BISD Names 2022 Wall of Fame Recipients

BISD Names 2022 Wall of Fame Recipients
Posted on 10/18/2022
This is the image for the news article titled BISD Names 2022 Wall of Fame RecipientsThe Brazosport Independent School District annually celebrates its rich history and heritage by honoring outstanding graduates with selection to the Brazosport Independent School District Wall of Fame. This year, Brazosport Independent School District selected two outstanding graduates as Wall of Fame recipients:

Sandra Tidwell Shaw, Brazosport High School, class of 1964
Heidi Ronje Whitehead, Brazoswood High School, class of 1998

BISD began the recognition of graduates who have demonstrated a high level of achievement in their field of endeavor, who have made significant contributions through achievement, service or leadership in 2007. Since then, with the addition of Sandra Shaw and Heidi Ronje Whitehead, thirty-six graduates have been honored.

Brazosport ISD will honor Mrs. Sandra Shaw during the halftime of the Brazosport Exporter football game on Friday, October 28, 2022, and they will honor Mrs. Heidi Ronje Whitehead during the halftime of the Brazoswood Buccaneer football game on Friday, November 4, 2022.

Sandra Shaw
Sandra Tidwell Shaw
Sandra Tidwell Shaw, a 1964 Brazosport High School graduate, has dedicated her life to making the Brazosport Area a better place for those that live and work in our area.  As the President/C.E.O. of the Brazosport Area Chamber of Commerce, she has played a major role in the economic development that our area has experienced over the past forty years.  She not only works with several different Brazosport Chamber committees that achieve goals to help children, businesses, residents and investors, but she also dedicates her time off from the Chamber to help other organizations meet their goals.

Employed by the Brazosport Area Chamber of Commerce for 45 years, Sandra began her career in 1977 as the bookkeeper, was promoted to its Membership Director, and then advanced to the position of Membership & Finance Director. She also served as the Chamber’s Executive Director before becoming the President & CEO in 1991.

Sandra has been acknowledged frequently by her professional peers. She is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Organization Management and was designated a Chartered Economic and Community Developer by the American Society of Economic and Community Developers. Mrs. Shaw is past president of the Gulf Coast Chamber Executives and has served two terms on the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives Board of Directors. She also served one term as a Board Member of the Texas Association of Business. Under her management, the Brazosport Chamber has been awarded forty-seven State Awards of Excellence over the past twenty-five years in such categories as Brochure, Directory, Map, Newsletter, Website and Facebook.

One of Sandra’s proudest accomplishments is the Chamber building located on Abner Jackson Parkway in Lake Jackson. She was instrumental in obtaining the land and overseeing the construction of the new building in 2006. Sandra was also very instrumental in the formation of what is now known as the Economic Development Alliance for Brazoria County.

Sandra was honored as recipient of the Jane Long Pioneer Spirit Award in 2008 by the Brazoria County Historical Museum for possessing a pioneering vision and the tenacity, courage and conviction to pursue it, as epitomized by Jane Wilkinson Long, an early Texas settler.

Sandra was recognized by the Texas Senate for her 20 years of tenure and again by the Texas House by Representative Dennis Bonnen, for her 40 years of tenure. In addition, she was named the “Yellow Rose of Texas” in 1989 by Senator Buster Brown, who served as Governor of Texas for the day. She was also named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Brazosport Rotary Club.Besides her involvement on every Chamber committee, Sandra has also served as a Board Member for the Memorial Child Care Center, Freeport Main Street Advisory Board, The Facts Unsung Heroes Selection Committee, Dow Grant Selection Committee, Brazosport College’s Small Business Development Center’s Advisory Board, and the Freeport 100 Celebration Committee.

She is currently serving as a member of the Brazoria Council of Chambers, Brazoria County Day Steering Committee, Shoreline Erosion Task Force, Economic Development Alliance for Brazoria County, Lake Jackson Business Association, Brazosport CHI St. Luke’s Health Brazosport’s Strategic Planning Task Force, Women’s Health Care Conference Advisory Committee, Community Health Needs Assessment Forum participant and the Brazosport Business Roundtable.

As an avid lover of animals, Sandra is heavily involved in the Houston Sheltie Sanctuary Rescue program. Sandra was married to Wayne Shaw for thirty-seven years until his passing in 2020. They have four sons and eight grandchildren. Sandra lives in Lake Jackson with her beloved Sheltie, Cody.

Heidi Ronje Whitehead
Heidi Ronje Whitehead
Heidi Ronje Whitehead, an honor graduate of Brazoswood High, in the class of 1998, was inspired by her freshman Marine Biology class at Brazoswood and it sparked her interest in marine life on the Texas gulf coast and waters beyond. As a matter of fact, Heidi was so influenced by her Brazoswood science teachers that she had a dolphin and the environment insignia placed on her Brazoswood senior ring.

Heidi chose to attend Brazosport College to continue her science studies and to remain close to the Texas Gulf Coast that she had grown to love. Heidi first studied and had a career in dentistry until one day, while working for a local hospital, Heidi went down during her lunch for an Earth Day event. It was there that she discovered the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network where she first found out about the work that existed to assist dolphins and other sea creatures.

From there, Heidi became a trained volunteer; volunteering as much as she possibly could until she realized that this was where she belonged. She started part-time as the office manager of the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network to education coordinator and eventually became the regional stranding coordinator for the Galveston area, then taking on the state operations coordinator position in 2005. This led Heidi to her current position as the Executive Director for the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network (TMMSN).

As the Executive Director of The Texas Marine Stranding Network, Heidi is world renowned in her field. She has given speeches for conferences in Canada as well as the United States.  Recently she was flown to Alaska to help save a baby beluga whale. The TMMSN is under the umbrella of NOAA and the National fisheries. The network is responsible for all mammal strandings along the entire Texas coast. The sole purpose of the TMMSN is to rescue, rehabilitate the marine mammals, and educate our communities about the lives of the mammals throughout our oceans and seas. The Texas Marine Stranding Network is a nonprofit organization. Heidi has dedicated her life to this network. She is on call 24 hours a day.

The Texas Marine Stranding Network works extensively with the United States Stranding Network, and the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program through National Marine Fisheries Service. Through these partnerships, Heidi and her team of professionals and volunteers have learned and shared a great deal of information regarding the bottlenose dolphins as well as other marine mammals.

Heidi Ronje Whitehead has authored and co-authored more than 17 peer-reviewed publications contributing to marine mammal science and has developed and led countless scientific meetings and workshops, and presentations nationwide. Heidi has been recognized for her passion and commitment to marine mammal conservation through the NOAA Environmental Hero Award program, and Exemplary Service Awards from the National Marine Fisheries Service. Her work has expanded the science world’s knowledge and understanding of marine mammals and their relations with other sea creatures, but most importantly, their interactions with humans.

Heidi and her husband Christopher, a volunteer with The Texas Marine Stranding Network, reside in League City, but they spend many hours in and around the Gulf Coast.
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