Category Archives: Alumni

Pine Tree’s Chris Johnson in Super Bowl with Ravens

Article published in Longview News Journal

Former Pine Tree High School football standout Chris Johnson, a seventh-round draft pick by the Green Bay Packers back in 2003, will play in his first Super Bowl today when his Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans.

Johnson was signed by the Ravens in November after spending the past five season with the Oakland Raiders. He has played in five games for Baltimore — starting one — and recording seven tackles and a forced fumble.

Continue reading

Alumni Awards Announced at Pine Tree ISD Homecoming Ceremony

Alumni Awards Announced at Pine Tree ISD Homecoming Ceremony

2012 Distinguished Alumni Award:  Janet Pursley Davis

Janet Pursley Davis became a Pine Tree Pirate in 1959.  She is a 1961 graduate and while a student at Pine Tree High School, was recognized by her peers as Most Beautiful and Coronation Duchess, while also taking on leadership roles as Head Cheerleader and Student Council representative.

Upon graduation, Janet attended the University of Texas in Austin and received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.  Her first teaching position was at Gladewater ISD.  In 1979 she received a Master of Liberal Arts from Southern Methodist University.  She made a significant difference in the lives of many students at the following school districts throughout here 39 year teaching career:  Gladewater ISD, Dallas ISD, Sabine ISD and Lewisville ISD.

Janet has received many honors and awards throughout her career as an educator.  She was named Teacher of the Year twice at Heritage Elementary School as well as Texas Outstanding Elementary Social Studies Teacher of the Year.  Her civic and philanthropic services includes Pilot International, American Business Women’s Association, Heritage Elementary International Club, and recognized as a Top 100 Women in the Highland Village, Flower Mound, and Lewisville area.

Janet’s love of education and history has given her the opportunity to author the following works:  “The History of the Clarksville City Baptist Church,” and “Our Roots Give us Wings:  The History of the Pine Tree Cumberland Presbyterian Church.”  She has spent countless hours volunteering for the Foundation as historian on the Alumni Committee.

Among other publications, she has authored numerous genealogy articles for organizations such as: Daughters of the American Revolution, United Daughters of The Confederacy, Daughters of the American Colonists, Daughters of the Republic of Texas and many more.

The ancient Confucius was quoted as saying: “ A true teacher is one who, keeping the past alive is also able to understand the present.”  Janet Pursley Davis is a true teacher, and is recognized, as the 2012 Distinguished Alumni, for the impact she has had on the lives of children as well as the dedication she demonstrates to selflessly give back to her community.

—————————–

2012 Golden Anchor Award  – Jack B. England

Jack B. England served Pine Tree ISD as High School Band Director from 1963-1975 and Director of Instrumental Music & Choir from 1976-1985.  Accepting on his behalf was his wife, Mrs. Joie England.

Mr. England received his Bachelor of Music Education Degree in 1948 from East Texas State University in 1948 and his Master of Arts Degree in 1951 also from East Texas State University.

His career included positions at Pittsburg and Kilgore ISD as well as the interim director’s positions throughout several districts East Texas.

Mr. England was a consummate professional.  During his tenure at Pine Tree the district took home many honors including BEST BAND for five consecutive years in the Buccaneer Days Parade in Corpus Christi.   The Pine Tree band also won several sweepstakes awards through the Fiesta of Five Flag Competition and UIL marching, convert and sight-reading competitions.

Mr. England’s greatest award was the joy of helping his students excel.  Mr. England expected the best of his students.  He instilled in each of students the confidence to be successful.  In 2006 many of Mr. England’s former students planned a band reunion as a surprise for his birthday.  Unfortunately, he was so seriously ill a few weeks before the event, he was unable to attend but encouraged the kids to go ahead with the reunion.  As a result of this Band Reunion, the Pine Tree alumni group “Band Kids Forever,” was created by former band captain and 1975 graduate Randy Golden.  The first event was held in 2007 and was named the “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You” Tailgate Party that has continued to raise funds for the Jack B. England Membership Scholarship.

Mr. England was loved by all of his students and left a legacy at Pine Tree Schools.  He will be remembered for the lives he influenced, the work ethic he instilled in those students and the joy he inspired in all of us.  Hundreds of students are the living legacy from the leader of the band.  Mr. England’s family accepted the award on his behalf; this is the first Golden Anchor Award presented by the District’s Education Foundation.

