonald’s payroll. 

She became a franchise owner in 1996 and that same year was one of only six franchise owners selected to train as facilitators in the Senn-Delaney Leadership Seminars.  Over the past two decades, she has also served as a board member for the Houston chapter of the Ronald McDonald House Charities while lending her support to the Ronald McDonald Houses in both Houston and Galveston.   

Last year Quijano-Lerma was honored by the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce as Citizen of the Year. She serves on the board of the Pasadena ISD Education Foundation and the school district’s Future Facilities Planning Committee. She is a board member of HACER (Hispanic American Commitment to Educational Resources) and the McDonald’s Hispanic Network. 

Her long list of awards from McDonald’s includes the Golden Arch Award, the company’s most prestigious honor. She is also the recipient of the company’s People First Award, “Press On” Award, Streetfighter Award, Rising Star Award and Training Team Award. She has been an annual recipient of McDonald’s Outstanding Restaurant Award. 

Faculty / 1964-1991 

Robert Baker’s influence on his students, many of whom followed him into careers in education, can hardly be measured. His impact on Sam Rayburn can be seen every day at the entrance to the school. 

One of Sam Rayburn’s original faculty members, Baker personally designed the school seal and came up with the image of the original “Sam” mascot.  

“I designed the seal after the state of Texas seal -- and put a star on it about where Sam Rayburn would be,” Baker said. 

And Sam? 

“I toyed with the idea of a tall, muscle-bound type guy, but I did not want him to look like a cowboy,” he said. “I finally made enough sketches for a molder to create a life-size Sam.” 

Before joining the first Rayburn staff in 1964, Baker was a member of the original faculty at South Houston High, where his American history classes were among the most popular on campus. Students at both school remember his expertise on the Civil War and the way he made the issues of the day relevant and the battles come alive. 

Doubling up as a government teacher, he serves as chairman of Rayburn’s Social Studies department during his entire 27 years at the school. 

A Baylor graduate, Baker also sponsored the Chess Club and History Club – and coached the golf team for 10 years. His golf squads advanced to regional play four times from 1977 to 1984. 

In 1968, Baker was honored by the Pasadena Jaycees as the first recipient of their Educator of the Year Award. Twenty years later, he was named outstanding history teacher of the year by the Jane Long Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.  

A longtime member of the Pasadena Art League and a past president, Baker received many awards for his art work and praise for his art workshops around South Texas. In 1989, the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce honored him as artist of the year. 

After his retirement in 1991, Baker enjoyed the additional time spent with family, as well as painting, fishing, golf and supporting his Baylor Bears. A member of South Main Baptist Church of Pasadena, he organized art workshops and also golf tournaments for senior members and for children. 

Baker passed away on Nov. 3, 2010. 

Faculty / 1965-1973 

When past members of the Sam Rayburn Choir gathered four years ago to honor their director, Ray Witt, there was no escaping the echoes. Graying choir alums sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and the “Hallelujah Chorus,” all part of the choir’s acclaimed repertoire in the late 1960s and early 1970s. 

Witt led the Sam Rayburn choir for eight years before departing for the Los Angeles and the next phase of his career in music education. The legacy he left behind endures to this day. 

His Sam Rayburn Chorale and Madrigal Singers annually toured Texas and neighboring states, displaying levels of talent and energy that led to regular first-division performances at University Interscholastic League competition and dozens of All-Region and All-State individual selections. Choir musical productions – such as “Showboat,” “Oklahoma” and “South Pacific” – became annual sellout events. 

Witt was named organizer of the Texas All-Region Choir in 1969 and served for two years. In 1968, he was selected as outstanding young educator by the Pasadena Jaycees.  He founded the Pasadena Civic Chorus, a collection of Pasadena residents from all walks of life, all with an interest in singing. 

In 1968, the Pasadena Civic Chorus performed at HemisFair, the world’s fair in San Antonio. The chorus also performed at a social gala in Houston honoring Princess Grace and Prince Rainier of Monaco. 

Witt left the Rayburn in 1973 to take up doctoral work at the University of South California. He later moved to Florida for music ministry projects. Returning to Texas, he became chairman of the choral music department at Houston Baptist University. And associate director of the Houston Symphony Chorale. 

Witt and his wife, Sharon, reside in Houston. He remains active in entrepreneurial endeavors related to travel and insurance.