Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Klussmanns Honored at CIS Annual “Stay in School” Gala

Spring Branch ISD’s Superintendent of Schools Duncan Klussmann and his wife, Marissa, were honored April 17 by Communities in Schools during the nonprofit group’s annual “Stay in School” fund-raising gala.

The Klussmanns received the organization’s Community Advocate Award for their combined efforts. Marissa is an active board member with Communities in School (CIS), and Dr. Klussmann has supported the group’s work in public school systems like SBISD.

The gala evening’s gathering of 300 at the Houston Country Club raised more than $600,000 for the local organization, which has staff members today working on 32 separate SBISD campuses. CIS boasts a high success rate with dropout prevention programs supported by the child-focused group.

Honored with the Klussmanns at the gala were two iconic Houston education and literacy advocates, Barbara Bush and former President H.W. Bush.

CIS program highlights included these statements about the Klussmanns:

There is a saying in Spanish, ‘A buen entendedor, pocas palabras bastan,’ or to someone with good understanding, only a few words are necessary. Such is definitely the case with Marissa Klussmann, a beautiful and gracious lady who truly CARES about ALL children. Her enthusiasm radiates to our CIS students. Marissa is a longtime CIS Board member, an avid volunteer, and a caring mentor alongside of CIS in several Spring Branch schools.

“Duncan Klussmann is a remarkable man, always thoughtful of his students, keeping them in the forefront of his tireless efforts. A true friend of CIS, Duncan has helped CIS to grow from serving in 12 schools in Spring Branch to serving 32 schools today. So thanks to Dr. Klusssmann, CIS is now serving over 23,450 students in Spring Branch ISD. As a recognized leader in education in our great state of Texas and as tremendous Superintendent of Spring Branch ISD, Duncan Klussmann has always been a great supporter of CIS, but more importantly, a tremendous supporter of ALL kids!”

CultureMap Houston society reporter Shelby Hodge reports that the gala event had no problem raising $600,000. Three couples helped chair the gala evening – Gervaise and Gary Petersen, Lucinda and Javier Loya, and Janet Gurwitch and Ron Franklin. Read the CultureMap story and view event photos >>

Among other local Gala attendees were Roy Reyes and Ana Padron, Communities in Schools (CIS) Project Managers at SBISD schools, a CIS “Mom” Maria Odom, and Mia, a CIS student at Housman Elementary School.

Chapelwood United Methodist Church’s the Rev. John Stephens delivered the gala blessing.

To learn more about CIS Houston and its programs, please visit:


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