—————————————————————–

2012 Rising Star Award – Chandalyn Lewis

Recognition of the Pine Tree Rising Star was awarded to alumni, Chandalyn Lewis, who has been described as an extraordinary young woman by her nominator, Dr. June Strohsahl.   According to Dr. Strohsahl, her former teacher, Chan was never out to just do what was necessary.  Her life as a teenager was busy as she prepared for her career.  While in high school, she was active in her church, Galilee Missionary Baptist Church as a Sunday School secretary, junior board member, participating in the youth choir and as a nursery volunteer.  She learned early how to manage time.

In high school, she was active in the Student Council, Spanish Club, National Honor Society, and Debate team.  Chan began her college career at Florida State University where she received her Associate of Arts Degree in 2003.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communications from Florida A & M University.  In 2005 Chan moved to San Antonio and attended the San Antonio (SAC) School for the Deaf.

As an employee of The West Company of San Antonio, Texas, she helped launch the Atlantic City Division in Makati, Philippines.  She was instrumental in developing and implementing the Caesar’s Entertainment Audit process.

Her professional achievements include International Audit Consultant for the Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Tunica Regions.  She is a member of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Professional Networking Association, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and Ujima (JP Morgan Chase Employees of African Descent).

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer,” said Harriet Tubman. “Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

Chan Lewis is a dreamer, and has reached for the stars.  Her strength of character along with her religious convictions have led her to many successes in her young life as a Rising Star for Pine Tree ISD.

Amanda Pitre New Executive Director of Foundation

Amanda Pitre, who was appointed executive director of the Pine Tree ISD Education Foundation in September, took the wheel to successfully drive the 4th Annual Homecoming Luncheon this week as one of her first assignments.  Pitre is the former Executive Director of Marketing with Wildlife Forever, and replaces Vickie Echols, who served an interim director during the last school year.

Jennifer Harris, president of the PT Foundation’s board of directors, said the foundation is excited about the direction of the organization.  Between 2003-2012, the Foundation awarded approximately $150,000 to support educational programs and projects, and these grants support important projects that enhance and augment educational opportunities in PTISD.

“Amanda brings a wealth of experience in the nonprofit arena, knowledge of the East Texas area and has a strong philosophy of reaching out to others,” said Harris.  ”Our foundation is about providing an avenue for people to invest in their school and ultimately in their community;  we want to offer a way for former students and friends of Pine Tree to see their contributions through annual donations and through endowment giving continue year after year.”

Pitre is a graduate of LeTourneau University in Business Management, and has experience in the field from working as Coordinator of Development at LeTourneau University, Corporate Development Director of East Texas with the American Heart Association, Director of Corporate Partnerships and Community Development with American Red Cross, and Director of Development and Marketing with Habitat for Humanity.

In addition to working with the PT Education Foundation’ Alumni Affairs comittee to organize the annual Homecoming Luncheon and Awards Program, Pitre will work with the 22 member board to raise revenue to support programs in the following area for the school district:

  • Innovative Teaching Grants: encourages teachers to develop innovative ways to stimulate thought and advance new approaches to teaching students.
  • Grants for Professional Growth: made available to staff who would like to participate in enrichment seminars, workshops or programs to increase capacity for promoting student achievement.
  • Excellence Recognition Program: provides recognition for excellence and accomplishments for teachers and students through special events.
  • Technology Enhancement: awarded to staff for supplementing technological applicatins above those normally provided by the school district.
  • Scholarships:  awarded to graduating high school seniors for the purposeof supporting the continuance of higher education for deserving students who represent Pine Tree High School in a positive manner and who have contributed to their school and community.

The PT Education Foundation / Alumni Community is a community based advocate for public education in Pine Tree ISD.  The non-profit organization seeks to facilitate funding of innovative programs not typically funded by the school; and to recognize teachers, students, and alumni of outstanding distinction.

