Honor someone you feel has made a real difference in education in Jacksonville by making them an Influential Indian with a donation of $1,000 or more to the Jacksonville Education Foundation in their name.
If you would like to nominate someone as an Influential Indian please click the button below.Nominate Influential Indian
Neal McCoy (McGaughey) is a 1976 graduate of Jacksonville High School. He went on to become a country music legend with hit songs and numerous awards. Neal started reciting the Pledge of Allegiance live on his facebook page, and recently surpassed 1000 consecutive days of publicly reciting the Pledge. His page has millions of followers. HE also started the East Texas Angel Network along with his wife, Melinda, and has helped countless numbers of sick children through this network. He and his wife reside in Longview, Texas, but he will always be an Indian!
Gene Brumbelow was honored as an Influential Indian by his family. Gene has given a lifetime of service to the Jacksonville Community by serving on the city council, as mayor, Chamber Chair, Chairman of JEDCO, & Chairman of the Cherokee Country Club. He has also served on the Boards of Austin Bank, Stephen F. Austin, Lon Morris College, and the Texas Dairy Queen Council. Gene is a 1967 Mr. JHS and continues to support JISD in many ways through Gene Brumbelow Enterprises.
Dr. Larry Folden is a 1976 graduate of Jacksonville High School. He opened his dental practice in Jacksonville in 1984. His All Smiles Dental staff, along with family members, collaborated to appropriately name him an Influential Indian. Larry has served on many boards, including the Jacksonville ISD Board of Trustees for 9 years. He and his family continue to be avid supporters of JISD.
Todd Travis was named an Influential Indian by the Travis Family in 2018. A JHS alumni, he was a kicker for the Fightin’ Indians as well as a star soccer player. He continues to serve on the JISD School Board and is also a radio stats reporter during Indian football games. Todd gives much back to Jacksonville ISD through his dedicated service to our community and school district.
John Clark was honored by Harry and Norma Tilley in August, 2018 by being named an Influential Indian. He is a 1952 graduate of JHS where he played football, basketball, and tennis. He went on to become a legendary head football coach in Plano, Texas where he won 2 state championships. The football stadium is now named in his honor. He returned to the Tomato Bowl recently when attending a class reunion, and was able to be on the field for the coin toss. Once an Indian, Always an Indian.
Jana Autry was recognized as an Influential Indian by the Board of the Jacksonville Education Foundation. Jana is a leader in the Jacksonville community and is very generous with her time and talents to both the city and the school district. She was a Board member of the Jacksonville Education Foundation for many years, and she and her husband, Barry, are annual supporters of a Classroom Grant. Many thanks to Mrs. Autry for her contributions to JISD.
Cathy Stephens, a long time kindergarten teacher in Jacksonville ISD, was surprised by her family and friends with the Influential Indian award in August, 2018. Cathy is a constant source of support to her family and those friends still involved in teaching. She has four children, and all four are JHS graduates. Congratulations, Cathy for a much deserved honor!
Introduced by her daughters and named by her family and close friends, Cynthia Durrett exemplifies what an Influential Indian should be. She has spent a lifetime of service to her family, and to Jacksonville ISD as a parent, teacher, club sponsor, advocate and much more. She currently serves as the president of the Jacksonville Education Foundation. She is retired from JISD and resides at Lake Jacksonville with her husband, Dennis. They have 2 daughters, both graduates of JHS and four grandchildren.
Anita Snider is a JHS graduate and a long time employee of Austin Bank. She serves as Vice President of Human Resources and has a reputation as one of the nicest people around and a pleasure to work with according to Jeff Austin, III who introduced her as one of Austin Bank’s Influential Indians for 2018. Congratulations, Anita! Well-deserved honor!
Lynn Littlejohn is a Class of 1979 graduate and a valuable asset to Austin Bank. A long time employee, Lynn is currently the Executive Vice-President of Human Resources and is one of the reasons Austin Bank has remained on the list of Top 10 Companies in Texas to work for. She is a valued employee and Austin Bank appropriately surprised her with the distinction of Influential Indian in August, 2018.
Andy Phillips loves Jacksonville and has been active in the community for most of his life. He and his wife, Susan (Todd) Phillips, are both graduates of JHS and settled back in East Texas after living in the Dallas area. He loves Jacksonville, more importantly, he loves the people of Jacksonville and his enthusiasm for enjoying a spur of the moment talk or visit has made many days brighter for so many of his friends. Austin Bank named him an Influential Indian, and Andy is certainly worthy of the designation.
Rudy Jaramillo was appropriately named an Influential Indian by Eric and Bev Lewis in August 2018 at the Evening With Our Star event. Rudy is a 2004 graduate of JHS and is currently the boys soccer and cross country coach at Jacksonville High School. He has inspired countless numbers of youth both on a field and off throughout his entire life and is an inspiration to many. Rudy is married to Jenna (Lewis) Jaramillo, also a 2004 graduate and who teaches for JISD. They have one daughter, Diamond Jaramillo.
Mike Traylor was honored with the Influential Indian designation by his family. His son, Michael, presented the award and noted the many years of service to the less fortunate in our community that his father has been dedicated to. He was a proud varsity Fightin’ Indian and Mr. JHS of the Class of 1978. He and his wife, Grace, also a JHS graduate, have five children, all active in the local school district and community.
Jacki Bolton was named an Influential Indian by the staff of Nichols Intermediate School where she has taught for many years and served as a leader on the campus. Her career with Jacksonville ISD has been long and she is considered to have made a huge impact in whatever capacity she serves. Jacki truly has a servant’s heart, and those around her benefit daily from her positive attitude. JISD is blessed to have a Jacki Bolton on staff!
The staff of Jacksonville High School and the Administrators of JISD collaborated to surprise the JHS Principal, Karen Kubara will the Influential Indian Award in recognition of her amazing leadership at JHS. Her quiet and steady leadership has earned her the immense respect of her staff and she obviously is appreciated on a high level on her campus. She was presented the award by longtime JHS teacher, Carol Cummins, during JISD Convocation in August, 2018.