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Aug. 7, 2018 - Board President Missy Bender Named Plano Citizen of the Year

At the August 7 School Board Meeting, Jamee Jolly President/CEO of the Plano Chamber of Commerce and Jeff Beckley Chamber Board Chair continued the tradition of surprise announcements of Citizen of the Year winners, naming Plano School Board President Missy Bender as the 2018 awardee. The award will officially be presented on November 1 at the Chamber's annual Best of Plano awards dinner.

The Citizen of the Year award recognizes an outstanding Plano citizen for their personal contributions over a period of years and who has contributed to the welfare and advancement of Plano. It is the top recognition for citizens in the City of Plano. Attending the meeting to congratulate Missy were several previous Citizens of the Year., as well as her husband Doug Bender, daughter Madison and her mother.  Ms. Bender joins an elite group of honorees which include: 

A.R. Schell, 1951; E.A. Randles., 1952; David McCall, Jr, 1957-58; Mrs. Jim Donley, 1960-61; Mr. & Mrs. John Meaders, 1971; John Waddell, 1972; David McCall, Jr, 1973; Rev. Leonard Allgood, 1974; Pete Barnes, 1975; Winnie Lyle, 1976; Nathan White, Sr., 1977; John Hightower, 1978; Vince Rego, 1979;  Jim Taylor, 1980;  Lee Mayfield, 1981; Nathan E. White, Jr, 1982;  Joy A. Anderson, Ph.D., 1983; David McCall, III, 1984; Florence Shapiro, 1985; Rutledge Haggard, 1986; Fortino “Tino” Trujillo, 1987; Dr. H. Wayne Hendrick, 1988; Howard Putnam, 1989; Dr. Travis Berry, 1990; Dr. Douglas Cargo, 1991; Jim Boswell, 1992; Bobby Ray, 1993; James & Betty Muns., 1994; John W. Wroten, Jr, 1995; Mary Anne Seale, 1996; Ted Dickey, 1997; Phillip Dyer, 1998;  Jim Biggerstaff, 1999; Robbie Robinson, 2000;  Phil Wentworth, 2001; Jean Godfrey Newman, 2002; Ralph Stow, 2003; Pat Evans, 2004; André Davidson, 2005; Mary Jo Dean., 2006; Brian McCall, 2007;Duncan & Beth Webb, 2008;Cary Israel, 2009;Judy Drotman, 2010; Jenny McCall, 2011;Jamie Schell, 2012; Dr. Myrtle Hightower, 2013; Rebecca Egelston Caso, 2014; Olin Jaye, 2015; Harvey Fishero, 2016; and U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson, 2017.

Jeff Beckley, Missy Bender, Jamee Jolly

Photo Caption: Jeff Beckley, Plano Chamber Board Chair; Missy Bender Plano ISD Board President; Jamee Jolley Plano Chamber President/CEO

About Missy Bender

Missy Bender was originally elected to the board in 2006 and re-elected to serve her fourth term on the school board in May 2015. Ms. Bender is currently serving her third year as board president; originally elected president by her fellow trustees in May 2016. She has also served as vice president in 2015-16 and as secretary from 2008 to 2011.

Ms. Bender graduated from Plano East Senior High School as a member of its charter class and received a bachelor's degree in marketing from Southern Methodist University. She began her career as a management consultant specializing in strategic planning and technology solutions for Fortune 500 clients in North America and Europe and has worked for Champion International, Amdahl and IBM. At IBM she was honored with the Golden Circle Award, the company's elite recognition.

Ms. Bender has served on the Board of Directors for numerous organizations including the Junior League of Collin County, Harrington Homeplace Homeowners Association, Practical Parent Education, Forrest Outreach Foundation, Daffron Elementary School PTA, Robinson Middle School PTA and Jasper High School Choir Booster Club. She currently serves as a member of the Chairman's Council for Texas Health Resources Plano, treasurer of Plano Metro Rotary Club and as a member of Conner Harrington Republican Women Club, National Charity League, Women Making a Difference, Jasper High School PTSA and Plano ISD Education Foundation.

Ms. Bender is a graduate of Leadership Plano, Leadership St. Andrew, Leadership TASB (Texas Association of School Boards) and Leadership Texas. She was appointed by TASB to the Texas Education Agency as the only Trustee that served on the state's Accountability Policy Advisory Committee. Ms. Bender earned the prestigious designation of "Master Trustee" from TASB; is a Fellow with the Center for Reform of School Systems; was named one of "21 Leaders for the 21st Century" by Inside Collin County Business; received TASB’s Outstanding Leadership Award in 2014; and has been honored as a PTA Life Member. 

She is a co-founder of Trustees for Texas, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to create a unified and powerful voice to transform education in Texas. She is also a frequent presenter at state and national school board conferences and has worked with other trustees in the North Texas Regional Consortium to develop a regional legislative agenda. Ms. Bender has served on the TASB Legislative Advocacy Committee and has testified to the House and Senate education committees on behalf of Plano ISD and all Texas school districts. Ms. Bender has also represented the district as a member of the Federal Relations Network in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Bender has lived in Plano for 30 years. She and her husband Doug have been married for 30 years. Their daughter is a graduate of Plano West Senior High School.