PASADENA, Texas — Mrs. Marie Flickinger, longtime San Jacinto College Board of Trustees member and student success champion, has been named the 2015 Pasadena Independent School District (ISD) Distinguished Citizen.
Each year, the award is given to a community member whose leadership and committed efforts enhanced the educational experience of Pasadena ISD students, and improved the quality of life for residents. Mrs. Flickinger is the co-founder and publisher of the South Belt-Ellington Leader newspaper, and has been on the San Jacinto College Board of Trustees since being elected in 1995.
“I am so excited for Marie to receive this honor,” said San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer. “Marie is a passionate supporter of students and education, as is evident from her long history of supporting students throughout our community. This is an honor that is well deserved, and on behalf of the entire San Jacinto College community, I congratulate her.”
In 2013, Mrs. Flickinger was named the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Trustee of the Year for her dedication and passion for student success. During her 20 years on the San Jacinto College Board of Trustees, the College has grown by 12,000 students. She was instrumental in the policy decision that helped San Jacinto College align processes to make the admissions process more seamless for students, and to help College personnel focus on student success strategies. She was one of the first Board members to attend the Achieving the Dream Trustee Institute and has been a driving factor in the College becoming an Achieving the Dream Leader College.
“Marie genuinely cares about the welfare of students and residents in the community and it reflects through her work at the newspaper, her selfless acts of kindness, and her leadership,” said Pasadena ISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kirk Lewis. “She is vocal and well-respected in this community and builds relationships that promote the common good. This is a tribute that is well deserved.”
Mrs. Flickinger was the first woman elected to the San Jacinto College Board of Trustees. A former Board chair, she is also past-chair of the Board of the Community College Association of Texas Trustees, and past-chair of the Two-Year College Stakeholder Committee with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Mrs. Flickinger has been a major force in the development of the South Belt community. She is a co-founder, owner and publisher of the South Belt-Ellington Leader newspaper, as well as South Belt Graphics and Printing. She was the chief organizer and founding president of the South Belt-Ellington Chamber of Commerce, and has served on numerous superintendent advisory boards and search committees throughout Pasadena ISD. She has supported initiatives that have helped increase graduation rates, at both Pasadena ISD and San Jacinto College.
Her dedication to the community where she lives, works, and serves is unparalleled. Mrs. Flickinger has served on two mayoral transition committees for the City of Houston and is the Environmental Protection Agency community representative for the Brio Superfund Site, located in the South Belt area. She has also coordinated Christmas drives for needy families and taken the lead in organizing annual Fourth of July activities, including an annual parade and fireworks display.
Mrs. Flickinger has also been recognized for her leadership and humanitarian efforts locally and statewide. For her noted service to Pasadena ISD she was inducted into the Hall of Honor at Dobie High School. The Marie Spence Flickinger Fine Arts building on the San Jacinto College South Campus is named in her honor, and as previously mentioned she earned the prestigious ACCT M. Dale Ensign Leadership Award as the national community college trustee of the year. She can now add the Pasadena ISD Distinguished Citizen award to her list of accolades.
“When I learned that I was selected distinguished citizen, I was shocked,” Mrs. Flickinger said. “I know my ideas have not always been widely accepted, but I believe in being vocal because I believe in the community. I believe in this district and I want the very best for the residents living in this area. I am thankful to Dr. Kirk Lewis for always putting students first and for working with me all these years to provide the students of Pasadena ISD with a quality education.”
Mrs. Flickinger will be honored by Pasadena ISD and its Board of Trustees at a reception on January 28, 2106, at the Lewis Career and Technical High School.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.