6/2/2017 2017 Scholarship Recipient
A proud day for South Houston High School Trojans spanning generations. The awards were presented on Senior Day, Wednesday, May 31st in the school auditorium. Herky Munster presented our Cla
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6/2/2017 A Class Act!
Can you believe it?? This will be our seventeenth year of giving scholarships to deserving grads of South Houston High School. To date, The Great and Giving Class of '68 will have given $50,
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6/3/2016 2016 Scholarship Recipients
Congratulations to our 2016 scholarship recipients Sayde Rodriquez and David Rodarte! Both will be attending the University of Houston.
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Can you believe it?? This will be our seventeenth year of giving scholarships to deserving grads of South Houston High School. To date, The Great and Giving Class of '68 will have given $50,500 to 36 recipients. Think on that for a moment...$50,000 given back to our wonderful alma mater by looking forward to help students three, four, and now five decades since we graduated. Wow!
But funds have dwindled, sadly. This year, for example, we can only offer one $1,500 scholarship. We're requesting assistance with that, plus asking each and every SHHS68 alum to thoughtfully consider what we can contribute to what may well be the Best Thing we've done together as a class. How much further might we go?!
Thanks to those alums who've carried us this far...and welcome to those who hear this call for help. To give, click on the DONATE button here. Or, you can also donate by going to any Wells Fargo Bank and contribute...just specify the SHHS 68 Scholarship Fund.
Please encourage at least one fellow alum you stay in contact with to help, too. FIFTY YEAR REUNION COMIN' UP...let's wear it PROUD! GoTrojans!!
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When I sent David Ainsworth a new picture for my profile, he said "Would you consider providing a couple of paragraphs covering oh say the last 45 years (LOL)." So, how do you sum up 45 years? (Has it really been that long? I think if you follow my stepfather's advice - "Make sure you wear out and not rust out" - you just don't have time to notice.)
Unlike most of you, I wasn't smart enough to hang out and graduate. In February 1968, I left South Houston to join the Navy. Considering there was a war going on at the time, it was not the smartest thing I ever did. LOL Luckily, I never left California. My mother always said I led a charmed life and you know mothers are always right. I know mine was.
After being honorably discharged, I headed back to Texas where I worked for Southwestern Bell for a year before ending up in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I did a couple of years there working in telephone crisis center before heading to Chicago for a year to do work as a labor organizer with the United Farmworkers. Those two jobs convinced me that education was a good and necessary thing so I returned to Texas and headed to college.
I got my B.S. (Psy.) in 1975 from the University of Houston. With that degree in hand, I spent a couple of years working in the engineering department at the Monsanto Chemicals plant at Chocolate Bayou near Alvin, Texas. Bet you never thought psychology and engineering went together, did you? Actually, they hired me as a financial and technical writer to take engineering proposals and formalize them for the home office.
While I was in college, I was introduced to the man who would be my mentor. He is the one that convinced me to go to law school. I was reluctant but he kept prodding. I thought I had outwitted him by applying to only one school. Unfortunately, that one school turned out to be the one that admitted me. And so it was that in 1983, I graduated with a shiny new diploma from the University of Houston Law Center and embarked on 27 year legal career. Looking back, if I had it to do over again, I would not do law school. That said, however, the law degree is what led me to where I am today. I practiced law in Houston and Richmond/Rosenberg until 1998 when I moved to Austin. During the time I practiced in Houston, I was also an adjunct professor of law at South Texas Collage of Law for 8 years. (Not bad for a high school dropout. LOL)
Even while practicing law, I never lost my interest in psychology and eventually went back to school and got an M.A. in general clinical psychology from the University of Houston - Clear Lake.
When I moved to Austin I went to work for the Texas Workforce Commission. In 1999, I was surfing the Internet looking for a new job in the Austin area. I came across a website that posted job listings for lawyers. The first job I saw was for an assistant attorney general in Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Yes, the Saipan of WW II fame. That evening, I was on the phone to one of my former students from South Texas Collage of Law who had moved to Saipan about 2 years before. I told her to convince me not to move to paradise. Two hours later she had failed and 6 weeks later I arrived on the island. That move started me on the road to international travel. While in Saipan, I also took up SCUBA diving. I loved it so much, I managed to become a dive instructor. I am still an active diver. Just last week I returned from a 5 day live aboard dive trip off the Burma coast. You can see pictures on my website (http://portfolio.davidkuenleyo.com).
During the 2-1/2 years working in Saipan, I managed to visit Nepal, Thailand, Japan, and Bali. For some crazy reason I gave that up and headed back to the U.S. and back to practicing law there. I went back to the Workforce Commission for a couple of years and then headed over to the Division of Workers Compensation at the Texas Department of Insurance. That was where I was until I retired. Even during the time back in the states, I continued to do international travel. I made it back to Japan, Bhutan (twice), and Thailand.
On January 31, 2011, I officially retired and on February 1 I was on a plane heading to Thailand. I've been here 6 years years now and it has turned out to be an even better decision that I had anticipated. In those 6 years, I have managed to travel to Spain, Istanbul, Bali, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma, and north and south Thailand. I even squeezed in two major trips to Europe riding trains from London to Istanbul.
Retirement is good. Essentially, all I do these days is travel, take pictures, and dive. Life is good.
So David, this is a bit more than "a couple of paragraphs" but I was a lawyer after all.
Best to all of you and I wish I were close enough to be at the reunion this year.
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