Two educators, a community leader and a former professional athlete and coach will be inducted into Commerce ISD’s Hall of Honor during ceremonies on September 20. Honorees include Carolyn Brown Burt, Kristin Barker Hames, Medley Wilson and Wade Wilson.
The luncheon and induction ceremony will be held at 11:30 a.m., Friday, September 20 at the CISD Administration Building.
If there was an activity at Commerce High School during the early 1950’s, Carolyn Burt was probably involved in it. She was editor of the Tiger Tips newspaper and a Sregit yearbook staff member. She exhibited leadership skills as Student Council secretary, FHA District II vice president and class reporter. She was named a Fall Festival Duchess, football sweetheart and class favorite.
After graduation from CHS in 1955, Burt entered East Texas State University, receiving her Bachelor of Science and Master’s degrees. She returned to CISD as an English, health and physical education teacher for two years. She then started work at East Texas State University as a graduate assistant in 1964. After going full time in 1965, Burt taught the rest of her career, 35 years, at the university teaching and coaching.
Burt began the women’s volleyball program for the university and served as its coach for many years. She also coached the women’s track team, including three All-American track and field athletes. In 2000, she was inducted into the Texas A&M University-Commerce Athletic Hall of Fame because of her achievements as an athletic coach and mentor.
Burt has been a member of many community organizations and service clubs such as the Coterie Culture Club and the Charles Croxall Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution. Her work on the Commerce Schools Educational Enrichment Foundation board has helped award over $500,000 in grants to CISD teachers to enhance instruction.
Burt and her late husband Harold reared two children in Commerce. Wayne and Sherie graduated from CHS. She has four grandchildren.
Kristin Barker Hames
The youngest-ever inductee into the CISD Hall of Honor, Kristin Baker Hames is a leader in music education in the state of Texas. She cultivated her love of music in Commerce as a member of the band beginning in middle school. At CHS, she was a drum major, performed in one-act play and was a cheerleader. Hames played softball after it was introduced at CHS and she was named to the All-District Softball Team.
After her graduation from CHS in 1996, she attended Texas A&M University-Commerce where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Music Education with honors. She received her master’s from Southern Methodist University.
Hames is currently the Director of Bands at Hill Country Middle School. She has served as head band director at Stafford Middle School in Frisco and Richardson North Junior High in Richardson. Bands under her direction have received consistent superior ratings at regional band festivals and the RNJH Symphonic Band was named first runner-up in the Texas State Honor Band competition. In 2008, Hames was named as the Phi Beta Mu “Outstanding Young Bandmaster.” She was named as a Richardson ISD Teacher of the Year in 2006 and has also been honored with a PTA Lifetime Membership. While Hames was the assistant band director at Shepton High School in Plano, she was named the Beginning Teacher of the Year in 1999.
Hames has conducted bands and workshops throughout the United States and in China. Her professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Music Adjudicators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, Phi Beta Mu and Alpha Chi.
Of Hames, the person nominating her said: “Inspiring students, using positive and constructive teaching methods, Mrs. Hames has made her mark in our education community. Her kind heart, student-centered forethought and ability to motivate others makes her stand out.”
As a CHS senior during our nation’s Bicentennial year in 1976, Medley Wilson played basketball and was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Wilson attended Henderson County Junior College where he received an associate degree in auto mechanics. He served as a City of Commerce firefighter for two years and in 1982 he began his career at L3 Harris in Greenville. He continues to work there as a team leader.
He is a member of the Mt. Moriah Temple Baptist Church where he serves as a deacon. For years, Wilson mentored young people as he coordinated basketball play at the old Norris school. Mt. Moriah had purchased the school and Wilson opened it up most Sunday afternoons for students 9 through 18 years old to practice and develop their basketball skills.
Wilson also served from 2006 to 2012 on the CISD Board of Trustees.
Wilson continues to live in Commerce with his wife Barbara. Their two daughters, Angela and Deana, are also graduates of CHS.
Excerpts taken from “From Commerce to Big D: Wade Wilson’s Story,” The Commerce Journal, Ryan Scott, December 29, 2016
In an NFL playing career that spanned 18 years, Wade Wilson started more than 60 games and was part of a team that won the Super Bowl. But, before that career began, Wilson was just a young boy born in Greenville and growing up in Commerce who wanted to make a name on the gridiron.
Wilson grew up a fan of the Dallas Cowboys. He recalls taking part in a Punt, Pass & Kick competition as an 8-year old and getting to show his skills in front of a crowd at the Cotton Bowl.
“Growing up a fan of the Cowboys, getting to do that was a special moment for me,” Wilson said.
By his senior year at CHS, he was the Tigers’ starting quarterback and team leader. In his senior season, Wilson helped lead Commerce to a 10-win season and a district championship.
Wilson’s talent was not unnoticed. One of the college coaches that showed interest was Ernest Hawkins (now deceased), head coach at East Texas State University, known today as Texas A&M University-Commerce. At the time, the Lions were just five years removed from an NAIA National Championship, and were still a formidable force.
By his junior year at ETSU, Wilson was thrust into the starting role, where he flourished. In 1980, Wilson and the Lions roared out to a six-game winning streak to start the season. East Texas finished the year with a playoff appearance, beating No. 1-ranked Central Arkansas in the quarterfinal round before falling in the national semifinals. The Lone Star Conference championship that year was the school’s first since 1972.
He played in the NFL from 1981 until 1998, drawing paychecks from the Vikings, Falcons, Saints, Cowboys and Raiders. He was voted into the Pro Bowl in 1988 and led the league in completion percentage the same year. Wilson was the No. 2 quarterback behind Troy Aikman on the 1995 Cowboys team that won Super Bowl XXX.
He overcame the notion that a player diagnosed with diabetes could not play to the level required by the NFL. While a player and coach, he worked tirelessly to promote diabetes education and research and has continually raised money for the American Diabetes Association.
Since retiring from playing, Wilson has worked as the quarterback’s coach for the Chicago Bears from 2004 to 2006, and the Cowboys from 2000 to 2002, and again from 2007 to 2016. In his most recent stint with Dallas, he has had the opportunity to work closely with Tony Romo and with rookie sensation Dak Prescott.
Wilson died at the age of 60 on February 1, 2019, his birthday. The award will be accepted by Wilson’s father, Charlie Wilson.
Tickets to the Hall of Honor luncheon are $15 each and can be purchased at the CISD Administration Building through September 13.