Reverend Solomon Awalt, 1847 Founder to Visit School

Reverend Solomon Awalt, who was pastor of Pine Tree Cumberland Presbyterian Church in 1847, will make an appearance this weekend in the Pine Tree school and church he helped to develop.  Pine Tree ISD is proud to partner with Pine Tree Cumberland Church to bring history to life as they welcome alumni and the community to an eventful homecoming weekend.  In addition to Reverend Awalt’s visit, the spotlight will also shine on three individuals who will receive awards for their contributions to their professions, to their communities and to Pine Tree ISD.

HISTORY COMES ALIVE: OPEN HOUSE TOURS

Pine Tree schools began operating in 1847 as an outreach of the Pine Tree Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  The history of the school is on display at the Pine Tree Administration Building, 1701 Pine Tree Road.  The public is invited to tour the historical showcases and archive library on Friday, Oct. 5th from 2:00-4:00pm in the Administration Building.

Pine Tree Cumberland Presbyterian Church is celebrating its 165th anniversary during the weekend of Oct. 5th-7th, 2012.  In conjunction with the Pine Tree ISD Homecoming festivities, the membership is planning a presentation and tour on Saturday, Oct. 6th at the church located at 1805 Pine Tree Road.  On Sunday, Oct. 7th, events begin with the morning worship, followed by a fellowship luncheon enjoyed by members, former members and friends of the church.

Dan Flanagan, a member of the church, will portray the person of Reverend Solomon Awalt, first pastor of Pine Tree Church.  The theatrical presentation, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 6th, will take place at 2:00pm and at 4:00pm at the church.  The public is invited to attend the production and join in a tour of the church with refreshments following in the Toler Hall.  The pastor, Reverend Donald W. Nunn, and several members of the congregation will conduct the tour in period costume.

Janet Pursley Davis, a retired teacher and one of this year’s PTISD Alumni Award recipients, took interest in the history of the church as a project which developed into the publication of a book entitled, “Our Roots Give us Wings.”  The publication provides a historical depiction of the history of Pine Tree Cumberland Presbyterian, telling the story through words and photos collected from various members.  The book will be available at the school’s Homecoming events and at the church during the Open House on Saturday.

HOMECOMING LUNCHEON

A sneak preview of the Reverend Solomon and the period dress will be provided at the Pine Tree Homecoming Luncheon on Friday, Oct. 5,  2012.  The 4th Annual Homecoming Luncheon, hosted by the PT Education Foundation/Alumni Community will take place at the Pirate Center on W. Fairmont Street. Each year, the Pine Tree Educational Foundation honors Pine Tree Alumni who are locally, nationally or internationally recognized for their contributions to their professions, communities, and/or their demonstrated commitment to Pine Tree ISD and its mission.  This year, the Foundation will honor three individuals.  Tickets are $20.00 and available from the school or online: www.ptisd.org/foundation.  For more information, 903-295-5120, or [email protected]

This year award recipients are:

  • Distinguished Alumni Award: Janet Pursely Davis, Class of 1961
  • Rising Star Award: Chandalyn Lewis, Class of 2001
  • Golden Anchor Award: Jack B. England

The awards are presented during the luncheon and again at the Friday evening Homecoming football game.  Luncheon tickets are available from the Foundation office.  All former students, staff , parents and friends of Pine Tree are encouraged to attend.

PT Pirates Head into Homecoming 2012 with Full Sails

Pine Tree ISD joins with the PT Education Foundation in announcing the schedule for Homecoming 2012 activities.  

On Tuesday, Oct. 2, the Homecoming Carnival will kick off at 6:00pm.  Families are invited to the Northwest Drive parking lot for a fun-filled evening of food and games.  A pep rally begins at 8:00pm.

On Thursday, Oct. 4, the official Groundbreaking ceremony for the new Pirate Stadium will take place at 11:00am on the site for the new complex.  The PTISD Board of Trustees will officially break ground and turn the shovel assisted by representatives of various student groups who will use the stadium.  Photos and video of the ground breaking event will be on display at the district web page.  In case of rain, the event will be rescheduled.

On Friday, Oct. 5, the 4th Annual Homecoming Luncheon, hosted by the PT Education Foundation and Alumni Community will take place at the Pirate Center on W. Fairmont Street. Each year, the Pine Tree Educational Foundation honors Pine Tree Alumni who are locally, nationally or internationally recognized for their contributions to their professions, communities, and/or their demonstrated commitment to Pine Tree ISD and its mission.  This year, the Foundation will also honor a faculty member who has made a significant impact in the life of any student at Pine Tree with the Golden Anchor Award.  Read more.

