Wylie graduates Britanny Gurganus, Jamie Doby, Matt Preston and Kelly Trumble have teamed up with the Wylie Bulldogs Education Foundation to bring you an evening of once-in-a-lifetime entertainment at this year’s “We Are Wylie Dinner” slated for Thursday, Sept. 29. You won’t be entertained by just any performers — they’ll be Wylie graduates who now work at Wylie.
Gurganus (‘06), who teaches 5th grade music and is the Choir Director at WWJH, is spearheading the entertainment for the dinner. She would not disclose what they have planned for the evening, but said there will be singing and portions of entertainment that involve audience participation. Jamie Doby and Matt Preston, known for their great sense of humor and quick witte will emcee the dinner. Doby (‘06) teaches 7th grade math, and Preston (‘10) teaches special education, both at WWJH. Kelly Trumble (‘95), who teaches 8th grade ELA and art at WWJH, said she will be providing an entertaining activity that evening, but will definitely not be singing.
The annual dinner is the largest fundraising event for the Foundation, and this year it will honor more than 70 graduates who have returned to Wylie to work in education since graduating.
Gurganus said she believes, like her, that Wylie graduates return to teach at Wylie because of its standard of excellence.
“Wylie is a special place. Teachers, parents and students continue to have high expectations academically and behaviorally,” said Gurganus. “I believe people who go into education from Wylie and then come back want to be a part of continuing the standards of excellence that have been set.”
Foundation President Becky Rentz said the Foundation wants to welcome the graduates back and thank them for pouring back into the Wylie community.
“We are thrilled to see that Wylie graduates are returning to their alma mater to teach the next generation of Wylie students,” said Rentz. “We were here to help some of them when they were students, and now we are here to help them as teachers.”
Since 2010, the Foundation has given more than $600,000 to the Wylie schools in the form of teacher grants, student scholarships and new teacher gift cards. Most of that money was raised through the “We Are Wylie Dinner.”
The Foundation has also provided numerous tools to Wylie teachers to make learning exciting and fun for students. Foundation grants have provided iPads, cutting edge software, 3D printers, drones, musical instruments, PE equipment, library books and much more.
Gurganus is one of many teachers blessed by the Foundation’s financial endeavors. Last time, she received the “printed” oversized check, which she displays on her classroom wall. “Students see it and notice it. I talk about it with them, explain what it was for, and how it impacts their education directly,” said Gurganus. “It is impactful when they realize that the Wylie community is invested in their learning, experiences, and different activities we do day-in and day-out in class.”
Rentz said Wylie is a supportive community. “We are just amazed at the generous support we receive from the Wylie community,” Rentz said. “Our donors have continued to support us during the pandemic, and we are looking forward to welcoming them back to a live event. Please join us for a celebratory evening.”
To reserve a seat or table for the dinner, go to wyliebef.org or contact Candy Reagan at 325-660-0292. In addition to great entertainment, attendees will enjoy BBQ provided by The Shed and help the Foundation continue to support the students and teachers of Wylie ISD. The dinner will be held at the 201 Mesquite Event Center.
By Kristen Johnson