WINTERS - The three Winters High School graduates were recognized for their achievements as the 2017 Winters High School Distinguished Alumni Friday, October 20. The 2017 honorees are Bailey Mayo, WHS Class of 1954 from Levelland, Barbara Baldwin Pearce, WHS Class of 1964 from Georgetown and Terry Gerhart, WHS Class of 1979 from The Woodlands.

WINTERS - The three Winters High School graduates were recognized for their achievements as the 2017 Winters High School Distinguished Alumni Friday, October 20. The 2017 honorees are Bailey Mayo, WHS Class of 1954 from Levelland, Barbara Baldwin Pearce, WHS Class of 1964 from Georgetown and Terry Gerhart, WHS Class of 1979 from The Woodlands.

The alumni were introduced by Winters High School student Macey Gerhart and Principal Randy Gartman.

All three of the alumni offered words of encouragement to the students, family and friends who attended the assembly.

Pearce, credited her experience as a candy striper at the Winters hospital as the motivation that propelled her into the nursing profession. She has worked as a pediatric nurse and said that working in that profession showed her the importance of “making a difference.”

Her accomplishments are many in both her profession and in the community of Georgetown where she lives. She is retired, but serves as a founding member of Seeds of Strength in Georgetown and is a member of the Georgetown ISD’s Citizens Advisory Committee. She also led the charge in drug prevention and

She told the students to remember to cultivate relationships, find their purpose and passion and to “write your story well.”

“You are the author of your own story,” she said. “Look for opportunities and ask for what you need.”

She also told the students to “never underestimate the impact you have on others.”

“The skills I used began to be developed right here at Winters High School,” she said.

Mayo, who hails from Levelland, began his career as a soil conservationist in 1961, went on to work all over the country, finally retiring in 1994 as a assistant soil conservationist in Reno, Nevada. He would then come out of retirement to help with the development of golf courses and would work for 10 years in student services at South Plains College in Levelland.

Mayo told the audience what Winters was like some 80 years ago reminding them that there was no pool, no gymnasium and no television.

“But we had a drive in, the Chick Inn and two movie theaters,” Mayor explained.

He encouraged the students to take advantage of the time they have at WHS and do the things that will make “you proud to be from Winters.”

He talked about the “things that stuck with” him during his presentation and he encouraged the students not to feel a sense of entitlement.

“You will be responsible for the decisions you make,” Mayo said. “You have to apply yourself and learn how to study.”

He said growing up in a small town gives students a lot of opportunities “because in a small town you learn to lead.”

Finally, he told the students to “stir it up.”

“What you accomplish in life is up to you,” Mayo said.

Gerhart has worked all aspects of engineering, operations, and management of upstream onshore and offshore businesses in the domestic U.S. and in over 30 countries internationally. Gerhart said while at Noble Energy, Gerhart has been the executive responsible for Noble’s businesses in Africa, Eastern Mediterranean, Global Gas Monetization, Latin America, UK, and Asia.

He is currently the senior vice president of Global Operations Services which includes responsibility for all company drilling operations, major projects, supply chain, operations excellence, corporation aviation, and engineering development. In addition, he is the Chief Executive Officer of Noble Midstream Partners and led the initial public offering creating the publicly traded midstream company which is listed on the NYSE.

Gerhart told the audience that he always dreamed big and that the foundation for his career started with FFA (Future Farmers of America) in Winters.

“It taught me about leadership and parliamentary procedure,” Gerhart said. “I still use the things I learned here every day.”

He encouraged the students to cherish their small town values like integrity, respect and caring for others and to have tenacity and not to quit.

“When bad things happen, control it and figure out how to change it,” Gerhart said.

And he stressed the value of setting goals and having positive thoughts.

“We live in a world of change,” he said. “Your ability to adapt to change depends on your success.”

A reception followed the assembly in the Winters High School library.

The Winters Independent School District and WHS Alumni Association established the "Winters High School Distinguished Alumnus Award" in 2013 to recognize former graduates who have accomplished extraordinary achievements in their life's work. They must have graduated at least 10 years prior to year in which nominated, should have been a leader in his/her field or made a significant contribution, and/or brought exceptional distinction to the individual or their community.