A Homecoming Pep Rally and Tour are planned immediately following the luncheon.  The Pep Rally, led by the PTHS Cheerleaders will begin at 2:30pm, and is located in the Pirate Center on the High School Campus.  The tour of the  ”old high school” or remodeled Central Administration Building will be open for former students and community members to view the Pine Tree historic memorabilia and distinguished alumni showcase displayed in this building between 2:00 – 4:00 pm.

A Pre-Game Alumni Welcome Tailgate Party is planned for 5:30pm – 7:00pm next to the current stadium.  Food, soft drinks, music and fun is planned for all Pine Tree alumni, teachers, and staff.  Participants are encouraged to join former classmates under the Welcome Alumni Tent in the grass across from Pirate Stadium. The tailgate party is sponsored by the “Band Kids Forever”, and is open to all former students and friends of Pine Tree.

A Pre-Game Ceremony will begin at approximately 7:00pm in the Stadium.  The Distinguished Alumni and the Homecoming Court will be announced and honored.

The fighting Pirates will take the field at 7:30pm for the Varsity Football game against Nacogdoches HS.  As expected under the Friday Night lights, entertainment will be provided by the Precision Drill Team, Band, and Cheerleaders.  Tickets for the Homecoming Game are available at the gate.   Pre-sales of tickets start 8:00 am Monday, Oct. 1st and end Friday at 12noon, Oct. 5th from the Athletic Office.  For more information about ticket sales, contact Kristi Chadwick,  903-295-5142.

The Annual Jack England Memorial Golf Classic, also organized by “Band Kids Forever,” is scheduled for Saturday.  Contact Karen Edelman Cundiff (’72) at 317.716.8271 for information and planning.

Pine Tree Cumberland Presbyterian Church is celebrating its 165th anniversary during the weekend of Oct. 5th-7th, 2012.  In conjunction with the Pine Tree ISD Homecoming festivities, the membership is planning a presentation and tour on Saturday, Oct. 6th at the church located at 1805 Pine Tree Road.  On Sunday, Oct. 7th, events begin with the morning worship, followed by a fellowship luncheon enjoyed by members, former members and friends of the church.

Dan Flanagan, a member of the church, will portray the person of Reverend Solomon Awalt, first pastor of Pine Tree Church.  The theatrical presentation, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 6th, will take place at 2:00pm and at 4:00pm at the church.  The public is invited to attend the production and join in a tour of the church with refreshments following in the Toler Hall.  The pastor, Reverend Donald W. Nunn, and several members of the congregation will conduct the tour in period costume.

Janet Pursley Davis, a retired teacher and one of this year’s PTISD Alumni Award recipients, took interest in the history of the church as a project which developed into the publication of a book entitled, “Our Roots Give us Wings.”  The publication provides a historical depiction of the history of Pine Tree Cumberland Presbyterian, telling the story through words and photos collected from various members.  The book will be available at the school’s Homecoming events and at the church during the Open House on Saturday.

View Web Page with List and Flier of Activities

 

Pine Tree Alumni Honors Planned for Annual Luncheon

The 4th Annual PT Homecoming Alumni Award Luncheon will take place October 5th, 2012. Each year, the Pine Tree Educational Foundation award honors to Pine Tree Alumni who are locally, nationally or internationally recognized for their contributions to their professions, communities, and/or their demonstrated commitment to Pine Tree ISD and its mission.  This year, the Foundation will honor a faculty member who has made a significant impact in the life of any student at Pine Tree with the Golden Anchor Award.

This year award recipients are:

  • Distinguished Alumni Award: Janet Pursely Davis, Class of 1961
  • Rising Star Award: Chandalyn Lewis, Class of 2001
  • Golden Anchor Award: Jack B. England

The awards are presented during the luncheon and again at the Friday evening Homecoming football game.  Luncheon tickets are available from the Foundation office.  All former students, staff , parents and friends of Pine Tree are encouraged to attend.

