Touchdown for TEACH 2016: Sold Out Event with Troy Aikman


Ellie Francisco


HOUSTON (November 16, 2016) – High wattage energy and a sold-out crowd for the 4th annual Touchdown for TEACH event made for an entertaining evening as over 480 guests packed into the ballroom at River Oaks Country Club on Tuesday, November 15. Chairs and tables were wall to wall in the ballroom. Special Guest Troy Aikman, interviewed by Spencer Tillman, had supporters applauding as he remarked on his 3 time Super Bowl winning football career and his transition to Emmy nominated broadcaster for Fox Sports.  Questions ranged from the importance of education and a good teacher to his most memorable moment in the NFL. 

Co-founders Susan D. Sarofim and Mary Yenik were cheering the huge success which raised a record breaking $700,000 for the program that works to give educators in low-income schools strategies in de-escalation and conflict resolution. The organization will net the entire amount raised thanks to Fayez Sarofim who underwrote the entire event.

Educators that work with TEACH have fewer disciplinary referrals, calmer and more productive classrooms, and improved student achievement. A special award was given to long time supporter Tracy Krohn.  Principal Bertie Simmons spoke about the impact TEACH has in the school.  Simmons has led the efforts at Furr High School to turn the school around and change the lives of hundreds of students, leading to Furr receiving a $10 million grant through a new national contest sponsored by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Simmons said TEACH’s approach to coaching educators has transformed how her educators interact with students, ultimately allowing the school to achieve better results and win the grant.  Event Chairmen for the third year in a row Carol and Mike Linn and Honorary Chairmen for the fourth year in a row DeeDee and Wallis Marsh were thrilled with the evening and at the number of HISD schools that will benefit from guests’ generosity.

Executive Director Kelly Krohn said, "We feel like we just went to the Super Bowl—thank you to everyone who made this event a success. TEACH already reaches over 8,000 students, and thanks to everyone’s help tonight, we can expand that impact.”

Seen in the crowd: Fayez Sarofim, Laurie Krohn, Kristina and Paul Somerville, Richard Carranza (Superintendent of Houston Independent School District), Scott Muri (Superintendent of Spring Branch Independent School District) Pam Wells (Executive Director of Region 4 Education Service Center), Soraya and Scott McClelland, Joanne King Herring, Hallie Vanderhider, Donna and Tony Vallone, Joann and Bill Crassas, Margaret Alkek Williams, Grace Kim, Stephanie Tsuru, Leticia and Steve Trauber, Kathy and Paul Murphy, Judie Oudt, Gaye Lynn and Stuart Zarrow, Chuck Jenness, Susan and Richard Keeton, Belinda and Corky Hillhouse, Bruce Derrick, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Dan Pickering, Philamena and Arthur Baird, Frances Marzio, Bill King, Shirley Dannenbaum, Rusty Hardin, Peter Remington, and Megan and Brian Cushing.