Blankenship Named 2016 Honorary Distinguished Alumnus

Mr. B and Mr. Williams SISD has named beloved long-time Sunnyvale Superintendent Gwinn, “Mr. B,” Blankenship the 2016-2017 Honorary Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. Sunnyvale community members, alumni and district employees – past and present – will gather to honor Mr. B during homecoming week and celebrate his contributions to the school district.

Blankenship will act as grand marshall of the annual homecoming kick-off parade on Oct. 8 and will be recognized at halftime of Friday night’s game against Dallas Life, Oct. 14th.

A scholarship in Mr. B's name will also be announced at homecoming. The scholarship will benefit a graduating senior each year and will be stewarded by the SISD Alumni Association.

“It has been my pleasure to have developed a great relationship with Mr. B over the years and count him as a mentor and friend,” Superintendent Doug Williams said. “SISD would not be what it is without his service and commitment.”  

Blankenship served SISD for 24 years, beginning in the 1970’s. Well-known for his warmth and caring nature, Blankenship’s vision for SISD’s future set the foundation for the district’s current success.

“Mr. B dedicated his career to being a positive role model for every child in Sunnyvale,” Board of Trustees Vice President and SISD alumna Linda Gooch said.

Alumni remember Mr. B for creating a safe and close-knit school atmosphere. Each morning, Mr. B greeted students by name as they entered the school, one by one. Alumni also recall Mr. B dressing up at the annual fall carnival and cooking out at events like the annual Math-Science Fair and the Sunnyvale Town Picnic.

“Everyone thought they were Mr. B's favorite student because he treated every student like they were unique and special,” SMS Principal and SISD alumna Carmen Ayo said. “Kindness seeped out of him and he spoke to you from his heart. Still to this day, I feel like the most important person in the room when he is around.”