When: Friday, October 5, 2012
10:00 – 10:45 AM Mix & Mingle to the tunes of the PTHS Jazz Band
11:00 – 1:00 Lunch served with assistance by the PTHS Culinary Arts Students

Where:
Pirate Center, PT High School, next to the HS Theater
1005 Fairmont St., Longview, Texas 75604

Cost:
$20.00 per person, please reserve by Oct. 1st

Tickets available online, or by mail: PO Box 5878, Longview, TX 75608

More info?  903-295-5120, [email protected]

Read more about Alumni Affairs of the PT Foundation, and view photos from last year’s event.

Pine Tree Alum: Organ Recipient Shares Story-Builds Awareness

By Charlotte Stewart [email protected] Longview News-Journal
View article at Longview News Journal here.

Organ recipient wants to spread awareness
By the numbers
  • 113,028 people are on a list waiting for an organ
  • 18 people will die each
  • 1 organ donor can save up to 8 lives
  • In 2010, 62% of living donors were women. The statistic is reversed for deceased donation.
  • In 2010, 67% of all deceased donors were white, 16% were black, 13% Hispanic and 2.3% Asian.
  • As of December 2011, the national waiting list was made up of 45% white, 29% black, 18% Hispanic, and 7% Asian.
  • More than 100 million people in the U.S. are signed up to be a donor.www.organdonor.gov

 In 2007, James Johnston was a senior at Pine Tree High School, active in hockey and tennis, and looking forward to heading off to college at Oklahoma State University. In the summer of 2008, he did just that.  He hadn’t been at school long when he started having abdominal cramps, feeling tired and passing blood in his urine.

“He had always been a healthy kid, so active,” his mother, Susan Johnston, said. “Even when he was under the weather, he just plowed on.”

But this was more than just under the weather.  The college freshmen went to the college clinic and was treated for a urinary tract infection. Realizing the illness was more than just a UTI, the urologist sent him to a nephrologist, doctors who specialize in treating kidneys.

“When the nephrologist got my test results, they were so bad that he sent the police in Stillwater (Oklahoma) to find me,” James Johnston said.

When the doctor couldn’t reach the student, Susan Johnston explained, he called her, too.

“I knew that his sister was staying with James, so I called her and told her to drive him to Oklahoma City right away.”

The mother quickly packed a few bags and took off, too. His father, Norman Johnston, was working in Houston and flew in the next morning.  At 18, Johnston was in severe kidney failure.  He was diagnosed with Alport syndrome, which according to the National Institute of Health, is an inherited form of kidney inflammation (nephritis).  The disorder is uncommon and most often affects men. Women can pass the gene for the disorder to their children, even if they have no symptoms.  Hearing loss is also a symptom of Alport syndrome, Johnston said as he removed his hearing aid.

Dialysis

Johnston would not recover from his kidney failure, the doctors told him, and would need a transplant. Until then, he would have to go on dialysis.  According to the National Kidney Center, dialysis is a process that removes wastes, chemicals and extra water from the body, and although most people are familiar with the type that is done at a center, there is also a way it can be done at home.  Peritoneal dialysis uses the lining of the abdomen, or belly, to filter the blood. This lining is called the peritoneal membrane and acts as the artificial kidney. The person getting this type of dialysis must be hooked up to a machine for up to 12 hours every day.

“It’s a lot of work,” Johnston said.

“And it takes a lot of dedication and responsibility,” his mother interjected. “He really grew up.”

Blushing at the compliment, the son objected.  “Don’t say stuff like that,” he said.

“Well, I’m really proud of you,” she said, becoming emotional for the first time during the nearly hour-long interview. “He really stepped up. He had been a typical 18-year-old boy, but, he looked after himself. He grew up.”  Even with the dialysis, Johnston was a very sick young man.

“I was tired,” he said.

“Not just end-of-the-day tired,” his mother added. “But absolutely bone weary tired — like having the flu, but all the time.”

The student stacked his classes on a Tuesday/Thursday schedule so he could keep his medical appointments during the rest of the week.

“That did not work well,” he said, adding he was too fatigued to stay awake during his last class.

He said he felt that he had no alternative but to drop that semester.  “But, I went back in the spring semester,” he added quickly.  It was during spring break of 2010 that it became impossible to continue to peritoneal dialysis due to an infection. The student had little choice but to start hemodialysis at a center.  Even though he took the treatment faithfully three times a week, Johnston often found himself sick and always found himself tired.

