The awards were named after former English teacher William R. “Bob” Bell, who retired in 2015. Early in his career at the school, the West Point graduate helped to create TMI’s current honor system, including a student Honor Council and an Honor Code.
The TMI Core Values are: Dedication to Integrity, Passion for Learning, Journey into Spirituality, Commitment to Compassion and Enthusiasm for Excellence. “Bob approached everything he did at TMI – in and out of the classroom – with thoughtfulness and moral consideration. So when we were thinking about establishing these awards, we naturally thought of him,” said the Rev. Scott J. Brown, TMI Headmaster, who presented the awards with Bell.
History teacher Kristian Marks, faculty sponsor of the TMI Upper School Honor Council, received the Integrity award for his “moral dedication to fulfill all responsibilities with excellence and thereby best serve our students and the TMI community. His life and service provide an invaluable example to our students as they develop into lifelong servant leaders.’
English teacher and seventh-grade form leader Lucy Adams, who received the Learning award, was described in her nomination as “reflective and knowledgeable about educating students. She inspires students toward academic achievement by living out a love for teaching and learning.”
Science teacher Leland Goertz, who serves as the Bishop’s Chaplain during services at which the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas officiates, received the Spirituality award for “modeling faith and devotion with calm confidence and an ability to weather any storm knowing it is all in God’s hands.”
School Counselor Lisa Condrey, LMSW, received the Compassion award because, “Whether it is a student or a staff member, a huge problem or a minor irritation, her door is always open. Without her, TMI would be a less compassionate and less empathetic place.”
Rob Friedrich, chairman of the Science Department, “leads engaging and inspiring lessons and develops his students’ love of science and the natural world and continually works toward improving his teaching skills, seeking out additional training and knowledge. Many alumni will remember him as one of the finest teachers they ever had.”
Also given for the first time this year was the Servant Leader Award, received by food-service staffer Jesus “Chuy” Rubio, who has worked at TMI since 1989. The award is given to an employee who “embodies the qualities of servant leadership we wish to model for our students and for each other (because) the servant leader sets an example of selflessness by putting the community’s needs above his or her own.” The award went to Rubio for “doing his work quietly and willingly, always with a positive attitude. He takes all his responsibilities seriously and treats everyone with equal respect.”
Recipients of the Bob Bell Core Values Awards and the Servant Leader Award were nominated and chosen by members of the school’s Administrative Leadership Team, including the headmaster, chaplain, Upper and Middle School division heads and commandant of the Texas Military Institute Corps of Cadets (JROTC).