Longview, TX —
Longview ISD on May 11 will honor three former students during the annual Distinguished Alumni ceremony and luncheon.
Events are set to begin at 9:30 a.m. with the Longview ISD Foundation commemorative brick presentation at the Lobo Foundation Plaza (near the home entrance to Lobo Stadium). This event is free and open to the public.
An 11:15 a.m. reception at Pinecrest Country Club will be followed by lunch at 11:30. Tickets for the luncheon can be purchased from Debbie Leith at the Education Support Center, 1301 E. Young St., by May 8th for $15.
Honorees are nominated at-large and chosen by a committee of previous honorees, volunteer Distinguished Alumni Committee members and the district’s Community Relations office. Distinguished alumni typically have excelled professionally, in addition to serving the communities in which they live. Following are brief biographies of this year’s honorees:
Brenda Gale Moss-Mathis
Brenda Gale Moss-Mathis is known to many East Texans for her extensive experience and success in the banking business. She has also worked tirelessly to make Longview a better place to live.
Moss-Mathis graduated from Longview High School in 1976. She attended Kilgore College, East Texas State University (now known as Texas A&M Commerce) and earned a general banking diploma from the American Institute of Banking in 1986 while working in operations Kilgore First National Bank.
Driven by her work ethic and strong desire to succeed, Moss-Mathis worked her way up the ranks, serving in the area banking industry as assistant vice president, branch manager, and vice president of commercial lending – a position she has held at Texas Bank and Trust since 2007.
Wherever there has been a need in the Longview area, Moss-Mathis has likely lent a hand. She has served on the boards of the Kilgore Chamber of Commerce, Boys and Girls Club of Longview, Longview Museum of Fine Arts and the Kilgore Crisis Center, among other boards. Moss-Mathis is also a member of Zonta Club of Longview and for years volunteered with Alley Fest, March of Dimes and area Kiwanis clubs. She was the February, 2002 Star Over Longview.
Dr. Pruedence Brooks
Pruedence Brooks’ educational, career and civic activities share a common theme: improving people’s lives.
From the time she graduated from Longview High School in 1992, Dr. Brooks worked toward becoming a psychologist. She earned a Bachelor of Science from University of Houston, San Antonio, and her M.S. and doctorate in psychology from Our Lady of the Lake University in Houston and San Antonio, respectively.
Dr. Brooks’ clinical work has included working with MHMR of Harris County with anger management and ADHD groups; and counseling with primarily pregnant or post-partum teens and other at-risk patients.
Brooks is also passionate about teaching others how to help people, having instructed several psychology and therapy classes at the college level. She also spoke on mental health issues to the Galilee Baptist Church mission department in 2007 and 2008.
At Longview High School, Brooks was a member of Academic Decathlon, JETS, Z Club, student council, SRO and Library Club. She was also a homecoming duchess and football sweetheart.
Dr. Bill Bussey
Since graduating from Longview High School in 1961, Bill Bussey has earned international respect and recognition for his hot air ballooning achievements, which include 14 world records. He is also a member of the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame.
Bussey’s name is synonymous with The Great Texas Balloon Race, an idea he conceived more than 34 years ago. The annual event is Longview’s largest tourist attraction. Bussey is also the originator of the “balloon glow,” which is now copied around the world.
Long before he took to the Longview-area skies, Bussey earned his bachelor of arts from the University of Texas, and his D.D.S. degree from the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry. He graduated from the U.S. Army Medical Field Service School. He served a tour in the U.S. Army Dental Corps before returning to Longview and opening a private dental practice, which he still operates after 43 years.
Throughout the years, Bussey has served on the board of the Greater Longview United Way and Good Shepherd Medical Center, as well as chairman of The Great Texas Balloon Race, and president of the Daybreak Kiwanis Club and Ducks Unlimited.