The transplant

Johnston’s family watched as his health failed. Doctors would not consider either parent as a possible match for a donor because of various health problems each has.  “His sister hasn’t had any children, and because pregnancy is hard on the kidneys, doctors didn’t want to consider her for a match. And James wouldn’t let her, anyway, in case she wanted to become pregnant later,” Susan Johnston said.Organ recipient wants to spread awareness

“It didn’t seem fair, him being like that,” said Helen Hill, Susan Johnston’s sister. “James is a wonderful young man, really special. He is quiet, but very, very brave.”  A stay-at-home mom in Fort Worth with three young boys of her own, Hill talked about watching her nephew suffer for so long and feeling not merely happy, but also grateful to be able to help him.  So she decided to donate one of her kidneys. She said her husband had been supportive of her decision from the beginning.

“And my sons adore their cousin James — they were so excited. They thought it was a good idea for mommy to give James a kidney so that he would not have to go on that machine anymore.”

On Jan. 9, Hill was lighter by one kidney.  “Oh, I’m great, 95 percent back to normal,” Hill said in a telephone interview Friday.  Johnston said he felt better the “day after surgery than I had felt in a long time.”

Donation

Both donor and recipient have a message for the public.  “I am not talking about this because I want for the world to know my story. I never talk about it,Organ recipient wants to spread awareness ” Johnston said while giving his mother a look and adding, “although everyone seems to know.”  “I am talking about it because there are so many people waiting for a kidney, so many people on dialysis year after year … Some literally dying.

“People talk about cancer and heart problems — it gets a lot of publicity. And it should. Those are serious illnesses. But kidney failure is a serious illness, too. So, my point is that I am trying to raise awareness.”

Hill made the same point.

“I’ve heard of people who give kidneys to people they’ve never even met, and I know James,” she said through tears.  “People should consider donating a kidney because it makes such an incredible difference in a person’s life.

“People don’t like to talk about what to do if they die, but really, everyone who can should consider becoming an organ donor. I can’t stress the importance it can make in a life — in many lives.”

People considering becoming a living kidney donor can get more information at www.kidney.org.

The government has a website for people considering becoming any kind of donor at www.organdonor.gov.

Longview Businessman Supported Pine Tree ISD

Posted in Longview News Journal: Sunday, January 29, 2012 4:00 am

East Texas native Howard Edelman helped spur growth of a small community that’s now an integral part of Longview when he and his brother opened their furniture store in Greggton.  Edelman died Friday at his home under hospice care at age 90.The once far west community, where he and Ray Edelman founded Edelman’s Furniture in 1947, joined Longview in the 1950s.  By that time, the Nacogdoches native was active in civic affairs. His brother survives him.

Edelman served on the Longview City Council. He was active in Greggton United Methodist Church, a member of the Lions Club and supporter of Pine Tree schools.  Services were held Monday, Jan 30, at Greggton Methodist Church.

PT Alum Seeking to become the ‘Extreme Huntress’

Written By Rick Kretzschmar [email protected];  posted in the Longview News Journal 

A cape buffalo is coveted target for big-game hunters, but let the hunter — or huntress in the case of Tiffany Brewer — beware.

A cape buffalo can weigh a ton, and frequently, when it is being tracked by a hunter in the grasslands of Africa, the animal can suddenly reverse course, and the hunter becomes the hunted. About 200 people are killed a year while pursuing cape buffalo, their demise caused by being gored by the beast’s huge, curved horns.

This danger does not phase Brewer.

“The danger is that way with any animal,” Brewer said. “You just have to be ready.”

Brewer has been getting ready for more than three decades, spending most of her life hunting with much of that training in East Texas. That training has put her on the verge of hunting cape buffalo, but has one more task in this quest: finding votes.

Brewer is a finalist in the Eye of the Hunter Extreme Huntress Contest. She is one of 10 women who are in the hunt for a hunting trip to Zimbabwe this spring. The winner’s exploits will be filmed and shown on the Eye of the Hunter on NBC Sports in August.

