Celina Person of the Year

by Heather Reynolds
Celina Person of the Year

We are so excited to announce this year’s Celina Person of the Year!! Our first year, we were thrilled to recognize Starla Martin as our first recipient of this award. Last year, the award went to Justin Steiner. There are so many people in Celina that are deserving of recognition – and we wanted this recognition to continue to be a true representation of what the Celina community believes this person personifies. So, we asked y’all to nominate your favorite Celina resident and to tell us WHY you believe they are deserving of this honor. We received tons of responses and narrowed down the nominees for this year’s Celina Person of the Year award to nine. We then asked y’all to vote for your favorites…and we received THOUSANDS of votes!! Our selection committee then read through the nomination reasons, looked at the online voting results and read through the nominees’ answers to our questionnaire to select this year’s winner. Due to the pool of amazing nominees, the selection committee had their work cut out for them…but we are pleased to announce this year’s winner…Mrs. Lori Gibbs!!

LORI GIBBS – CELINA PERSON OF THE YEAR

Please tell our Readers a little bit about yourself and your family:

My husband, Guy, and I have lived in Celina for 17 years. We have boy/girl twins, Gage and Grace, who will be graduating from Celina High School this year. They both plan to attend Oklahoma State University in the fall. I am currently an assistant principal at Celina High School. The things I enjoy most in life are God, family, friends, laughing, my sweet dog named Sugar, and Mexican food!

What do you LOVE about Celina?

There are really too many to name, but I think what I love the most is how the people of Celina pull together when someone is in need. Everyone stops what they are doing to see that the needs of people are met. There is a great sense of community here that you can’t explain unless you’ve been part of it!

What makes Celina unique?

Celina is unique in that, although we are growing, we still have that small-town feel.  Newcomers to Celina are welcome and folks still wave when you pass them on the street! 

What is your VISION for Celina?

My vision for the future is the same is that of the past – My hope is that Celina will continue to honor Faith & Family!

How did you feel when you heard the news about your nomination?

I was honestly shocked, especially when I saw the names of the other nominees. We have so many people in Celina who are deserving of this nomination. Each day I try to be the best person I can be, and to be recognized for that is incredibly humbling.

CELINA PERSON OF THEY YEAR NOMINEES

Cheryl Hutson:

I’ve never seen a teacher connect and teach kids quite like Mrs. Hutson. She doesn’t just teach, she makes an impact that is lifelong. She continues to love and support every kid that has come through her class well beyond the year she has them. She finds ways for each child to reach their fullest potential.

Loretta Francis:

She’s been a big part of all our kids’ lives for way over 20 years encouraging them to be actively fit and healthy and Celina is blessed to have her!

Terry Grayson:

Coach Grayson, an educator and coach for over a decade, joined Celina ISD this year at Celina High School as a science teacher and football and track coach. His prior coaching experiences in Texas were at Frisco Centennial and Dallas Jesuit. Coach Grayson has lived in Celina for almost 5 years where he has coached youth teams for his children in football and basketball and has served as a Watchdog Dad at Celina Primary and O’Dell Elementary. He inspires all to do their best, is an enthusiastic servant of Christ, loves his athletes as though they were his own biological children, has the best smile ever, and is the greatest family man ever- just ask his mother-in-law! Terry never meets a stranger and always finds the time to help anyone in need. He represents Celina well!

Lori Gibbs:

This person deserves the honor of Celina Person of the Year because she has served CISD for almost 17 years. Lori and her family moved to Celina in the fall of 2002, and she began teaching 6th grade at CISD in 2003. She taught 6th and 7th grade at Celina Middle School for 5 years before becoming an Assistant Principal. She served as Assistant Principal at Celina Middle School for 6 years, with a short stint as Interim Principal at Celina Elementary School. She moved to the Assistant Principal position at Celina High School in 2015 and this is her 5th year in that position. Lori is the mother of two children, boy & girl twins, Gage and Grace. Both of her children were raised in Celina and they will graduate in the spring. In December of 2013, Lori was diagnosed with breast cancer. She never missed a beat, and stayed busy with work, her children’s activities, and numerous radiation appointments. In March of 2014, she received the news that the cancer was gone! This year is Lori’s 30th year in Texas public education. She has remained active in her church choir, Fidelis Inter Se, and numerous other committees and activities. If anyone deserves this honor, it’s one of Celina’s biggest inspirations and supporters, Lori Gibbs.

Michelle Baggett:

My wife has faithfully served the city for the last 5 years by starting the Friday Night Market as well as serving on the Main Street Board as the Vice President and actively supports the community through volunteering at Cajun Fest, Meet the Bobcats, and Oktoberfest. However most importantly she does all of these things while serving her family with compassion and grace. I am proud to call her my wife!

Ralph O’Dell:

Mr. O’Dell is very active in Rotary and Celina Senior Citizen’s group.

Steve Robinson:

I would like to nominate Steve Robinson of Celina, Tx. Steve was born and raised in Celina. The Robinsons have been farming in Celina since 1879, five generations! Steve is fourth generation to farm on the Robinson Farm. When he is not plowing, sowing, harvesting, fixing tractors, and tending to the cows he donates his time to serving as a board member on the Alla Hubbard trust, benefiting CISD. He is a director on the Grayson-Collin Electric Cooperative, which serves rural Celina. He has served on the tollway expansion committee. He is a man who loves to serve. Every Sunday you will find him standing at the doors of his church greeting his church family. In the past, Steve served on the CISD school board, helped frame the Boy Scouts of Celina, served as a deacon at a local baptist church, member of the FSA—Farming Service Agency County committee, and donated his time to the Quarterback Club. His daughter, Leigh Ann, recounts his time as helping the community as a beekeeper. When there were bees, Steve was called to remove the hive and relocate to a safer place. I am nominating Steve Robinson because I would like to see a pioneer of our community, who continues to serve, as a Celina Person of the Year. God bless our farmers and God bless Steve!

Jennifer Blanco:

Jennifer serves in many areas of the community. She is active on the city of Celina library board, the band booster club, and the band board. She organizes the volunteers and all the going’s on for the concession stands at the new stadium. She also works for Grace Bridge Resale. She is the first to volunteer to help a student, coworker, and participant. I’m honored to know her.

Janee Eatmon:

Janee Eatmon loves Celina. As a board member for Celina Ladies and Friends she has given so much for her community. Putting together a booth and volunteering her time at the Meet the Bobcat tailgating, organizing the Progressive Dinner which helps promote the businesses on the square, volunteering at Oktoberfest and so many more community activities like creating food drives for Grace Bridge, raising goods for Bethlehem’s Place and Grayson Shelter . Her heart is truly giving and so big. She helps with so much to enrich the community and is a friend to all.

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