Brewer was born in Tyler in 1970, but her interest in hunting wouldn’t kick in until nine years later, when her family moved to Columbia, La. Her interest started thanks to her brother, Tosh, starting hunting deer.

She has hunted deer ever since, returning to East Texas every year around Thanksgiving to either hunt around Harleton or Big Sandy. She admits to being uncomfortable with some more contemporary techniques of deer hunting compared to how she and her brother learned how to do it.

“We didn’t have deer stands or use deer corn,” Brewer said. “We would stay still on the ground, sit by a tree. It was about knowing the patterns of the deer.”

Brewer moved back to East Texas in 1984 and spent four years attending Pine Tree ISD schools. She attended Kilgore College for the 1988-89 school year before heading north and earning a bachelor of science in nursing degree from Ohio State in 1998. She lives in Concord, Calif., and is a psychiatric nurse for the Alameda County Medical Center, near San Francisco and Oakland.

Brewer is following a career path related to what her mother, Nancy Miller, pursued. Miller, who lives in Longview, is a retired registered nurse who worked at Good Shepherd Medical Center.

Brewer balances her nursing career with her hunting adventures, which either send her back to Texas or far north.

Brewer also travels to Central and South Texas, where she hunts turkeys. When she returns to East Texas, she hunts hogs with Tosh, who lives in Gladewater. Brewer’s rifle of choice is a .25-06 bolt-action ruger.

Brewer said that when she hunts in Texas, she eatd what she kills or donated extra meat to charity. She said cuisine from the hogs she hunts can be delicious.

“We make spiced sausage,” Brewer said. “It’s better than store-bought sausage. It’s more fresh.”

When she heads north, Brewer will hunt in locations such as Alaska or Alberta, Canada. One trip to Canada, near the resort town of Banff, exposed her to perhaps the most dangerous hunt of her life.

“I accidentally walked up on a momma grizzly bear and two cubs in Banff,” Brewer said. “I still don’t know why she let me go, but with a strong, ‘Huff,’ she re-directed my path.”

Hunting cape buffalo could top bumping into a bear. Brewer said a trip to Africa to hunt cape buffalo would be the trip of a lifetime, but she has to be voted in first. Voting for the contest can be made at http://tahoefilms.com/contests/extreme-huntress-contest/. Voting runs through Sunday, when the winner is expected to be announced.

Brewer said she doesn’t know what weapon she would hunt cape buffalo with, but has talked with friends who have made similar trips. This includes one who survived a scary experience.

“I have a friend who was in a field when a cape buffalo charged him from about 25 yards out. He made it to a tree, but the buffalo backed up and rammed it three times. Then the buffalo waited at the bottom of the tree for two hours,” Brewer said. “Cape buffalo have a streak of aggression.”

Brewer said if the situation for a kill came up she hopes she can continue her philosophy for whatever she is hunting: one shot, one kill.

However, Brewer said hunting is much more than a kill shot. She said that while she is always armed in preparation for a chance at a prize buck, 95 percent of the time she doesn’t fire a shot.

“Being extreme is witnessing nature in its purest form and knowing how to take from her with the only means you have,” Brewer said. “Being extreme is not the number you kill, but the number of times you take the right shot.

“Being extreme is knowing how to get close to nature and knowing when to exit.”

PT Alumni Honored as a Star Over Longview

Pine Tree ISD is proud to recognized Distinguished Alumni and former Pine Tree ISD Board Member, Dale Sage as a winner among the women of Longview honored as a 2012 Star Over Longview.  Longview Regional Medical Center on Thursday announced its 2012 honorees for Stars Over Longview — Women Who Rise to the Occasion.  Read more about Dale Sage and other PT Distinguished Alumni at the PT web page.  A calendar published by the Hospital will feature Mrs. Sage in September 2012.

More than 80 women were nominated to be honored for their service to the community, said Kim Brown, marketing director with the medical center. The women will be honored at a luncheon in January.
“We have a lot of women in Longview who contribute to the good of the community in many ways, and most of them wear multiple hats as volunteers, professionals, wives and mothers,” Brown said. “It’s always a challenge to select the 12 we want to recognize each year.”

Abby Rike will be the keynote speaker for the luncheon, which is slated for Jan. 10. Tickets will go on sale at Longview Regional’s Business Office in mid-November.